Cold winter mornings call for a nutritious hot breakfast, oats remain a favourite in many homes worldwide. Oats do not only leave you feeling satisfied and energised for a sustained amount of time, but it also have many other health benefits:
- Because of its high fibre content, both soluble and insoluble fibre, it helps improve bowel health.
- Beta-glucans in oats helps reduce cholesterol (and therefore reduce risk of heart disease), and increase excretion of bile acids.
- Oats are low GI when cooked and cooled, or when eaten with a healthy fat (such as peanut butter) or dairy (such as milk or yoghurt). A lower GI means a more sustainable blood glucose level, which means it is an excellent food for people with Diabetes.
- A bowl of oats is a nutritionally balanced meal when served with low fat milk or yoghurt. Raw oats are 66% carbohydrates, 17% protein, 7% fat and 11% fibre, and is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, copper, B-vitamins, iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc.
In addition to all of this, oats are surprisingly versatile. Most commonly, they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into fine oat flour. Oatmeal is generally eaten as porridge, but may also be used in a variety of baked goods, such as oatcakes, oatmeal cookies and oat bread. Oats are also an ingredient in many cold cereals, in particular muesli and granola.
For 6 muffins –Keep these muffins in the freezer to pop into the microwave for a quick and filling breakfast or snack on the go.
2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 Large ripe banana
Handful of raw almonds/walnuts
2 heaped tablespoons raisins/sultanas
2 heaped tablespoons dates, soaked in a little hot water until soft
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb, dissolved in 2 tablespoons milk)
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pulse oats in food processor until fine (like flour). Add nuts and raisins and give it another pulse until nuts are chopped.
In another bowl, blend together banana, softened dates, eggs and oil until smooth.
Lightly fold in the dry ingredients.
Divide into 6 muffin cups.
Bake in a preheated oven (180ºC) for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy a warm and satisfying bowl of oats to keep you going each day!
Contributor: Melissa Ludick – FEMINA HEALTHS resident dietician