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National Oatmeal Month Recipes and Nutrition

If you didn’t know – January is National Oatmeal Month! Oatmeal is a standard food in our pantry used for many recipes. Oatmeal is one of those foods that your great grandmother could recognize unless you use instant. Oatmeal is one of the most powerful and nutritious foods that will improve your health if you eat it on a regular basis.

oats heaped in a glass cup on wooden table

Benefits of Eating Oatmeal

* Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes - Oats are rich in magnesium and packed with soluble fiber which slows the absorption of glucose and helps control your blood sugar. Oats can reduce your chances of type 2 diabetes by 35 to 42 percent. 

* Improves Cholesterol Levels - If you consume just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day you can lower your cholesterol by 8-23%

* It’s Gluten Free - Pure non-processed oats are gluten free. Most commercial oats are processed and done so in facilities that process wheat, barley and rye. So make sure you use pure oats not processed.

* Protects Against Heart Disease & Cancer - Oats also contain Lignans which protects against heart disease as well as hormone-dependent cancers.

* Enhances Your Immune System - Oatmeal contains a unique fiber called beta-glucan which enhances your immune system and eliminate bacteria.

* Has Antioxidants - The antioxidant unique to oats are called avenanthramides that are known to help remove cholesterol from your digestive system.

Gluten Free Breakfast Grain Bake
There are many different types of oats you can purchase. In my opinion the best to use is pure unprocessed or minimally processed oats. 

* Oat Groats - There are the purest kind of oats that are unflattened kernels that can be used for breakfast or stuffing. 

* Steel-Cut Oats -
 These are the next best thing to oat groats. They are minimally processed with steel blades that make thin slices through the grain. That is where the name “Steel Cut” came from. 


* Old Fashioned Oats - These oats have a flatter shape, the reason is because the oats are steamed then rolled so they are a bit more processed than the oats above. 

* Quick Cooking Oats - These are processed just like old fashioned oats but they are finely cut before being rolled.

* Instant Oatmeal - Instead of steaming the oats they are partially cooked and then rolled very thin. Often instant oatmeal has sugar, salt and other ingredients added which are the worst type of oats to eat. READ LABELS!

* Oat Bran - This is the outer layer of the grain that is under the hull. It’s found in rolled oats and steel cut oats you can also buy it separately to use in recipes or make cereal. 

* Oat Flour - This is used in baking

I choose to use either oat groats or steel cut for everything except when making toppings for muffins, pancakes or fruit crisps. Here are some of my favorite recipes using oats. 

Crock Pot Oat Groats

Baked Oatmeal

Quinoa Oatmeal 

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Incorporating oats in homemade baby food

Granola Bars

Granola

Pancakes

Crisps such and Apple and Strawberry/Rhubarb

What are some of your favorite recipes using oats? Remember when buying oats try and purchase them in their purest form and make sure you look at the ingredients to see if anything is added, you might be surprised. 

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