Oats: A superfood, not a boring breakfast staple
Don't knock oats as boring breakfast food - they are actually a nutritional powerhouse
With countless options around, a steaming bowl of oats is probably the last thing you would pick for breakfast.
But behind its unexciting reputation, oats are actually a nutritional powerhouse.
They are jam-packed with essential minerals, antioxidants and fibre. One cup of oats contains about 6g of protein and 4g of fibre - equivalent to the protein from one chicken wing and fibre from three cups of low-fat popcorn.
Oats are also loaded with a soluble fibre, called beta-glucan, which is found in various fruits and vegetables.
The fibre forms a thick gel-like substance inside the digestive tract and traps excess cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed.
With its high-fibre content, oats fill you up- at just 147 calories a cup.
Eating a cup of oats will also help you rack up nearly 70 per cent of the recommended daily intake of manganese, a vital mineral for normal brain and nerve function, playing an essential role in aiding our bodies form tissue, bones and sex hormones.
Moreover, oats have a relatively low glycaemic index.
That means it is more slowly digested and metabolised, which helps in controlling appetite and delaying those midday or midnight hunger pangs.
There are a slew of ways to jazz up a bowl of oats, which boasts an impressive nutritional profile that truly makes it a quintessential superfood.
Start out by using a bag of Harraways rolled oats ($4.95 for 1kg) or wholegrain oats ($4.95 for 1kg) that are available at FairPrice outlets.
The high-fibre cereal, which has no added sugar or salt, is a newly imported product of New Zealand with more than 100 years of tradition.
Its grains are lightly roasted then ground to maintain an optimal flavour, making it a delicious and substantial breakfast staple that can also be used in cooking and baking.
Throw in some nuts, sliced fruit or shredded coconut and top it off with an assortment of seeds, cinnamon or honey.
Although oats are usually eaten as a hot cereal, it can also be eaten cold or made into other delectable dishes, such as oatmeal cookies, oatmeal pancakes and toasted muesli.
Toasted muesli recipe
Serves 40g a person
- 400g Harraways wholegrain oats
- 100g mixed nuts (no added salt)
- 100g dried fruit
- 75g mixed seeds (linseed, sunflower and sesame)
- 150ml water or low fat milk
- 100ml canola or sunflower oil
- 1/2tsp of vanilla essence
1. Combine dry ingredients except dried fruit in a large shallow roasting pan.
2. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl and pour over the dry mixture.
3. Mix well.
3. Bake at 190 deg C for 20 minutes to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until crisp and golden.
4. Add dried fruit as desired. Leave to cool and store in air-tight container.