Not everyone appreciates the properties of oats. Many of us associate oats with unwanted breakfast porridge in our childhood. Our parents were right again. They knew how healthy oats are for us.
Oats, oat bran and oatmeal contain a specific type of fibre known as beta gluten. Studies show the beneficial effects of this particular fibre on lowering bad cholesterol level (LDL). Only 3 grams of this fibre per day, which is found in a bowl of oatmeal, can lower the total cholesterol by 8-21%. Lowering high cholesterol level can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Oats contain not only high doses of fibre, but also they enhance the nutritional value of your diet
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particularly for vitamins (especially vit B1), minerals (i.e.manganese, magnesium, zinc) and antioxidants; especially an antioxidant called bilirubin ,which helps the body eliminate free radicals as well as protect the brain from oxidative damage.
Oats can help you control your appetite because they increase level of Peptide y-y which is a hormone associated with appetite control. They control blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar because it improves insulin sensitivity. Also beta glucans from oats boost defences of the immune system agains viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi.
Studies also link high consumption of oats and oatmeals by children to reduced risk of childhood asthma by 50%.
Oatmeal cookies, oatmeal cakes, oatmeal bars are healthy snacks and a very good idea to satisfy your sweet tooth the healthy way. Because these snacks are packed with fibre from oats that helps digestion, this is why it is a great idea for a a healthy dessert too.
If you still think that oats are boring, I will show you how tasty treats you can make from them.
Simple oatmeal cookies
140g nuts and dried fruits of your choice
0.5tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1tbsp honey (not necessary)
1. Crush nuts and cut dried fruits.
2. Heat up the water and add 2tbsp of butter.
3. Mix dry ingredients.
4. Pour water with butter ( and honey if using) in to dry ingredients.
5. Mix well.
6. Roll the dough until it is 0.5 cm thick.
7. Cut circles and put them on baking tray lined with baking paper.
8. Bake in pre-heated oven 190 degrees C for 10 mins, turn to the side and bake for 10 more minutes.
Rich Oat cookies
100g xylitol or honey or agave nectar
handful of raisins
handful of walnuts
handful of almonds
3tbsp coconut flakes
For some extra flavour you can add 1tsp of cinnamon or cocoa powder or vanilla extract.
1.Melt the butter and add oats. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Cool down.
2.Crush walnuts and almonds.
3.Gradually add xylitol/honey together with raisins, walnuts,coconut flakes and almonds to oats with butter.
4.On the end add eggs and mix well.
5.Form small balls and flatten them. You can wet your hands to make this job easier.
6.Put cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper
7.Bake 15 minutes in pre-heated oven 190 degree C.
And there is one more recipe for chocolate bars lowers and those who need more protein in their diets.
Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
3 large or 4 medium ripe bananas
3 large eggs
100ml almond or hazelnut milk
1tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp cocoa powder
2scoops chocolate protein powder
(if you don’t use protein powder then add 0.5tbsp extra cocoa powder and 1/3 cup xylitol)
2.Add all wet ingredients into bananas.
3.Mix dry ingredients except oatmeal.
4.Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
5.Add oatmeal and mix.
6.Pour the dough on to square 9*9 inch baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven 180 degrees C for 25 minutes.
These are only 3 examples of many possibilities of oats, oatmeal and oat brans in our kitchen and our healthy lifestyle.Those treats are as good as traditional baked cookies or even better and so much healthier.
Oats can protect you from so many illnesses and cost close to nothing. They should be one of your number 1 ingredient in your kitchen. And you will never again associate them with something unwanted or boring cause they can do a lot to you in many tasty ways.