Oats! What are the thoughts coming to your mind after hearing oats? Bland? Healthy? Low calories? Weight loss? Breakfast? Aren’t these the words coming to your mind? You must be thinking I’m some kind of magician, right? This is no trick. Just like you, I also used to think that oats are a good start for a day which is healthy, contains low calories, and helps in weight loss but because of its bland taste never motivated myself towards adopting the habit of eating oats. Afterwards, I found various ways in which you can turn oats as a delicious and innovative dish and intake all of its benefits. So, let’s get started with the basics.
What are oats?
Oats, formally known as Avena Sativa, is one of the healthiest grains ever known, as it is a whole grain like whole wheat or brown rice, implying that it is high in fiber (soluble and insoluble), protein, vitamin B, polyunsaturated fat (good fat), and antioxidants. These nutritional values of oats make the consumer less vulnerable to heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer, and digestive disorders. And also the soluble fibre helps in improving blood cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. On the other hand, insoluble fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and prevent constipation. The fiber content additionally helps with retaining a healthy weight.
Oats are processed in various ways which led to the availability of different types of oats. Some of them are enlisted below:
Steel-Cut Oats (a.k.a. Scottish or Irish Oats)
It is closest to the original grain form of oats which is chewier, nutty with a high level of nutrition.
Rolled Oats (a.k.a. Old Fashioned Oats)
This type of oats are steamed and then rolled into flakes, and as a result, healthy oils in the oats are stabilized so they stay fresh longer and cook faster.
It is similar to rolled oats, but before steaming and flattening they have been cut. This aids them to cook quicker.
This is the most processed form of oats leading to the loss of most of their nutrition. They are cooked even quicker than quick oats since they are cut, pre-cooked, dried, steamed, and then flattened slightly thinner than rolled oats.
Hence, oats are most prized for their nutritional value and health benefits.
Oats Pancake with banana (Prep time – 10 min Cook time- 15 min)
1 ½ cups oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cinnamon powder
1 tsp jaggery sugar
A pinch of salt
4 tbsp of curd
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Ripe mashed banana
1 cup milk
¼ cup raisins Butter for pancakes
Dry roast oats on a pan and blend in a blender to make oats flour.
Transfer it to mixing bowl and add ½ cup whole wheat flour, ½ cinnamon powder, 1 tsp jaggery sugar, salt, curd, a pinch of baking soda, vanilla essence, mashed banana, and milk.
Mix all of them to make batter runny enough that can be spread easily on the pan and lastly add raisins.
Get the pan hot and grease it with butter.
Pour ¼ cup of the batter and spread it gently.
Cook until it’s golden brown, flip and cook the other side as well until it's done.
Serve hot with honey or chocolate syrup.
Oats Scrambled Eggs
(Prep time– 3 min, cook time- 12 min)
50 gms oats
1 to 2 eggs
1 small onion
1 small tomato
Pinch of red chili powder
Pinch of black pepper powder
1 tsp oil
Dryroast oats on a pan till it turns brown.
Transfer it the mix bowl along with eggs, onion, tomato, black pepper powder, salt, red chili powder.
Mix all of them.
Grease the pan with oil which prevents the sticking of batter at the bottom.
When the pan is hot enough, pour the mixture on the pan and let it cook till it's done.
1. Acts as an Immune-system booster
Oats have a special fiber referred to as beta-gluten which boosts infection-fighting blood cells in our bodies. It has two more components named selenium and zinc which helps in keeping the infections at bay and maintaining a fighting spirit.
2. Very filling and helps to lose weight.
Oats is a low calorie food consisting of fiber, protein, and vitamin B which will help you feel full for longer hours than other foods which result in a reduction of cravings and help in the loss of a few pounds. And also the fiber content of oatmeal can aid in the digestive system.
3. Improves Skin Health
Oats have a soothing effect on itchy, dry, and irritated skin. That’s why you’ll find it on the labels of many lotions and face creams. It normalizes the pH level of the skin which helps in holding the moisture of the skin by creating a barrier.
4. Helps in dozing off
A good bowl of oatmeal for dinner helps in falling asleep easily as it has a good amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The deficiency of magnesium act as a barrier which may make it more difficult to stay asleep. Hence, it is a good idea to have a bowl of oatmeal before going to bed.
Now, what are you waiting for? Let your body feel the magic of oats!
By Akansha Sinha, Vandana Sahu