Oats: Not just good for breakfast

Oats are one of those everyday ingredients that we are all familiar with. Did you know that it’s far more versatile than just being served as breakfast? This basic grain is also nutritious and indeed easy to use in a range of dishes.

If you are following a healthy way of eating, don’t fall into the ‘trap’ of being mostly focused on the things you should avoid or eat less of. An important Cooking from the heart principle is to know which healthy ingredients to include on a regular basis. Oats are one of them, as it’s high in unrefined fibre, known to reduce cholesterol levels and contain certain vitamins, minerals and even a bit of protein.

Yes, we all know oats as a bowl of breakfast. Some love it and will have it every day. Others just don’t enjoy the texture or flavour in this form. Luckily there are many other ways to include the health benefits of oats into your meals, even if it will be in smaller portions than for that first hot meal of the day. Add it to meat balls or fish cakes for extra fibre and a lighter texture. It’s a good alternative to bind a bobotie mixture, instead of using soaked bread. Homemade muesli is a great way to still enjoy it as breakfast. Oats are a delicious baking ingredient and can be added to smoothies, scones, crumpets, muffins, bread, cookies, rusks and even desserts. Make the most of these creative ways to ensure that your family still eats oats on a regular basis, even if you have to hide it from non-oats eaters.

If you do enjoy oats as breakfast, remember that there is a long list of wholesome ingredients to use as seasonings and toppings. You don’t need to only have it with milk and sugar. Add seasonal fruit, nuts and seeds, cinnamon or even a spoonful of peanut butter (just choose the option with the less salt and sugar) to your breakfast list.

Visit www.cookingfromtheheart.co.za to find delicious and healthy recipes using oats in a variety of ways. Follow the Facebook-page www.facebook.com/CookingFromTheHeartSA for weekly inspiration and more creative ideas with oats and other wholesome foods.

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