Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oats for breakfast

The word oatmeal conjures up a mental image of a burly, bearded Scotsman complete with kilt and sporan. I have no idea why. Maybe oatmeal packaging back in my childhood depicted a kilted man, playing the bagpipes. Who knows? Who remembers? Oats and oatmeal have certainly been on breakfast menus around the western world for very many years.

Oats are generally considered a 'health' food. They are certainly high in soluble fibre, and contain protein nearly equal to that found in soya beans.

Oats are a whole grain, so they give a feeling of fullness for longer - always a good thing if you want to lose weight. Oats are said to reduce 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) - always a good thing if you want to avoid cardiovascular disease. Oats are incorporated in many commercially produced food stuffs too, from muesli to oat biscuits.

Serve oats with: cooked apple: milk and a little sugar: with a sprinkling of cinnamon and raisins: with a handful of blueberries and a dollop of fat free yoghurt: or whoosh them up in your breakfast smoothie. Replace the breadcrumbs in burger patties with oats. Use half flour and half oatbran for sweet pastry. Use half flour and half rolled oats as a crumble topping on fish pie.

Oats make a very soothing face pack, too.

Oats are the only cereal always refered to in the plural. We don't talk about wheats or corns (unless they are on our feet) or barleys, do we? I wonder why that is.

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