Let’s Hear It for Outstanding Oats
I thought it would be a neat idea to showcase some of the great ingredients that are used in MySuperSnack Granola Bites, and what better way to kick off the series than with highlighting one of my favorites – oats. Since I’ve been a little kid, I have heard time and time again how eating oatmeal is one of the healthiest ways to start your day. Many heart patients and individuals seeking to lower their cholesterol and add fiber to their diets are encouraged to eat oats daily. As a health coach, I suggest oats to most of my clients, as I feel they offer so many nutritional benefits – there’s really no reason NOT to utilize this gift from nature.
As parents, we are always seeking ways to feed our families and ourselves quick, easy, and healthy options, and oatmeal has to top the charts for versatility and ease. Thanks to versions of “quick cooking” oats now available, offering oatmeal in the morning to our families is a great way to get nutritious goodness into everyone while allowing the kids to get creative with what they can add to the oatmeal for flavor – fresh fruit, spices, a pinch of maple syrup or other natural sweetener… not to mention all of the recipes you can make with oatmeal. From pancakes to breads to cookies – you can make a plethora of great things…even gluten-free options for those sensitive or allergic to wheat, barley, or rye. We love putting uncooked oatmeal into our Vitamix to add to smoothies in the morning for added energy, fiber, and substance.
Here are some interesting facts about oats (SOURCE: The World’s Healthiest Foods) –
Amazing Health Benefits of Oats –
Scientifically speaking in regards to gluten issues, oats lack many of the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten) that causes reactions in sensitive individuals. However, oats do contain avenin, which is a prolamine that is considered toxic to the intestinal mucosa of avenin-sensitive individuals, so please use caution if you know you are avenin-sensitive. Many studies have shown that many celiacs can consume wheat free oats with no problems.
Recent studies of adults have shown that oats, despite the small amount of gluten they contain, are well-tolerated. Research states that “a double blind, multi-center study involving 8 clinics treating 116 children newly diagnosed celiac disease suggests oats are a good grain choice for children with celiac disease as well. The children were randomly assigned to receive either the standard gluten-free diet (no wheat, barley, rye or oats) or a gluten-free diet with some wheat-free oat products. At the end of the study, which ran for a year, all the children were doing well, and in both groups, the mucosal lining of the small bowel (which is damaged by wheat gluten in celiac disease) had healed and the immune system (which is excessively reactive in celiac patients) had returned to normal.” While this is great news for those whose diets are restricted due to gluten issues, be sure to clarify with your healthcare provider first before deciding to incorporate oats (and careful selection of the “cleanest” type of oats is a must).
Types of Oats to Look Out For:
You may have seen different types of oatmeal or oat products lining the shelves in stores. Confused by what you see? Here is a simple break-down of common types of oat products and what they are used for –
Store oatmeal in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place it they will keep for approximately two months.
Need Some Creative Ideas and Recipes for Ways to Incorporate Oatmeal?
Here are some great oatmeal recipes already featured on MySuperFoods: