A recent visitor to this blog recently sent me a lovely email, thanking me for my quinoa book. The book has been out for several years, so it was a particularly nice surprise. Towards the end of her note, she asked me if I had any ideas of what the next “big grain” might be following quinoa.
I replied that I didn’t. But I hope it will be oats.
Sure, they’re familiar, but that’s a huge part of their appeal. Easy to find, easy to use, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile, they are super grains by almost every measure.
And their nutrition is off the charts. Rich in complex carbohydrates and high in protein, oats contain all of the B vitamins, including traces of B12, are rich in vitamin E and contain trace amounts of vitamin K. They are also the only cereal containing saponin, a hormone-like substance that helps the pancreas regulate insulin production. If that was not enough, oats are also loaded with minerals, silica and other trace elements the body needs to build strong bones and muscles and to maintain joint elasticity.
What really sets oats apart is how they benefit digestion. Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Soluble fiber dissolves, which slows down digestion. Not only does this make you feel fuller (and more satisfied) for longer, it allows for greater absorption of nutrients and may contribute to lower blood pressure.
And speaking of feeling full and satisfied, how about a hearty bowlful of oats reminiscent of carrot cake? They are every bit as delicious as you can imagine, and a cinch to make,too. I suggest grating the carrots the night before (I cannot operate a grater before several cups of coffee). Happy eats!
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice), divided
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
- 1 cup grated peeled carrot
- 3 tbsp raisins
- 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- Suggested toppings (optional):
- *sweetener of choice (e.g., maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar, brown sugar)
- *additional grated carrot
- *additional raisins
- *chopped walnuts or pecans
- *dried mulberries
- *additional milk
- *dairy or nondairy vanilla or plain yogurt
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, 1 cup milk, oats, carrot, raisins, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring. occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Stir in remaining 1 cup almond milk. Cook and stir for 5 to 10 minutes longer until oatmeal is desired consistency. Divide into bowls and serve topped with the suggested toppings, as desired.