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Foods That Cleanse The Body: Oats
There is something so warm and comforting about a bowl of oatmeal on cold winter mornings. I enjoyed one today as a matter of fact, and it left me satisfied for a couple hours! I added some cinnamon, dried cranberries and fresh apples, and it was, oh so good! That bowl of oatmeal got me thinking. With three varieties of oats in my pantry, what is the difference? What makes oats so good for you? Well, here is what I learned:
Steel-cut oats: Whole oat groats that have been chopped into pieces. Have a dense and chewy texture, they are produced by running the grain through steel blades that slice them. Nutritionally equal to rolled oats.
Old-fashioned rolled oats: Whole oat groats that have been steamed, and rolled into oat flakes.
Instant oatmeal: Produced by partially cooking the oat groats and then rolling them very thin, making them quicker to cook. Most often, sugar, salt and other ingredients are added to make the finished product.
The nutritional benefits of oats are the same for steel cut and rolled oats. Instant oats can lose a little of their nutritional punch due to the salt, sugar and other items of processing them, you just need to read the ingredients to make a good choice. The health benefits of oats are well known. As I mentioned, oats satisfy hunger cravings due to their high soluble fiber content. Oats also contain beta glucans which are known to aid that satiety and boost your body’s immune response. That high in fiber content also reduces cholesterol levels, lower your risks of Type 2 Diabetes, improve cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Like previous featured foods, fiber is key to the detoxification process of your liver and body. Oats are a power house of fiber, so the next time you have overindulged on some not so good for you foods, start the following day with a warm bowl of oatmeal and fruit. It will relieve your body of the toxins you consumed.
You can get creative with your oatmeal, it is not just a boring bowl of mush anymore. Adding fresh fruit, nuts, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, ginger and more will spice it up and give it an extra nutritional boost. Here is a savory recipe that will make you realize that oats are not just for breakfast!
1 C old fashioned rolled oats
2 C water
1T coconut oil
2 T unsalted peanuts
3 T chopped onion
1/2 serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced (seeds removed to remove heat)
1 inch piece ginger, minced
1/8 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 roma tomato diced
1/2 C thawed peas
1/4 salt & pepper to taste
cilantro, chop amount to desired taste
1. Combine oats and water and cook on high heat in microwave for about 2 minutes or until cooked. Set aside.
2. Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat add peanuts, onion, serrano, ginger, chili powder, and curry. Stir and cook about 3 minutes, until peanuts are lightly toasted and spices are aromatic. Add tomato, and salt/pepper to taste. Pour in oatmeal and cook another 2 minutes or until heated. Stir in cilantro and serve. Makes 2 servings