With the cooler weather coming, I thought oats would be the perfect addition to my Effortless Additions series. They can be served so many ways that it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t like some sort of meal containing oats. They are packed with nutrition and so easy to enhance the nutrition with other additions. We enjoy them so much that I made oatmeal one of my featured foods on a recent post Effortless Additions – Lunch Special.
Here are some quick and effortless ways to add oats into your meals…and don’t forget that they can be enjoyed anytime of the day and not just limited to breakfast.
- Overnight Oats – these are a favourite in our house and I love that I can make them the night before and they are ready to eat in the morning or I can make them in the morning and they are ready to eat for lunch. They can be warmed up for those who prefer a warm oatmeal or served as is. I eat this as a snack to get something sweet and filling…and quick! You can add pretty much anything you want to and there’s and endless supply of recipes available online and lots of suggestions in a recent post here.
- Oatmeal – just simple oatmeal! The healthiest way is to make plain oats and add fruit, nuts, seasonings, etc. These are great because each person can customize their own. If you like to have already flavoured oatmeal that you can just add hot water to as a quick meal, try some of these from Super Healthy Kids.
- Steel Cut Oats – these are a favourite in my house and we eat them once a week (at least). Before preparing oats as per directions on package, try sautéing them in a little bit of coconut oil. It brings out a very nice flavour. I usually make them in my instant pot and it’s quick and easy with no stirring required so it makes it super easy to prepare during the morning hustle and bustle.
- Oat Flour – you can buy oat flour ready to use or just grind up oats from your pantry into flour (I have a small coffee grinder I use for small amounts and my blender for larger amounts). Oat flour is wonderful for baking cookies and muffins and makes a treat that keeps you full and great for on the go.
- Blender muffins! I love oats in muffins, as mentioned above they are filling and there is nothing easier than just throwing ingredients into a blender and blending. Try this one for Apple Cinnamon muffins.
- Add to smoothies – a great way to make a smoothie a meal and so filling! Check out this Effortless Additions post on smoothies that include oats.
- Sprinkle on tops of bread and baked goods before popping them in the oven, it gives a little bit of extra nutrition and a nice decorative touch.
- Energy Balls – oats are a great base for this favourite and easily customizable snack. Kids love rolling these out almost as much as they love eating them. This is a recipe we use and has a few variations (you can also add anything you want!)
The benefits of consuming oats are many and include:
Protein, iron, manganese, fibre (check out Effortless Additions – Lentils for more information on the importance of fibre), mangenese, copper, B1, phoperus, magnesium and selenium.
Besides being a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, oats are also the only food that contain a polyphenol called avenanthramides. Studies show that this polyphenol is a strong antioxidant that exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti proliferative and anti-itching activity which may provide additional protection against coronary heart disease, colon cancer and skin irritation (1). Their high beta-glucan (2) content also supports heart health and blood sugar spikes.
Oats are so easy to prepare and the choices are endless. Kids love when they get to be creative in the kitchen and oats are the perfect food for kids to add healthy additions to and make their own creations (that they are more likely to eat).
p.s. If you are looking for tips or suggestions regarding introducing new foods or meals to your family, please check out my Family Consultation package that I offer. I would love to help your family on their journey!