Oats – super simple, super food

I love oats, an everyday superfood. A long list of health benefits, easy to cook, yummy and cheap as chips. Best of all they can aid in weight loss!

Oats are among the healthiest grains and most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, they are a complete food, per 100g – 59g of carbs, 13g of protein, 7g of fat (1g saturated) and 8g of fiber, but only 363 calories.

  • Oats can help you lose weight by making you feel fuller for longer. It does this by slowing down the emptying of the stomach and increasing production of the satiety hormone PYY
  • Oats as full of vitamins and minerals, a serving (78g dry) has,
    • Manganese: 191% of the RDI,
    • Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI,
    • Magnesium: 34% of the RDI,
    • Copper: 24% of the RDI,
    • Iron: 20% of the RDI,
    • Zinc: 20% of the RDI,
    • Folate: 11% of the RDI,
    • Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI,
    • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI,
    • Calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Oats contain more than 20 unique polyphenols, avenanthramides which are almost solely found in oats. Providing additional protection against coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and skin irritation.
  • Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut. The health benefits of beta-glucan fiber include:
    • reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels,
    • reduced blood sugar and insulin response
    • increased feeling of fullness
    • increased growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract

Oats are really flexible, we typically eat them in the form of oatmeal, AKA porridge oats. Try these three easy oat ideas. Remember you can eat oats raw so don’t fret over how long you cook them:

Porridge – Add handful of oats of a saucepan, cover with 50/50 water and apple juice, bring to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes. I add extras like mixed nuts, mixed seeds, milled linseed, banana, raspberries, cinnamon, cacoa powder. You can cook with milk, but try the apple juice version, it is delicious.

Granola – Shop bought cereals (even the healthy ones) contain a lot of sugar. I make me own. It is soooo easy. Put 500g or 1kg jumbo oats in a large mixing bowl, add one tablespoons at a time of olive or rapeseed oil (any oil works) and mix really well. Add enough oil until they are all lightly covered. If you want to be super healthy you don’t have to use oil at all! Add golden syrup or Demerara sugar, you can add as little as you want. I use about two tablespoon. 20g which means that in 1kg it is 2% sugar (Dorset cereal is 14%). Mix really well. I add 250g chopped mixed nuts, 150g pumpkin and same sesame seeds. The spread out of a flat baking tray. The thinner the better so split across two trays if it helps. Put in an oven set at 180c and leave 10 mins, check and mix around. Idea is to toast the oats, so watch for them turning brown. Make sure they don’t burn. So keep checking and mixing until done.  Store in a an airtight jar or tub, it keeps as long as it lasts. Eat it with fruit compote, yogurt, milk, or just nibble as a snack.

Oat smoothie – A perfect super quick breakfast or snack. In a blender, add a large handful of raw oats,  a banana, then any fruit you want ( mango, apple, berries etc), add any extras, milled flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger etc. Add enough oat milk or 50/50 water and apple juice, to cover plus about 1 inch. It depends how thick you like it. Blend until smooth. Drink and feel smug all day!

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