ABC SUPERFOODS: O is for Oats

Oats

Benefits
Oats are an effective and far less expensive way to lower cholesterol than drugs are. They are packed with fiber and a good source of protein, keeping you more full than many other breakfast options. In addition to lowering cholesterol, oats also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that oats boost your immune response to bacterial infections. Oats contain very little sodium or fat and are a huge source of manganese. For those with diabetes, starting the day off with a bowl of oatmeal is ideal since it stabilizes one’s blood sugar and lessens the possibility of your blood sugar spiking throughout the day. Other benefits include protecting consumers from breast cancer and lowering the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. All around, oats are a great choice, boosting energy and satisfying your hunger.

At the Market
-Wondering what the difference is between old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats and quick-cooking oats? Their flakes are different sizes. To make the oats cook faster, regular oats are cut in half to make them “quick-cooking oats” and steel-cut oats are produced by running the oats through steel blades that thinly slice them.
-Beware of “instant oatmeal,” however, since it usually has added salt and/or sugar.

In the Kitchen
-Old-fashioned oats have a nuttier texture and cook faster than quick-cooking oats do. Both can be used interchangeable in baking.
-Store oats in tightly sealed containers in the fridge for up to a year.
-You can cook oats on the stove or in the microwave. For a creamier texture, mix oats with room-temperature liquid (water, juice or milk), then cook on the stove.
-You can also eat oats like cereal by just adding cold milk. I do this every morning, adding flax and chia seeds, as well as fresh or thawed frozen fruit.
-Other ways to use oats include: grinding up to make oat flour for baking recipes, substituting some of the meat in meatball recipes for oats, or add them to soups to give them a creamier texture.

Recipe

Oat Crust for Pies

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup oat bran
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp melted butter

oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine oats and oat bran. In another medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat egg whites until foamy and slightly thick, about 25 seconds.
Pour butter into oats and toss well to combine. Then add egg whites and continue to combine well.
Lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate. Pour the oat mixture into the pie plate and use a sheet of waxed paper to press it into a crust on the bottom and up the sides.
Bake until light brown, firm, and dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Fill with fruit mousse or vanilla pudding and chill, or fill with pumpkin pie filling, then chill until set. You can also pre-bake for 7 minutes, then fill with a vegetable quiche batter and continue to bake until the quiche is set, about 20 minutes.

Makes one 9-inch pie crust

Recipe taken from “The Healing Foods”

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