Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Goodness of Oats.

Oatmeal is probably one of the, if not THE, most healthy breakfast. Whether it's cooked hot or eaten cold in muesli, it'll fill you up and do wonders on the inside.
As much as I love bread, I think we eat WAY too much of it. Think about it; toasts for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta(made from wheat) for diner with...garlic bread. Croutons in the salad are made with bread... That's too much wheat. There are other grains out there besides wheat. Oats is one of the best. So is quinoa, millet, barley, etc. So let's ease up on the wheat. What I try to do everyday is to have at least one wheat-free meal(not always gluten-free, cause oats and barley have a little gluten too...). The best way to do that is to have oatmeal for breakfast. It's one of my favorite. When I say oatmeal I mean REAL oatmeal, not the instant stuff that comes in pouches along with sugar and other "flavors"...It's just as easy, and cheaper, to get a big bag of quick-oats, it cooks in 5 minutes, and they haven't been transformed as much AND when things are can flavor it anyway you want!! Also, you can use them in baked goods, or even meatloaves and stews, etc. Wonderful little flakes!
Here are some nutrition facts:(I did my research!!)
-Oats are a good source of soluble fibre, which helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
-They're rich in iron, manganese, folic acid, vitamin E and complex B vitamins, such as niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, etc.
-They have some powerfull anti-oxidants that help prevent cancer and other diseases.
-It's a good option for diabetics because oats help reduce blood sugar levels and insuline levels as well.
-Since they're high in protein and fiber, they take longer to digest so they'll make you feel fuller longer.
So...oatmeal rocks, basically.
There are so many ways to cook it, usually for quick oats you need 2 parts water or milk(or half water, half milk...) for one part of oats. Thicker rolled oats will take longer, up to 20 minutes, and you may need 3 parts liquid. Check the bag for instructions.
For me, I like my oatmeal with some kind of nuts or seeds, and fruit. Fresh or dried. And depending on those I'll add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, or cardamon, or a mix of whatever, and of course almost always brown sugar. Not a lot, but I love the molassy taste of it. But it could be maple syrup, honey, or like this morning I threw in a couple of tespoons of chocolate chips. Yum.

"Banana Chocolate Walnut":

Now I'm not gonna give any recipes for morning oatmeal. But here are some suggestions, good combos, and ideas:
*Apple-raisin-sunflower seed with cinnamon and cloves,
*Pear-Walnut with nutmeg
*Peach-pecan with cinnamon AND nutmeg
*Blueberry-almond with cardamon
Basically, think of you favorite cookie, or pie or muffin flavor and put it in the oatmeal. Possibilities are endless.
So with that said, here are a couple other snaps of my oatmeal breakfasts;
(and notice how it's the same bowl...I know I need new dishes...)

"Cranberry Pear and Sunflower seeds, with nutmeg":

"Apple Raisin and sunflower seeds, with cinnamon":(ok, i really like those little seeds, can you tell?)

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