Back in the late 1980’s, a scientific study found that eating oat bran lowered blood cholesterol levels. What followed was a nationwide oat bran craze, and new food products hit the market including silly things like potato chips and even beer made with oat bran. Fast forward to 2012, and oats are still hot stuff! From conversations with our Facebook fans, it’s clear consumers are still in love with oats and oatmeal, so we decided to devote this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast to them. For expert advice on all things oats — their nutritional value, how to cook with them, what to top them with — we turned to fellow dietitian, oatmeal aficionado, and mom-to-be, Kath from the blog, Kath Eats Real Food.
When it comes to topping your oatmeal, anything goes. Here, we chose toasted pecans, berries, dried fruit, shredded coconut, and pure maple syrup. Another option: peanut butter or any other nut butter.
Now that most kids are back at school (“boo hoo” or “ya hoo?” … you decide!), try this stick-to-your ribs Overnight Oatmeal from our friend Kath at Kath Eats Real Food to keep them sustained throughout the morning.
Kath says “overnight oats are just oats soaked overnight that absorb the liquid you put them in; any kind of liquid you like. The most common mixture is equal parts raw rolled oats, milk and yogurt (I like 1/3 or 1/2 cup of each).” She suggests topping your bowl of oats with whatever you love!
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk (depending on how thick you like it)
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cinnamon
1. Stir everything together in a bowl. Place in fridge overnight. In the morning top with something crunchy and something with healthy fats – like nut butter or nuts.
2. Heat in the microwave to take the chill out.
A quick Q&A on oats:
What is the difference between steel-cut and rolled oats? Steel-cut (Irish) oats are cut into tiny chunks with a steel blade, which gives them a chewier texture when cooked. Rolled oats are softened with steaming and then pressed through metal rollers to flatten. Quick cooking oats are pressed even thinner than regular rolled oats to speed up cook time and allow more water to penetrate.
Is there a difference in nutritional value between steel cut and rolled oats? There’s some confusion out there about which type of oatmeal is nutritionally superior, and surprisingly, it turns out that steel cut and rolled oats are very similar. Both are whole-grain oats with all three parts of the grain — the bran, germ, and endosperm — intact. The only differences are their textures and cooking times.
General oatmeal nutrition: The soluble fiber in oatmeal helps reduce the bad LDL cholesterol and has also been shown to decrease the risk of Type II diabetes. Oatmeal also contains beta-glucans, shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Oats are different than other grains because they contain more protein, good-for-you fats and fewer carbs. Oatmeal is also a good source of B vitamins including thiamin, niacin, and folate.
For the Whipped Banana Oatmeal that we talked about on the show, visit Kath’s site. (Photo courtesy: Kath Eats Real Food.)
PS: Kath is having a baby any day now, so we were eager to get this post and podcast up ASAP. GOOD LUCK KATH!!!!!