Here I am at the Second Cup bemoaning the temporary loss of my personal kitchen space. I am eating the maple pecan oatmeal (it’s maple season according to the big poster in the window) and contains relatively non-offensive ingredients i.e. oatmeal (well obviously), raisins, pecans, almonds, flakes of maple, wheat and red bran with some kosher salt and turbinado sugar thrown in for good measure.
The taste is that of typical oatmeal-edible chewy glue-tempered with the sweetness of plump raisins and the occasional crunch of a sliced almond. (I have yet to find the pecans.)
I should eat it as is-it’s healthier that way-but my sweet tooth is begging for more. I resist.
Oatmeal is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. It also contains significant amounts of vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. The effects of these features are:
- lower levels of LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol-the bad stuff that should be kept to a minimum
- regulation of blood sugar; hence oatmeal is diabetic-friendly, especially when combined with cinnamon
- protective against cancer through the fibre and antioxidant content
It can be eaten anytime-in the morning to kick start your day, as a healthier option for a mid-day snack and in the evening to help bring about sleep.
But let’s face it-oatmeal can also be a part of not so healthy food options i.e. cookies, bars and squares. For me when life isn’t sweet enough I just add more sugar. (And I shall as soon as I get my kitchen up and running.) At least the health benefits of oats will help to balance the bad.
In the meantime, here’s a tasty suggestion for eating your oats:
half a cup of cooked oatmeal with:
- cinnamon and a sprinkling of brown sugar
- cocoa powder and cinnamon cooked with the oatmeal and a little sugar thrown on top to finish
- cook oatmeal with some quinoa flakes and add dried fruit and nuts to the finished product
- mix a little peanut butter with freshly cooked oatmeal; let sit a few minutes then top with sliced bananas and a drizzle of good quality honey (nutella can be a stand-in for the peanut butter)
- on the subject of nut butter, how about some cashew butter and dates with your oatmeal
- if using steel cut oats and feeling a little Irish nostalgia, Guinness beer can be your option for a cooking liquid. Place a trickle of some blackstrap molasses on top when done. (Haven’t tried this yet but it sounded too good not to mention.)
And how do you like to eat your oatmeal?