One thing I’m adding more of this year? Healthy grains like organic rolled oats…
It’s January!…Which means the gym is now flooded with new members wearing shiny new running shoes, resolutions for self-betterment at the top of every mind. And why shouldn’t they be? It may be freezing in the Northeast, but I’ve always felt January to be the perfect time of year to start striving for more. More movement, better nutrition, better self care, and more kindness — to ourselves and to others. January offers the clean slate we’ve been looking for, the air is crisp, the sky is bright, and if we’re lucky we may even see a snowflake or two. After the cloud of negativity that seemed to hang over last year, I’ve been determined to start 2017 on a positive note, which includes taking more time to care for myself through movement and some seriously cleaned up eating. One thing I’m adding more of this year? Healthy grains like organic rolled oats. I’ll admit to writing off rolled oats and their ilk in the past for being too bland, but I’ve been making an effort to eat more of them in order to reap the rewards of their high levels of fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Today I’m sharing the benefits of oats along with an easy and super portable recipe for overnight oats, because one of the best things about this powerhouse grain is its portability. Whip some up for your next early morning or to have on hand as a quick post-workout snack — your body will thank you for it!
What is it? Traditional rolled oats are oat groats harvested from the oat plant, a cereal grain domesticated in Europe in the Bronze Age. The oat is husked and steamed before rolling, then lightly toasted to preserve and enhance flavor. The germ and bran of the oat are left intact after husking, which is where the main concentration of nutrients and fibre are housed. Rolled oats are the most popular or well-known style of oats, also popular are oat groats, which are oats that have been husked but left unrolled, and steel cut oats, which have been husked and steamed before being run through blades and roughly chopped. Old-fashioned oats, oat groats, and steel cut oats offer the most health benefits, as these oats have endured the least amount of processing, while quick-cooking and instant oatmeal offer fewer nutritional benefits due to their more intense amount of processing. Oats are naturally gluten-free, though to ensure they’re completely free from gluten cross-contamination, it’s wise to choose a brand of oats certified gluten free.
What are the benefits? We’ve all likely heard that oats are a good source of fibre, but it’s the kind of fibre that really sets them apart: beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a type of dietary fibre that has been shown to lower cholesterol by causing the body to pull from circulating cholesterol stores in the bloodstream to produce new bile. Lowering the body’s overall cholesterol in turn reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and protecting existing LDL cholesterol from oxidation from free radicals. The fibre present in oats has also been shown to stabilize blood sugar and lower the risk of diabetes while increasing the good bacteria living in the gut. As if that wasn’t enough, beta-glucan also boosts immunity by helping immune cells to the area of infection. But fibre isn’t the only reason to love oats! Oats are also an incredible source of nutrients and vitamins, including manganese, biotin, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc.
How do I use them? Rolled oats are incredibly versatile, making them an easy addition to your health and wellness routine whether you use them internally or simply in a face mask! Try some of our favorite face masks that include soothing and gently exfoliating oats here. Oats also offer an easy way to add an extra dose of filling fibre and nutrients to your morning smoothie. Simply add a small handful of rolled oats to your favorite smoothie recipe and blend. They’re also an easy addition to baked goods, such as muffins, quick breads and cookies and offer a slightly healthier alternative to traditional pie crusts when substituted as a crumble topping. Rolled oats can also be easily made into oat flour by processing whole rolled oats in a coffee grinder, food processor, or mortar and pestle.
Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
[makes 1 serving]
¾ cup water or unsweetened nut milk
½ ripe banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
½ cup GF rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp Sun Potion Ashwagandha powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
In a blender, combine the water, banana and peanut butter and blend until well incorporated.
Pour mixture into a Mason jar or other resealable container and stir in the rolled oats, chia seeds, ashwagandha powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
Refrigerate at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, top with more peanut butter, banana slices, nuts or seeds. Enjoy!
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.