I’ve been a die hard oat fan for a long long time, finding nothing more comforting, delicious and filling than a good old hearty bowl of porridge. In fact, I actually use oats – or oatmeal as I like to call it with inspiration from the Americans – to maintain my healthy weight. Although I seem to eat a lot of food and constantly feel full, I don’t tend to easily put much weight on, and I put a lot of this down to regularly consuming a hot bowl of oats.
Another reason I indulge in oats is because I have a bit of a picky habit: I don’t enjoy fruit or nuts in their own. Crazy I know, but slice up a banana into a bowl of porridge or sprinkle with walnuts and I’ll wolf it down. But give me a bag of nuts or an apple and I’ll wrinkle my nose up at it. I guess hot oats just gives you the basis to create any meal you like!
When it comes to eating oats, I’ll sometimes have them for my breakfast, and other times, I’ll have a huge bowl for lunch if I’ve had something more substantial for breakfast (like avocado on toast or a full English). So many people think this is strange, but don’t judge me yet – I’ll discuss just how much I pack into that one bowl! For me, consuming porridge is a brilliant way to make sure I get my vitamins and nutrients, so I’ll share my favourite recipes late on in this post.
As for which oats I prefer, I’m not overly fussy, but one piece of advice is to stay away from the packets of instant oats that contain over 2g of sugar. Raw oats shouldn’t have a sugar measurement, but so many supermarket brands add this in to taste them up. Look for steel cut, organic, or whole grain oats which are 100% natural and are packed full of fibre. I’m recently using these fantastic sachets from Flahavan’s – a quality oat brand who have been milling oats at the family mill in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford for over 200 years.
These particular oats have a thick, chunkier texture, and are filled with a natural, wholesome flavour. One sachet poured into a bowl and topped with either water or milk is a low fat, tasty way to start the day, resulting in a warm, nourishing bowl of Flahavan’s. Even when made with water, these delicious oats have an intensely creamy taste. And aren’t oats just so much tastier when they are extra creamy! These sachets are just brilliant to bring to work too, and you always know the right portion size.
If you’re thinking of bringing some oaty goodness into your diet, here’s the top reasons why I do it, which may encourage you a little!
- Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds, for a healthy meal
- Oats contain around 20% of your RDA of Zinc and Iron, which can sometimes we hard to get from foods, especially for vegans
Oats are rich in antioxidants
- They can lower cholesterol levels, great for those on a diet
- A bowl of porridge is overly filling, keeping you fuller and preventing unnecessary snacking.
You can use oats in homemade face masks!
And now for some of my favourite oat inspired recipes. You’ll rarely catch me munching on a bowl of plain oats, and here’s the toppings and the fillings I like to use the most for delicious dishes…
Oatmeal With Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds, and Agave
Add sweetness to your oatmeal the natural way with sweetener with agave, a low-glycemic nectar with a mild, neutral flavor. Blend oats with milk, and sprinkle in blueberries and sunflower seeds.
Oatmeal With Alpro Soya Yogurt, Banana and Honey
This is like a warm, dessert style version of your morning yoghurt and fruit granola – without the crunch Add creaminess and a fruity flavour in an instant with a topping of thick Alpro soya yoghurt and thinly sliced banana. Finish with a drizzle of honey.
Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Cacao
This is a sweeter tasting porridge meal! Mix cacao nibs into warm porridge made with sweetened almond. Scoop in two tablespoons of chunky peanut butter and mix together. Delicious!
I hope this post has shown you just how pretty porridge can look. But more importantly, I wanted to highlight the health benefits and how you can jazz up your daily dish!