Start Your Day with Salted Caramel Oatmeal
As the weather turns from cool to cold, try this hearty breakfast for the power-boost that warms you from the inside.
If you grew up with cold Winters, you probably remember having oatmeal packets around the house. These single servings were quick, hot meals that kids of all ages can make. Unfortunately, those little packets are no better for you (or the kids) than a bowl of sugary cereal - 9 -12g of ADDED sugar per serving.
What if you could keep the warm comfort, ditch the sugar, and still love the taste?
Spoiler alert: You CAN.
Why You Should Eat More Oatmeal
Oats are actually considered a “Superfood.” They are easy to digest, full of fiber, and help feed the good bacteria in your gut. (You KNOW we’re big on gut health around here!) It’s never the wrong time to make healthy gut choices.
AREN’T OATS A GRAIN?
We see where you’re going with this question. Yes, oats are a cereal grain. But unlike the others, oats include avenanthramides, an antioxidant compound. Antioxidant is another way of saying anti-inflammatory. We need all the anti-inflammatory tools we can get, right?
WHAT ABOUT MY BLOOD SUGAR?
Oats are definitely a carbohydrate. No way around that fact. BUT, oats are a complex carbohydrate - as in “made by nature.” Think of them the same way you do fruit. Their benefit far outweighs the carb count.
In fact, oats contain beta-glucan which has been shown to digest slowly, leaving you fuller-longer. HOORAY! Beta-glucan is also found in some mushrooms widely respected for their healthful properties, like Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake.1
Oats are a good source of key minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, selenium, and B vitamins.
Last, whole oats are packed with fiber. Fiber is one of the most important gut-health contributions you can make to your diet. High-fiber diets lower your risk for obesity and metabolic syndromes like Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance. Fiber also contributes to lower blood pressure and a reduction of cholesterol.2
What Kind of Oatmeal is Best?
The best kind of oatmeal is the one you’ll eat. The Lean Into Clean process is hard. Giving up sugar isn’t for the weak of will. So make the oatmeal decision that’s best for you.
Side by side, rolled oats (sometimes called old fashioned oats) and steel-cut oats are nutritionally very similar. You’ll get great benefits from both.
Steel cut oats have a couple of advantages. First, they have a higher fiber content and are a denser food.3 You can eat less and still end up with more of the benefits. Steel cut oats can also be batch-made and reheated throughout the week, saving you time on busy school/work/travel mornings.
Other considerations include taste and texture. Steel-cut oats (sometimes called pinhead oats) are nuttier and courser.4 They hold their shape a bit more, so if you are cooking for anyone with sensory issues, the firmer, chewier texture of steel-cut might be a clear winner.
Oats are the Canvas, You are the Artist
Plain oats are, admittedly, a bit of a bummer. You aren’t a horse, you’re a people. We have the great joy of experiencing all the marvelous flavors in the world, but also the great burden of controlling our cravings for not-so-good for you flavors.
There are so many ways to enjoy your oats. Our favorite is probably the simplest - adding Sugar Free Sinless Syrups. Even a single teaspoon of syrup can add wonderful sweetness and natural flavors to your oatmeal.
But you are the boss of your breakfast! Oats are such a neutral base that you can add any number of ingredients to add texture, flavor, and color. Some of our favorite ideas include nut butter or nuts, chopped fruit, seeds, even shredded coconut!5
INSPIRATION AND SOURCES
1 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236515/
2 - https://www.everydayhealth.com/hypertension-pictures/lose-the-salt-not-the-flavor.aspx
3 - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits
3 - https://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/healthy-living/what-are-the-benefits-of-steel-cut-oats/
4 - https://foolproofliving.com/steel-cut-vs-rolled-oats/
5 - https://cookieandkate.com/perfect-steel-cut-oats-recipe/