Oatmeal Monday is held on the second Monday of February every year. This year, it falls on February 13. It started as a University holiday in Scotland over 300 years ago. From as early as the 17th-century students at the University of Scotland were expected to bring their food, firewood, and other means of sustenance needed to keep them through their stay in school. Students often came from far destinations. As a result, several universities began to give students long weekends on occasion so that they could travel and stock up on supplies like firewood and food like oats.
Oats have a long and illustrious history dating back over 4,000 years. It was discovered by archaeologists while excavating in Egypt. About 1,000 years later Ancient Romans thought they were diseased-ridden wheat and used them to feed their livestock. They often ridiculed their other European counterparts like the Germans and the Scottish that ate oats themselves. Oatmeal is loved for its versatility, with different inventive flavors. It can be served cold and light with berries and fruits for breakfast or piping hot with milk and almonds for dinner.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy gut bacteria, and increases feelings of fullness. They are also a good source of high-quality protein, with a good balance of essential amino acids.
Oats can help lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol from damage. Many studies have shown that the beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at reducing both total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan may increase the release of cholesterol-rich bile, which reduces the circulating levels of cholesterol in your blood. Oats may also protect LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation. Oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol occurs when it reacts with free radicals.
Oats may also help lower blood sugar levels, especially people who are overweight or who have type 2 diabetes. The beta-glucan in both oats and barley may also improve insulin sensitivity. These effects are mainly attributed to the beta-glucans ability to form a thick gel that delays the emptying of the stomach and absorption of glucose into the blood.
Not only is oatmeal a delicious breakfast food, but it’s also very filling. Eating filling foods may help you eat fewer calories and lose weight. By delaying the time it takes your stomach to empty of food, the beta-glucan in oatmeal may increase your feeling of fullness. Beta-glucan may also promote the release of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone produced in the gut in response to eating. This satiety hormone has been shown to lead to reduced calorie intake and may decrease your risk of obesity. You can enjoy oats in several ways. The most popular way is to simply eat oatmeal for breakfast. To make oatmeal tastier and even more nutritious, you can add cinnamon, fruits, nuts, seeds, and Greek yogurt. Oats are often also included in baked goods, muesli, granola, and bread.
Try out these recipes!
Jammy Granola Bars
1 3/4 cups walnut or pecan halves
2 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat or spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened at room temperature
2 cups fruit jam (any flavor)
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
optional: 1- 2 tablespoons milk if dough is crumbly
Spicy Black Bean Oat Burger
1 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 19oz can low sodium Black Beans, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups of beans)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon green onion (from 1 single green onion)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced for grated (from 1 large clove of garlic)
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste (I used Frank’s)
1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large egg
2 tablespoons oil, for cooking
25 Delicious Oatmeal Recipes
Click below for even more oatmeal recipes!
Check out our previous edition of Krupa's Korner!
National Pizza Day on February 9th celebrates one of America’s all-time favorite foods. Join us in learning about the history of pizza and about recipes you can try at home!
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