Oatmeal: The Underestimated Pantry Staple

How to spice up oatmeal

Oat is a type of grain that is grown for its seed which are rich in nutrients.  The oat husks are then processed for human consumption to produce different oat products and is also used as feeds for livestock.

Oatmeat Products

Husks are removed from oat grains by impact then heated and cooled the oat groats, which are the seed inside the husk.  The groats are then further processed and turn into the following oatmeal products:

Steel-cut oats

Also known as course oats, these are simply cut without being rolled thinner.  So they have more texture and take longer to cook.

Rolled Oats

The groats are steamed, flatten using a roller type equipment which makes cooking time shorter.  Rolled oats are further processed to make the following types:

  • Old fashioned – the steamed and flatted groats are simply flaked to make these type of oatmeal.  These have to most texture among the three.
  • Quick Cooking – these are groats which are cooked, dried, cut, then rolled thinner which makes them cook faster than old fashioned oatmeal.

Instant oats

These groats undergo the same process as quick cooking oats but are rolled even thinner, making them the fastest to cook among the three. And the best part is you can get them on Amazon:

The Healthy Deal of Oatmeal

High in Vitamin and Minerals

Some of these vitamins and minerals are, to name a few:

  • Manganese – helps in development, growth and metabolism
  • Phosphorous – aids in bone health and tissue maintenance
  • Copper – important mineral for heart health
  • Iron – ensures transport of oxygen in the blood

Rich in antioxidants

Oats are a unique source of avenanthamides that have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching qualities which helps with prevention of childhood asthma and skin irritations.   It also has Ferulic acid which neutralizes free radicals that damage and age cells.

High in fiber

They are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber which turns into a gel-like solution in our stomach.  It also gives us the following benefits:

  • Alleviates constipation
  • Reduces LDL and cholesterol
  • Reduces blood sugar and response of insulin
  • Facilitates growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract
  • Supports weight loss

Good source of Quality protein

Oats are also a unique source of avenalin, which are similar to proteins found in legumes.

Uses of Oatmeal other than as food

It’s not healthy and nutritious, you can also use as:

  • A Relief for burns – simply apply cold oatmeal to your burn spot.
  • A Hair care regimen – oatmeal has B-vitamins which is very good for the hair leaving it softer, shinier, repairs damaged hair, prevents breakage, and soothes itchy scalp.
  • A Skin care regimen – oatmeal helps soak up excess oil, treat acne and dry skin, remove dead skin cells and soothe inflammation and itching.

Endless possibilities with oatmeal

For such a small grain, oatmeal packs a lot of the good stuff for our body.  Not only that, it can also nourish our taste buds when cooked into delicious meals.  Here are some ways you can prepare oatmeal!

Oatmeal for breakfast

Cooked Oatmeal

The basic oatmeal breakfast is to cook it with water.  But we would like to show you how to spice up your oatmeal and turn into something you’ll wake up for!

  • Add real or dried fruits and nuts – cut them up and mix them in.
  • Add peanut butter or almond butter – add energy and taste to your oatmeal by adding these nut spreads. 
  • Use milk instead of water – using milk, will make the oatmeal taste creamier.
  • Add spices or flavor extracts– You can add your favorite spice like cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and, nutmeg.  You can also add vanilla extract while cooking it.
  • Add Chocolate drink powder – if you like chocolate drinks, you’ll love this one.  Simply add any chocolate drink powder like Swiss Miss.
  • Put granola on top – this adds texture and bursts of flavor into your oatmeal
  • Add honey or maple syrup – this adds a bit of healthy sweetness to your oatmeal.

Overnight Oats

If you don’t feel like waking up early to cook your oatmeal, you can prepare them the night before by soaking them in milk, chocolate milk, or almond milk.  Then, simply top with any of the “spicing-up” ideas above. You can also add other heathy stuff like chia seeds, flax seeds, and the like.  Here are some recipes for overnight oats.

Oat Smoothies

You can eat your oatmeal and drink it too!  It will also make you feel full enough to get your day started or as a perfect reward after your gym session.

Cooking with Oatmeal

Oatmeal is also something pretty handy when it comes to cooking.  Here are some ways oatmeal can help you out in your cooking.

  • Substitute Bread Crumbs with Oatmeal – ran out of bread crumbs for that chicken or fish fillet?  Use oatmeal instead.  Who knows, you may even like it more.  
  • Oatmeal as a meat extender – you can also use oatmeal to replace crushed soda crackers or bread crumbs in your burger or meat loaf recipe.  They’ll do the trick just fine.
  • Oatmeal as thickener for soup, stews and sauces – if your soup, stew, or sauce is a bit thin, add a tablespoon of oatmeal and let it simmer.  It’ll soak up some moisture.  You can also cook, then puree it and use it instead of cream in your cream of mushroom or broccoli.
  • Substitute for whole wheat flour – simply put your oats in a blender and pulse till powdery…viola you have oat flour.  Keep in the fridge and it’ll keep for around 3 months.

Keep oatmeal in your pantry!

It’s good for you internally, externally, and even helps you with your cooking.  Hope we made you take a second look at this underestimated grain! Get some today and be sure to try out the recipes above: