If the idea of oats conjures up images of a steaming bowl of porridge to set you up for the day on a winter’s morning, it might not be the first thing on your breakfast list as we head into June. However, perhaps you should think about that again. The nutritional properties of oats make them the perfect ingredient, not just to start the day, but also to give you a boost when you need it most. Oats help you to burn fat and lower cholesterol, while providing your body with essential vitamins and minerals like potassium and folate.
Getting your fix of oats doesn’t have to mean chowing down a bowl of porridge on a summer’s morning – although given the vagaries of the British climate that might sometimes be a tempting idea, even in June. But here are some other ways to enjoy oats whatever the weather.
Make your own muesli
The trouble with pre-packaged muesli is that it tries to cater to all tastes. Inevitably, this means some find it too sweet, while others might object to the raisins or some other ingredient. Making your own could not be simpler. Use rolled oats as your base, and continue from there. Try adding chopped walnuts, banana and cinnamon to give your breakfast natural sweetness and just a hint of spice.
Some people shy away from oats because they don’t like the texture. If this sounds like you, a baked oatmeal product, such as this oat flapjack could be just the thing. The recipe for this one is a closely guarded secret that has taken years to perfect, but if you have some time over the weekend, you can still have a shot at developing your own version. There are numerous baked oatmeal recipes online to provide inspiration. Here’s one little clue to get you started – experiment with adding a little vanilla yoghurt for a gooey result!
On the face of it, overnight oats looks similar to a traditional porridge oats recipe, in that you soak the oats overnight to have a ready-made delicious and nutritious breakfast waiting for you in the morning. The difference is that here, it is served cold. Try using almond milk instead of dairy, as it is super-healthy and really adds to the flavour. Adding maple syrup, chia seeds and fresh berries will provide a summery and fresh topping, but this is another recipe that you can refine to cater to personal taste and mood.
Here’s an idea that is absolutely bursting with flavour, and is a must for anyone who loves the taste of chai. Again, it starts out as a traditional oatmeal recipe, but with coriander, cardamom, turmeric and cinnamon added – start with just a quarter teaspoon of each, and work from there. Use honey to add richness and natural sweetness. For an extra thick and creamy version, you can also add a little bran.
Get your oats all year round
Oats are not just nutritious, they are also incredibly versatile. The above ideas are just gateways to countless delicious and healthy breakfasts, to each of which, you can add your own personal stamp.