Cold mornings create a feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that can only be cured by the warmest of warm breakfasts – a humble bowl of oat porridge with a splash of almond milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Every winter, I find myself in a deep love affair with porridge, and I wonder what I had even been breakfasting on before. But inevitably, the seasons change, summer thaws out the winter, we’re back to avocado on toast, and I’ve forgotten all about my love affair with porridge.
But I’m not here to talk to you about my love of porridge – today’s agenda is all about oats; that small, slow energy-releasing, breakfast-game lifting seed, that is one of the best staples in the pantry (and seeing as it’s the main part of livestock’s diet, it’s their fave pantry staple too).
Oats come in many shapes and sizes – rolled, steel cut, clusters, crushed, ground or even steamed. They’re typically harvested in Autumn, but are available all year round. You’ll find them in porridge (obvs), bread, granola, muesli bars, gluten-free flour, baked goods, skincare products, and best of all – a hearty oatmeal stout. And the health credentials of these self-effacing grains are pretty impressive.
To name just a few of their health benefits:
- These baddies are packed with soluble fibre (thats 26 grams to be exact) making it one of the best sources of dietary fibre.
- The specific type of fibre in oats is called beta-glucan and its pretty powerful stuff at lowering cholesterol. In fact, one serve of oats can lower it by 8-25%! This is thanks to the soluble nature of the fibre, which becomes like a gel in your stomach, slowing down the digestion and release of energy.
- The high levels of fibre and complex carbs in oats mean that they release their energy slowly and slows down the conversion into simple sugars. This means that they keep you fuller for longer and you won’t get a mid-morning slump (the kind that leads to a morning tea snack).
- Their high magnesium levels are not only great for circulation and preventing muscle cramps; it also improves your glucose and insulin secretion. This keeps you feeling energetic for even longer.
- My personal favourite – 1 cup is only 130 calories!
- All this means they are also great when it comes to keeping heart disease away too!
And that is just the tip of the
iceberg box of Uncle Tobys. Oats are the real OG when it comes to talking about superfoods – and just because they didn’t come from a remote part of the Amazon doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a place on your Instagram.
But I get what you’re thinking: “well great, now I have to eat more oats but I HATE porridge. Nothing replaces my avocado on toast for breakfast ok.” And that’s totally fair enough, but guess what – oats need not be limited to breakfast. Let’s break some stereotypes and celebrate the glory of oats all day long.
Here are a few creative ways to get some more oats into your diet outside of porridge :
Oats really are amazing – you could say that they are some kind of intergalactic miracle food that are oat of this world. So let’s all grab that bag of oats that’s been hiding in the back of the pantry too long, make it up into a granola better than anything store bought (because you made it yourself) and get the best out of these sneaky grains. And don’t forgot – if you’re making those oat waffles, you better be inviting me over.
What’s been your game-changing oats moment? Or are you a more traditional porridge-and-blueberries type? Let us know in the comments!