- Mitzi Dulan, America's Nutrition Expert, Cooks and Dishes - https://nutritionexpert.com -

Foodie Friday: Oatmeal

First of all, today is my first “Foodie Friday” blog post! I’m starting “Foodie Friday” posts to combine my passion for nutrition and my love of delicious food. I will show you how you CAN have both. As a working mom, I also know that most of us don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen every day but I understand the importance of cooking at home and getting your kids involved and exposed to a variety of foods at an early age. I do hope you enjoy my “Foodie Friday” blogs and as always, I love hearing your feedback! Okay, let’s roll…with some oats that is!

My favorite way to start my day is with a delish bowl of warm oatmeal. You may be thinking that oatmeal is bland and mushy mess, but prepared in the right combination of flavors, it is a quick and delicious way to start off your morning. Seriously, mine only takes a few minutes in the microwave. This is a super-food of breakfast because of the numerous health benefits and nutrients packed within each small oat.

Benefits:

1. The soluble fiber in oatmeal helps to hold satiety for longer to keep hunger away. It also reduces LDL, the bad cholesterol associated with heart and cardiovascular problems.
2. Oatmeal contains nutrients important for healthy functioning. These include vitamin E, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
3. Oatmeal is low calorie, and when you add some organic 1% milk to it can be a  protein rich choice for breakfast. A ½ cup uncooked (makes 1 cup cooked) oats has only 140 calories.

When selecting your oats, avoid the instant pre-packaged variety. The creamy fruit flavors may taste good, but they are packed with sugar and artificial flavorings. Instead choose the types without additives. Quick rolled and old fashioned rolled oats vary only in the thickness of the cut after being rolled out. Steel cut oatmeal is not rolled out, but the entire grain in cut into 2-3 pieces. If you are looking for the least amount of processing, steel cut oats may be your best option. The texture is a little more crunch or grainy. If that is not a texture you enjoy, rolled oats offer a smoother texture. The extra processing, in this case, is nothing to fret about because little if any nutrients are lost in the rolling process.

A common gripe about oatmeal is the bland flavor. Not to worry, there are some great ways to remedy this problem and add a great subtle taste.

• Use fresh fruit and a dash of cinnamon to add sweet and savory elements.
• Use milk instead of water when making your oats. This will give a creamy and richer taste with a boost of calcium.
• Top oatmeal with Greek yogurt and a small handful of dried cherries.
• If you’re looking for more protein, add 1/2-1 scoop of your favorite protein powder or a handful of sliced almonds to your oatmeal.
• You can also add a little honey for sweetness.

If you have suggestions for foods you would like me to consider for “Foodie Fridays” let me know!

Research Assistance by Kaylee O’Connell

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