You might have been expecting something exotic but not today my friend. Today we discuss a plain-Jane food. Something that everyone man, woman and child should have as a pantry staple as well as a daily belly filler.
It’s time for What’s the Word? Wednesday! This week we are taking on the big O… I mean the letter O. O is for Oats! Get your mind out of the gutter this is a food blog after all.
O is for Oats
Lambs eat oats, and does eat oats and vegetarians eat plenty! If you have never eaten oats, Imma let you finish, but I really don’t know what to say. You’ve never eaten oats, where do you live??? If you really have not eaten oats before I really don’t want to publicly shame you I just have loads of questions, like whoa.
What is it?
Oats are described on Wikipedia as a cereal grain. They come in many different variations, steel-cut, rolled, oatmeal, oat flour, and cat grass. Yep, oat seeds are what grows that delicious grass your kitty has been un-potting since with was a tiny ball of fur. Besides powering humans big and small, oats are often used in animal feed for horses, cattle and sometimes for our furry dog friends. Oats in any form are a very hypoallergenic grain, and can be a gluten intolerant person’s best friend, given they were not processed with wheat grains (look for gluten-free labeling!).
What does it taste like?
Oats can be eaten raw or cooked and taste like well, oats, in either form. Where they are so versatile (aka you can put them in anything) they generally take the taste of what they are cooked/mixed in. Get into it!
Where do I use it?
Breakfast, lunch or dinner, it makes no difference. Porridge can be made creamy and sweet by adding milk and brown sugar or maple syrup. You can make granola or muesli using oats spiced with cinnamon and dotted with dried fruit and nuts. Oats can be added to bean/lentil loaves to give shape and bulk as well as extra fibre and you won’t even notice they are in there. They add bulk and chew to cookies. You can use them raw in energy or granola bars. Throw some into your post work-out smoothie. If you have a high power blender/food processor grind them into flour for gluten free baking or just swap out some of your regular wheat flour in recipes to add more fibre. You can even soak them with nuts and make some delicious vegan milk.
Are there health benefits?
Oh buddy. If you grew up in North America you probably remember all the Quaker commercials for kids and then different ones for adults. Quaker taught me two things, kids love them and adults want to eat them to lower their blood pressure!
That is not all this little grain can do though. Eat oats every morning and you can drastically reduce your cholesterol levels. They contain anti-oxidants that help strengthen your cardiovascular system. Oats are high in fiber so they help keep you regular, and studies have shown that eating a diet high in oats (fibre) can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack, Quaker wasn’t kidding. It enhances the immune response to infections and stabilizes blood sugar, making it the perfect choice for people suffering from diabetes. Oats do it all and then some. Eat them daily! For more information on oats check out my source for nutritional information, whfoods.com .
Oaty V-Spot Recipe Suggestions
- Cocoa and Toasted Coconut Energy Bars V
- Oatmeal Brown Bread V
- Overnight Oats V
- Pumpkin Pie Granola V
- Stout Lentil Loaf V
Oats Around the Web
- Cashew Oat Milk with Cinnamon and Agave by Joy the Baker
- Gluten Free Chocolate Waffles by Girl Makes Food
- Oh Henry! Bars by the Kitchen is My Playground
- savory mushroom and herb steel cut oat risotto by Foxes Love Lemons
- Triple Berry Breakfast Smoothie by On Sugar Mountain
- Zucchini-Feta Squares with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce by Craving Greens