Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What the Oat? - What's the difference in the kind of oats and what should I eat??

So we've all heard how we should try to incorporate more oats/oatmeal into our day, right?? Of course, it's chalk full of soluble fiber (hence the cholesterol lowering), has a nice dabble of protein to help keep you satiated, and we have the handful of nutrients (iron, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, etc). Economically nutritious and fast, it's no wonder why this has been an American staple. Here, in the south, oatmeal is less frequently consumed (helloooo grits!) and I've often found myself encouraging patients to not only eat the warmed oats but explains how to eat them - and what the variations are so you can choose what works best for you. There's always an option. ;)

Here are some basic recipes for making oatmeal. You’ll also find a list of my favorite toppings, too. If you want more detailed "recipes" - get creative and write your concoctions down or google oatmeal recipes for a slew of them. I'll get you started with Carrot Cake Oatmeal.

Option 1 - Steel Cut Oats

Give yourself 5 minutes the night before to throw 3 cups water or plant-based milk + 1 cup steel cup oats + whatever add-ins you'd like = cook in slow cooker 5-6 hours on low for delicious, piping hot oats in the morning. You can also cook on the stove but allow for a solid 30 minutes for these oat kernels to cook. 

See, steel cut oats take the longest time to cook because the outer fibrous shell, the "hull" has not been stripped away by processing so it has the highest fiber of the oat options. However, old-fashioned oats, oat flakes that have only part of the fiber removed are a solid alternative.

Option 2 - Overnight Soaked or Cold Rolled/Old-Fashioned Oats

Continuing with the idea to plan your breakfast the night before, five minutes and a good shake of the jar can give you a portable, chilled breakfast to start hot summer mornings.
Ironically, this recipe also comes in handy when you have no time or desire to slave over a stove. There’s no limit to how many individual jars you can “put up”.
Feel free to warm your oatmeal in the microwave to take the chill off.
Just in case you aren’t organized enough to get your breakfast together overnight we have…

Option 3 - Hot Rolled/Old-Fashioned Oats

Here’s a morning option for microwave cooking old-fashioned oats. Make note that the best method is stopping and stirring the bowl every minute or so. This way your cup doesn’t boil over and make a mess that takes more than 5 minutes to clean up.
My favorite oatmeal toppings:
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Frozen Blueberries and Raspberries
  • Chopped Apples with doll-up of almond/peanut butter
  • Chia and Flax Seeds
  • Dash (or two ;) ) of maple syrup, vanilla, and/or cinnamon

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