Most of us think of oatmeal as sad bowls of mush that is only eaten by grandparents. It’s hard to come across someone who's favorite breakfast is oatmeal. I love love love oatmeal. I can have it for every meal every day. In fact, if I could only have one food for the rest of my life, it would probably be oatmeal with all of its toppings.
According to Fight Times, oats were domesticated around 8,000 years ago in Europe. They originated as weeds in other crop fields. To the Greek and Romans, oats were nothing more than diseased versions of wheat. It was fed to horses. Even today, less than 5 percent of all oats grown are for human consumption.
Why should I eat Oats?
You might be thinking, why should I eat something horses eat? Well, it turns out oatmeal is incredibly GOOD for you. Healthline gives 9 reasons to eat oatmeal, one of them being oatmeal is filled with vitamins and nutrients. According to their website, a half cup serving of dry oats contain manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5. Oatmeal also contains a soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan, which helps lower blood sugar, promotes good gut bacteria, and lowers LDL and total cholesterol levels. Beta-Glucan also helps keep you full. Skin products that contain finely ground oats have also been shown to improve dry skin when applied.
Different types of Oats
Not all oats are created the same, and each type has its own pros and cons, take a look at what ESMM included about the greatest hot cereal. If the only things required to make it is some hot water and 30 seconds, it’s probably not going to be very good. That’s why most people tend to hate instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is oatmeal that has been pre cooked and dried, so it tends to be more mushy compared to other varieties. Instant oatmeal is a good breakfast choice if you’re travelling and do not have access to the stove.
Quick oats are made by flattening rolled oats and cutting them into tiny pieces. Quick oats are my go to option on a busy morning. They can be made in the microwave or on the stovetop in about 1-2 minutes.
Rolled oats are the most common form of oats. They cook in about 5-10 minutes. Rolled oats are made by steaming and flattening oat groats. They are often included in recipes other than breakfast porridge. Rolled oats have a more intact structure compared to quick oats.
Steel cut oats are made by cutting oat groats into tiny pieces. Compared to other varieties, steel cut oats have a chewy texture. They often fill you up for longer since they take longer to digest. The downside is that they require longer to cook (about 40 minutes). You can easily solve that probably by making it overnight in a slow cooker using this Genius Kitchen recipe.
The great part about oatmeal is that it’s all customizable! Check out these ways to enjoy it.
How I like mine:
Pour in your oatmeal and water in a pot. Chop up banana to liking and stir it in. Put in your cinnamon and give the pot a nice stir. When it’s nearly finished, pour in your almond milk and turn the heat off. Continue stirring until milk and oatmeal is combined well. Serve with a spoon covered in peanut butter.
Some more ideas for toppings
Overnight oats are another choice for busy people in the mornings. They have a completely different texture than traditional oatmeal porridge. Heres a recipe provided by Dana from Minimalist Baker.
Image from Minimalist Baker
To sum it up:
Oatmeal is a super food that provides minerals and fiber to get your day started. Enjoy it in it’s many forms and top it with your choice of fruits and nuts for an heart healthy breakfast….
Oatmeal cookie recipe provided by Allrecipes
Story by Erin Chen