Today is national oatmeal day!
Oatmeal is just as hearty and healthy now as it was back then, and the possibilities are endless when adding flavors and foods to amp up the benefits of devouring this robust grain!
Oatmeal is one of my personal favorite foods and I use it in a variety of different ways. It is a healthy whole grain, and can be found in the gluten-free variety as well.
Oats are thought to be GF, and pure they are GF. However, most brands in your stores are not pure and are contaminated with gluten filled grains. Therefore to be on the safe side, people with gluten sensitivities, allergies, or intolerance, are better off buying GF brands. I enjoy Bob’s Red Mill. Believe it or not even some of your local Wal-Mart stores are now carrying a great selection of these products!
Oatmeal is a great source of protein in the A.M. and a fantastic source of soluble and insoluble fiber. It will be a satisfying breakfast that will keep you full and sustain you for the long haul! I enjoy a half cup in the morning before a heavy cardio workout such as a run or a spin class. I like to add a dash of cinnamon, a scoop of flaxseed, some ginger and even a scoop of pumpkin puree in the fall.
Oats are 100% whole grain. Although they are a carbohydrate they do not spike your blood sugar like a bowl of Fruit Loops would.
“Carbohydrate is the most important form of fuel for exercise and sports activities,” says Helen Riley, a nutritional scientist from the British Nutrition Foundation. “The body can store carbohydrate in the muscles and liver, but these stores are small so it is important to keep them topped up. If you get tired during physical activity this might be because your carbohydrate stores are low.” –5 Reason Why You Should Eat Carbohydrates
I recently recall a fitness student telling me what a difference she felt in her morning workouts once she starting eating breakfast before she came. (And if I remember correctly, I believe that breakfast was oatmeal!)
Consuming whole grains may lower your risk of heart disease, stoke, diabetes, diverticulitis, hypertension, and osteoporosis. “Invest now, or pay for deductibles later.”
When making my turkey meatloaf I use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. Meatloaf night tends to be a catch-all night of veggies and tomato paste, spicy brown mustard, and lots of garlic, and onion. If you are a recipe follower, please check out this link to a healthy Dr. Oz oatmeal turkey meatloaf. Delicious!
How about oatmeal cookies?
Chocolate Covered Katie creates healthier versions of our favorite treats. Here is a simple recipe for chocolate chip flourless cookies made with oats.
The only tweak I have to some of these types of recipes is that my personal preference is to use real butter. I am not an advocate of margarine. Real food made with real ingredients, not chemicals is always my preferred choice. Artificial ingredients may be linked to weight gain, Alzheimer’s, or even cancer. Do not be afraid of a little fat if you not over-consuming it; especially in an oatmeal cookie treat! If you want to learn more, click here.
This is a great granola recipe that I recently made and handed out for people to taste test. It creates quite the batch so you can portion out and have it ready to go in snack packs and pre/post workout gym bags, or lunches.
Preheat Oven to 300 degrees
7 cups oats
4 cups dry ingredient
Dry ingredients choice or choice combinations: Quinoa, rice or oat bran, ground flax-seed, flaked coconut, nuts, seeds (pumpkin, flax, sesame, poppy, or sunflower)
2 cups liquid ingredient
Liquid ingredients choice or choice combinations: Fruit juices, honey, molasses, pure maple syrup, EVOO, peanut butter, nut butters, tahini, or frozen orange juice concentrate
3 cups dried fruit
Dried fruit choice or choice combinations: Cranberries, raisins, apricots, mango, papaya, apple, dates, and figs
1. In casserole dish, combine oats and dry ingredients. Set aside.
2. In 4 cup liquid measuring cup, combine liquid ingredients. Pour over oat mixture, and stir until combined.
3. Bake in pre-heated oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until toasted and light golden brown. Let cool completely. Stir in dried fruit.
4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
I hope that I have given you good reason to celebrate national oatmeal day with me!
“Butter Flavoring May Aggravate Alzheimer’s.” The Dr. Oz Show. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2013.
“CARB-O-PHOBIA.” Glamour. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2013.
“Is Oatmeal Gluten-free, or Does It Contain Gluten?” About.com Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2013.