In the last blog post we recommended switching to whole grains as a way to help curb sugar cravings. Over the next few posts we will share some whole grain recipes to help you get familiar with a variety of grains.
The oat, Avena sativa, is a species of seed cereal grain that originated in the fertile crescent. The seed is generally kept whole (with the bran intact) and rolled into flakes or ground into flour. Oats are rich in protein and several vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol (1).
Here is an easy breakfast recipe to get you started.
Photo by Heidi Swanson
Slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, by Heidi Swanson
- 2 cups/7 oz/200 g rolled oats
- 1/2 cup/2 oz/60 g walnut or pecan pieces, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup/2 oz/60 g maple syrup, plus more for serving (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups/475 ml whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch/1 cm pieces
- 1 1/2 cups/6.5 oz/185 g blueberries or mixed berries
- The night before you plan to cook the oatmeal, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and half the butter. Combine the dry and wet ingredients into a single bowl and refrigerate overnight (soaking gives the final dish a smoother consistency).
- The next morning, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch/20cm square baking dish.
- Add half the walnuts to the prepared oat mixture and stir to combine.
- Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the layer of bananas. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Scatter the remaining berries and walnuts across the top.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar or drizzle with maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter.
- Whitehead A, Beck EJ, Tosh S, Wolever TM (2014). “Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. Am J Clin Nutr 100 (6): 1413–21. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.086108. PMID 25411276.