Let Them Eat Oats

image2-1Like most carbohydrates over the past 10+ years, oats have been shunned and persecuted.  Okay, maybe “persecuted” is a little extreme, but let’s face it, carbs have gotten a bad rap that they are still struggling to recover from.  Because of rumor-spreading teenagers in the industry (I’m looking at you Atkins Diet), people were CONVINCED that carbs were the utmost root of all evil, viciously standing between them and their weight-loss goals.  Due to all this, sensible carbs – such as oats, have been far too excluded from people’s diets…including my own.

To that, I declare, “NO MORE!”

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It’s time to once again fully embrace these carbs and I’m here to tell you why.  For one, oats are a freaking super food – no, literally.  They have been adopted onto the list of official Superfoods #howprestigious

How did they get added to such a list?  Well let’s look at the evidence…

From a Western medicine standpoint – oats are incredibly nutritious.  As a great source of fiber, they literally keep things moving 😉  That means by eating oats you will see benefits in areas such as digestion, skin care, and weight loss.  They are packed with nutrients such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and folate (just to name a few 😉 ).  Not sure what any of those do for you?  Let’s just say the list includes: helping you build strong bones, cleaning your kidneys, aiding with physical recovery, and improving your metabolism.  Still not convinced?  Oats also contain antioxidants – specifically avenanthramides, which may help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide – a gas molecule that helps dilate blood vessels, assisting in better blood flow.

Still not enough to convince you to graciously welcome them into your daily diet?  Well then, from an Eastern medicine perspective, oats are considered a cooling food, used to treat hypertension, diarrhea, boils, and spontaneous sweating.  In traditional Chinese medicine, they often refer to excess fluid retention, swelling, bloating, or mucus production as “dampness.”  The good news is oats are very effective at treating dampness without creating too much heat within the body.  Eastern medicine also believes that oats can help to strengthen your spleen/pancreas, helping to tackle the root issue of your poor digestion.

There.  Have I thoroughly convinced you?  Oats are awesome.

So let’s dive in to these recipes shall we?  I chose to share with you two sweet, two savory.  Within those options, I switched between using steel cut oats and old fashioned rolled oats.  Feel free to use whichever you are partial to – it just might change the cooking time slightly…

Savory Bacon and Herb Oats

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What you need –
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oats
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup water
2-3 strips of Bacon
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Rosemary
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Soft-Boiled Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

 


What you’ll do –

Step 1: Add the oats, almond milk, and water into a pot over the stove.  Bring to a boil then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.  Set aside uncovered.

Step 2: Start the water boiling for your eggs.

Step 3: Prep the bacon by cutting the strips into 1/2 inch segments.  Prep the garlic by mincing.

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Step 4: Once the oats have finished cooking, heat the olive oil in a separate skillet.

Step 5: Add the bacon, rosemary, thyme and garlic to the olive oil. Start to brown.

 

Step 6: Add the eggs to the boiling water.  (Be sure to set a timer – I enjoy boiling my eggs for 8 minutes in order to leave a runny center)

Step 6: Once the bacon has started to brown, add the oats.  Mix well then spread out evenly over the pan – this will allow the dish to crisp up evenly.

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Step 7: Continue to cook the oats while the eggs finish boiling, stirring occasionally.

Step 8: Cool and peel the eggs.

Step 9: Plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

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“White Chocolate” and Mixed Berry Overnight Oats

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What you need – 
1/2 cup Rolled Oats (Gluten Free)
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 scoop Vanilla Vega Protein Powder
1 tbsp Coconut Butter
1 cup Frozen Mixed Berries

 

 

 

What you’ll do –
Step 1: Measure out your oats, almond milk, and Protein Powder.

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Step 2: Combine the ingredients into a sealable container and mix well.

Step 3: Measure out the coconut butter and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for just 10-20 seconds (this will help the coconut butter blend easier).

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Step 4: Stir in the coconut butter with the rest of the mixture.

Step 5: Add the frozen berries and give one more stir.

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Step 6: Seal and place in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours – I truly do leave mine overnight.

Step 7: Stir, serve, and enjoy!

Faux White Pudding

img_7505For this recipe, I turned to my Irish roots for inspiration.  I played off the flavors of white and black pudding while leaving out a few of the more…shall we say “unsavory” ingredients.  (Just to be clear, I personally LOVE full-fledged white and black pudding.  I simply realize that most of my readers won’t be agreeable to cooking with pig’s suet or blood.  Anyway…carrying on…)

This recipe takes a little bit of prep, but then serves as an easy, grab-and-go option for during the week.

What you need –
1 1/2 cups of Rolled Oats (Gluten-Free)
2 cups of Water
1 pound of Ground Pork
2 tbsp Fresh Chives (minced)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 Eggs
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
Muffin Pan

What you’ll do –
Step 1: Combine the oats and water in a pot over the stove.  Bring to boil and cook until all the water is absorbed.  We want the oats to be sticky and mushy when cooked, so edge on the side of less water.  Set aside and let cool while you complete Step 2.

Step 2: Time to prep the meat.  Add your Pork, Chives, Garlic, Salt and Pepper to a bowl and mix well.

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Step 3: When the oats have cooled enough, combine with the Pork mixture. Add the eggs.  Mix well.

Step 4: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Use the Olive Oil to coat the Muffin Pan.  It will help our Puddings not to stick.

Step 5: Fill each tin to the top.  Our Pudding will expand slightly, but not enough to overflow or cause a mess.

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Step 6: Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Step 7: Allow to cool slightly before pulling them out of the pan.

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Step 8: Serve and enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Cup Oats

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What you need – 
1/2 cup of Steel Cut Oats
1 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tbsp dehydrated Peanut Butter
1 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Honey

 

 


What you’ll do –

Step 1: Combine oats and almond milk into a medium pot over the stove.

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Step 2: Bring to a boil and allow oats to start to cook.

Step 3: When about half of the almond milk has been absorbed, add the peanut butter and cocoa powder.  Stir well.

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Step 4: Turn off the stove, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Plate and drizzle honey on top.  Enjoy!

 

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