Let’s face it, most of us feel better throughout the day after a healthy breakfast. At the same time, none of us want to spend too much time in the kitchen before starting our daily activities. Considering both nutritional value and ease of preparation, oats might just be the perfect answer to your morning routine.
Made from dehusked groats (or grains), oats are either steamed, heated in a kiln, or milled. They are then cut, rolled or ground to produce either oatmeal or flour. And while they may not look overly exciting, oats can be prepared in a huge number of ways for a delicious kick start to your day. With this in mind, here are three ways to make the most out of oats.
Adding oats to a breakfast smoothie will not only make it into a more filling meal that will keep you from snacking until lunch time, but add texture to what might otherwise be a pretty bland concoction. Oats can also add a delicious, slightly nutty flavor to your smoothie. Better still, breakfast smoothies are very easy and fast to prepare with a food processor. Simply select your ingredients and press on. The thing to keep in mind here is that when it comes to a smoothie, ingredients make all the difference. A balanced blend of vegetables, fruit, protein and fat usually works best—look to unsweetened yogurt, coconut meat and flax seeds for the latter two.
Usually eaten with milk, yogurt or fresh fruit, granola is a great all-round go to morning snack. It usually consists of rolled oats and other ingredients such as nuts, seeds and dried fruit, as well as a sweetener such as honey or brown sugar. Unlike muesli, which is softened before consumption, granola is baked to make it crunchy.
Not all granola is created equal, however, with some variations of the breakfast cereal more healthy than others. Many of the mass produced granola is packed with artificial ingredients and sweeteners, and is best avoided. Luckily, granola is very easy to make at home. Creating your own granola will not only ensure that it is healthy but save you money. Provided that you stick to the typical daily serving size of 40 – 45 grams (approximately half a cup), eating granola can have numerous health benefits including better blood pressure and gut health.
Oat Flour Pancakes
While oat flour pancakes require a little more preparation than your average breakfast snack, they are definitely worth the effort. Not only gluten-free, oat flour has more flavor than your everyday regular flour. To make oat flour, simply pop oatmeal into a blender, food processor or even a coffee grinder. As oat flour is not as glutinous as regular flour, use a ratio of two part oat flour and one part all-purpose flour to prepare your pancakes. If you are gluten free, on the other hand, add 25 percent more baking soda into the mix. Oat flour is not just great for pancakes, but can also be used to make waffles, muffins and quick breads. Bon appetit.