Pantry Staples- Oats

Oats are definitely my favorite and most used of all the pantry staples. Oats are considered to be one of the healthiest grains out there. Since oats are packed full of fiber it is a perfect ingredient to start your day with, leaving you feeling full for a long time and nourished. Oats are also a good source of carbohydrates, they are low fat, sugar and sodium free, and they provide you with many important vitamins and minerals. They are also very versatile depending on your personal preferences!

Types of oats-
Instant Oatmeal:
When you are walking through your grocery store, you are faced with many different types of instant oatmeal. Many instant oatmeal boxes advertise being low sugar, or fat free but when you look at the ingredient list it goes on and on and on and there are many ingredients you won't recognize. It is important that you don't let convenience or health "buzzwords" steer you away from a healthier option. There are many instant oatmeal's out there that do contain only one ingredient, oats. I would recommend trying the plain instant oatmeal from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Remember that you can always had your own toppings to jazz up plain instant oatmeal, but if that just isn't your jam, then be sure to find an optio that has minimal ingredients, and that is low in sugar.

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats:
Old fashioned oats are my go to. They are very affordable (less than three dollars for 42 oz), and last for quite a long time. I like the rolled oats from Whole Food's in house brand 365, but as long as they're organic and only one ingredient, then I don't really prefer one brand over another! I will share my favorite way to use old fashioned rolled oats down below.

Quick Cooking Oats:
Quick cooking oats are essentially the same as old fashioned oats. They are just rolled even thinner, and therefore make the cooking time even quicker than other oats.

Steel Cut Oats:
Steel cut oats are different in the fact that they are not rolled, instead they are firmer and almost rice like in texture. Steel cut oats take quite a long time to cook (about 30-35 mins), and don't absorb liquid quite like rolled oats do. Steel cut oats have a reputation for being the healthiest option of oats and have gained popularity in recent years. Looking at the big picture, the nutritional value of steel cut oats and rolled oats are essentially the same. However, steel cut oats do take the prize for being the healthiest option due to the manufacturing process, they are very minimally processed.

How I use oats-
My absolute favorite *everyday* breakfast is oats! In the summer I love overnight oats, and in the colder months I always start my day with a comforting bowl of warm oatmeal. 
 The way I make my oatmeal changes from time to time, but my favorite combination is turmeric oatmeal topped with blueberries, cinnamon, granola, and peanut butter!

Here's what you do:
In a saucepan combine 1/3 c. rolled oats with 2/3 c. water. Stir in 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and bring to a low boil, stirring often until your oatmeal reaches your desired consistency- I would say mine usually takes about 3 minutes. If you are adding frozen blueberries go ahead and add them in at anytime. Once your oatmeal is done simply pour into a bowl and add whatever toppings you like. I add a sprinkle of cinnamon, about 1/4 of granola for some crunch, and finally a good dollop of creamy peanut butter. I always feel nourished and satisfied for hours after a breakfast like this! Feel free to microwave your oatmeal if you want less of a mess to clean up.

Like I mentioned, I also love overnight oats! It is the perfect grab and go option if you don't have time to make breakfast in the morning and need to have something easy for your commute to work or school. Like oatmeal, the possibilities are endless with overnight oats and you can add whatever fruit, sweetener, and toppings you like.

Here is my go to recipe:
Start by adding 1/3 c. rolled oats into a mason jar, or reusable container. To this add 1/2 c. almond milk (or any milk of your choosing). I personally don't think this needs to be sweetened, but if you'd like you can add a drizzle of maple syrup, agave, or honey. Next add whatever fresh or frozen fruit you like. Finally, I add 1 tbsp of chia seeds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a little shredded coconut. Mix everything together and keep in the fridge until you are ready to consume.

Other ways to use oats:
-Make your own oat flour by adding oats to a food processor or high powered blender
-Mix oats into to a smoothie for added fiber and carbs
-Add oats to chocolate chip cookies or other baked goods
-Make homemade granola

What is your favorite oatmeal combo?? Let me know!

No comments