Tasty summer oat recipes
This versatile grain can be enjoyed year-round
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.
HEALTHY TREAT: Homemade muffins with oat flour.
Homemade granola with strawberries.