Tasty sum­mer oat recipes

This ver­sa­tile grain can be en­joyed year-round

Central and North Burnett Times - - TV GUIDE - Dr Joanna Mcmil­lan Nu­tri­tional Ad­vi­sor for Free­dom Foods

IN A GROUND­BREAK­ING study by the Univer­sity of Queens­land, re­searchers in­ves­ti­gated the choles­terol-han­dling mech­a­nisms of beta-glu­cans, which are found in high lev­els in oats and bar­ley grains. Beta-glu­cans are a type of sol­u­ble fi­bre known to lower the risk of heart dis­ease, but the way they do this has been only partly un­der­stood. This unique study used a high qual­ity an­i­mal model in pigs, an an­i­mal model im­por­tant to study­ing hu­man di­ges­tion be­cause of the sim­i­lar­ity to hu­mans’ di­ges­tive make-up, al­low­ing a more de­tailed study that oth­er­wise could never have been ob­tained in a hu­man study. Di­ets high in whole­grains have been as­so­ci­ated with a lower risk of sev­eral can­cers, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, type 2 di­a­betes and bet­ter weight con­trol. Oats and bar­ley are stand out in the re­search for their health ben­e­fits and it seems their high con­tent of beta-glu­cans con­trib­utes to this. Prof Mike Gi­d­ley and col­leagues, con­duct­ing the study, re­ported they demon­strated that beta-glu­can added to the diet for 26 days caused a 57% de­crease in LDL choles­terol (com­monly known as the bad blood-choles­terol), a 34% de­crease in to­tal choles­terol and a de­crease of 24% in blood to­tal bile acids, com­pared to a con­trol diet. A diet rich in beta-glu­cans can be achieved by eat­ing oats and bar­ley.

Here are five de­li­cious ways to en­joy oats in the sum­mer months

1. Muesli Make a Bircher-style muesli by soak­ing a mix­ture of oats or a mix­ture of oats and bar­ley, nuts, seeds and dried fruit in milk, or a dairy al­ter­na­tive such as soy or al­mond milk, overnight in the fridge. In the morn­ing stir through some nat­u­ral yo­gurt and top with sum­mer fresh fruits. 2. Muffins Sub­sti­tute some of the flour in a muf­fin recipe for rolled oats, which will give you a great fi­bre boost. 3. Bis­cuits Make home­made bis­cuits us­ing rolled oats. Why not try my mouth-wa­ter­ing chai spiced oat seed cook­ies – visit free­dom­foods.com.au. 4. Toasted muesli Make toasted muesli by toss­ing rolled oats, or a mix­ture of oats and bar­ley, with nuts, ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and a lit­tle honey or maple syrup. Spread out on a bak­ing sheet and bake on 160C for 20 min­utes, shak­ing the tray ev­ery now and again to en­sure it cooks evenly. Re­move from the oven, al­low to cool and store in an air­tight con­tainer. 5. Break­fast smoothie Make a fi­bre rich, dairy free break­fast smoothie by blend­ing al­mond milk or soy milk with rolled oats, berries, ba­nana and al­mond but­ter.

PHO­TOS: THINKSTOCK

HEALTHY TREAT: Home­made muffins with oat flour.

Home­made gra­nola with straw­ber­ries.

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