Anyone who really knows me, will know that I live off of oats. Short for oatmeal, oats is a breakfast meal that I was introduced to as a child. Back then I knew it as porridge. My earliest memories of porridge was of it being cooked in milk in a pot on the stove. I remember its creamy colour and the watery consistency it had. Mainly due to the amount of milk that was added. As I got older and into my teenage years, I would go on to consume Quakers Instant Oatmeal from a small brown packet in a variety of different flavours such as apples and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar, cinnamon and spice, and sometimes the dino eggs. Thinking about it now, I can’t believe how long I have been eating oats for and the many sugary flavours that I would consume it in. Talk about a sweet tooth! Years later, I turned to cold cereal as an easy morning breakfast option that would get me quickly out the door and on my way to school. Over those years, my stomach became sensitive to dairy and cold milk in the morning. As I got busier, I needed more than just a quick bowl of cereal to sustain me through the morning. This was when I returned to my beloved oats.
Oatmeal is a classic breakfast food that has been consumed over many years. It is made from whole-grain oats, is nutritious, and has great health benefits. What I love most about it is how versatile it is, since it can be prepared in so many different ways. For the past few years, it has and continues to be the meal that I choose to start off my day with.
A significant health benefit of oatmeal is that it’s high in fiber which is an essential nutrient that supports healthy digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber in oatmeal is known as beta-glucan. It’s a soluble fiber that forms a gel-like substance in the digestive system and helps to slow down digestion, keep you feeling fuller for longer periods and prevents overeating. This is one of the main reasons why I opt for oats to get me through a busy morning and long days.
In addition, oatmeal is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is rich in vitamins that help to support the production of energy and proper metabolism. Oatmeal also contains iron, which is essential for healthy blood circulation, and magnesium, which promotes strong bones and muscles. It’s a healthy breakfast choice for those looking to manage their weight as it is also low in fat and calories.
Oatmeal is super easy to make and can be adjusted to your preference. It can be made with water, milk, or dairy-free milk such as almond, oat, or coconut milk. When I make my oatmeal, I mainly use oat milk. For those like me that may have a sweet tooth, it can be topped with fresh fruits such as apples, berries or bananas. For crunch and added flavour, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits can also be included.
What’s great about oatmeal is that it is an affordable and widely available food. It can be found in grocery stores and is a great choice for those on a budget.
While oatmeal is a nutritious food, it is important to choose the right type. Instant oatmeal and flavored varieties (like the kind I was having as a kid) often contain added sugars and preservatives, which can negate some of oatmeal’s health benefits. Alternatively, opt for plain, unsweetened oatmeal or steel-cut oats, which are lightly processed and contain more fiber and nutrients. The sweetness can be adjusted to your liking. Sometimes I like to add a little maple syrup to mine.
While I have spent many years eating oatmeal, even until this day, I’d like to share a new way that I have been enjoying it. JUSTproats is an Ontario based company that makes a healthy plant-based breakfast blend of oats, chia seeds, plant protein, fruits, veggies and superfoods. For me, JUSTproats is so much more than just proats (protein oats). It contains a staple food item that has and continues to sustain me throughout busy days, but with the addition of so much more that is needed as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Made available in so many flavours such as vanilla, banana, mocha, chocolate and shortcake, with a new flavour added each month, JUSTproats is even easier to prepare and enjoy as a breakfast, mid-day snack or an evening dessert. They are even perfect to pack for road trips! I just add it to a jar with my oat milk, stir, and refrigerate it the night before. By morning it’s ready to eat or to carry with me for the day. If you’re located in Ontario or Quebec in Canada and would like to give JUSTproats a try, save 10% on me by using SMYARDE at checkout. Enter address during checkout to see eligibility. Enjoy!