Monday Meals: Make-Ahead Oatmeal, a Healthy Morning Treat
Oatmeal has a mixed reputation. A 2008 survey found that Americans consider it the 4th most healthful food, coming in after whole grains, broccoli and bananas. But even with this wholesome reputation, it can be hard to find true oatmeal enthusiasts. Oatmeal is a modest food. While kale enjoys its moment in the spotlight or quinoa rakes in the accolades, oatmeal simply waits in the pantry, loyal and reliable. It is time to give humble oatmeal the respect it deserves.
Oatmeal’s reputation as a healthy food is more than old-fashioned nostalgia. The gluten-free, whole grain cereal is shown to lower cholesterol. Its beta-glucan fiber is credited with reducing both LDL and total cholesterol levels. That same fiber helps you to feel satisfied longer and may cause you to consume less calories overall. A high fiber diet is associated better colon health and reduced colon cancer. A clean colon is a happy colon and fiber acts as an effective scrub brush, keeping wastes moving and reducing constipation. There is research suggesting that oatmeal can help lower blood sugar. It is a low glycemic index food and won’t cause blood sugar to spike and crash.
If you have been neglecting oatmeal as a breakfast option because of a harried morning schedule, consider the option of make-ahead single servings that can be made the night (or days) before and eaten on the go. Sure, you can always make a big batch of classic oatmeal and heat it up in the morning, but Wholefully has a tempting collection of make-ahead cold oatmeal breakfast recipes that will have you rethinking what that loyal grain can do. Add-ins from carrots to cocoa create eye-opening morning flavor combos, while powerhouse nutritional sidekicks like chia seeds and ground flax mean that these tempting concoctions still get you off on the right foot for the day.