Oats is becoming more and more popular these days. Not only is it a healthy, nutritious whole food, but it is also inexpensive, easily accessible, so versatile and a little goes a long way. So what exactly is oats? Oats is a cereal grain grown for its seed that is commonly used as livestock feed but also suitable for human consumption as groats(the whole oat grain), steel cut(cut up groats) oats, rolled oats(rolled groats) and quick oats(cut up rolled oats).
Oats is naturally gluten free and can be tolerated by most people, even those with a gluten sensitivity. But since it is processed in factories where other gluten containing grains are also processed, it might be subject to cross contamination. It would therefore not be advisable for people suffering from Celiac Disease to consume normal oats, but to rather opt for certified, gluten free oats.
What makes oats stand out above the rest?
• Oats is extremely nutritious. It is high in Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Folate, B vitamins, fibre, complex carbohydrates and protein.
• Oats are high in soluble fibre. Benefits of soluble fibre includes reducing LDL and total cholesterol levels, reducing blood sugar levels, increasing feelings of fullness and promoting gut health.
• Oats are rich in antioxidants, including Avenanthramides. These compounds may help to reduce blood pressure.
• Oats is a complex carbohydrate with a low GL(Glycaemic Load). This means that oats gives you a steady supply of energy, keeping your blood sugar levels balanced.
What can you do with oats?
• Have a delicious, warm, healthy bowl of oats for breakfast. See recipe below.
• Home made granola/muesli.
• Overnight oats.
• Add a tablespoon of oats to your smoothie for a fibre boost.
• Use oats in baking, for bread, muffins, cookies, cakes etc., either as rolled oats or oat flour(Simply ground your rolled oats in a blender or food processor).
• Use oat flour as a healthy substitute for wheat flour.
• Oat milk – Soak 1 cup of oats overnight. Simply blend the soaked oats with 4 cups of water and strain using a nut bag/muslin cloth. Keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
• Use oats/oat flour as a thickener/binder in recipes such as burgers, soups etc.
• Oats can also be used for natural skincare.
Recipe: Creamy breakfast oats(serves 1)
• ½ cup of oats
• 1 cup water/milk(add more liquid if needed)
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tbsp coconut flour
• ½ zucchini(grated)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1-2 tbsp nut butter/nuts/seeds of choice
• fresh/frozen berries
• Bring the oats and water/milk to the boil and let it simmer until most liquid is absorbed, depending on how creamy you want your oats to be.(Soak oats overnight to reduce cooking time)
• Add the chia seeds, zucchini, coconut flour, vanilla and stir through.
• Top your oats with the nut butter/nuts/seeds and berries.
• Eat it mindfully and enjoy!
****Special on all non-organic oat products(excluding gluten free) until 20 September 2018, when buying 1kg or more****
Whole oats/groats – R20/kg
Steel cut oats – R41/kg
Rolled oats – R24/kg
Quick oats – R25/kg