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Super Food ... OATS

posted on Thursday, 3rd March 2011 | find under Tamara

FOR me, nothing beats a steaming, creamy bowl of porridge with maple syrup and nuts to get me fuelled up for a morning training session.  Not only is this great winter warmer low GI and high in fibre, meaning it will keep you fuller for longer than most conventional cereals but the phytochemicals (plant chemicals) can also ward of cancer, in particular breast cancer.  Studies have also found that oats can help to lower bad cholesterol without affecting the good stuff.

Some schools of thought recommend soaking your oats in water for at least 12 hours to get maximum nutritional benefits from them.  It may sound like a step too far but it’s the traditional way of preparing oats - people were slow cooking porridge way before convenience food and the dreaded microwave came into our lives (the best porridge I have ever tasted was cooked on an aga)!  It’s thought that unsoaked oats may prevent the absorption of certain minerals in your gut. If you suffer with tummy troubles or skin problems it may be worth getting into the habit of soaking your oats over night.

So whether you have them in your porridge, granola, on a hearty apple crumble (great in the topping) or soaked in a bircher muesli, make sure you get your oats in.  Although as with everything, it’s best not to have them every day.  

So here’s my oaty tip for the day.  Next time you make an apple crumble, substitute half the flour for oats.  You could also make it totally wheat free by using a mixture of polenta and ground almonds to make up the rest of the topping.  I also love using light muscovado sugar, it tastes great and also is less refined than traditional sugar.

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