Some days a warm, nourishing bowl of oatmeal just hits the spot.
My favorite way to eat oats is as the entire groat; soaked overnight and then slowly warmed in the morning. They are chewy with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. If groats aren’t available, the next option is steel cut, which still has more of the healthful benefit of the whole oat. I have found that the more processed the oat, the less complex the flavor. This morning I had steel cut oats that I had soaked overnight in yogurt. I slightly warmed them (to keep all the enzymes alive) added some honey and strawberries and it made the perfect, nourishing breakfast.
Oats are a hardy and hearty little grain that do well in a wide variety of environments, from a growing perspective and record of them in the human diet is found all throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.
From a health perspective oats are little rock stars! As with any food, the closer they are to their natural state, the better they are for you. They are a great source of fiber and various vitamins and minerals. Studies demonstrate that the inclusion of oats in your diet can help with cholesterol, decrease the potential for colorectal cancer, and help balance blood sugar. Oats are also a great prebiotic, increasing the production of short chain fatty acids that aid in helping you have a happy belly. Some people are sensitive to the phytic acid that remains in the oat even after it is smashed, squashed, and mutilated to become a quick breakfast option; the easy remedy is soaking them overnight to break up the cell wall.
In a nutritional world that is pushing towards grain-hating, I think it’s a shame to avoid the hearty little oat. Oats are a smart option for most palates and bodies.