OatSo Magic

About the magic of oats (Avena sativa L)

Most foods that are healthy work from the inside of us after we eat them. Oats work wonders for our bodies both from the inside and the outside.

From the inside

  1. Oats are low fat somewhere between 130 and 170 calories per serving. Of course, the calories go up if you’re like me who loves them with butter, milk, and brown sugar on them, but I can’t blame the oats for my bad habits.
  2. One serving of oats gives you about 4 or 5 grams of fiber or about the same as 1 large apple. Studies have shown that the fiber, beta glutan, found in oats helps keep HDL, the good cholesterol, up and LDL, the bad cholesterol, down. Studies also show that the beta glutan in oats enhances your immune system.
  3. The protein in oat grain is nearly equal to that of meat, milk, and eggs. Just in case you’re interested, the protein in oats is called is avenalin and the oat is the only grain that contains this protein source.
  4. According to the American Diabetes Association, both steel cut oats and whole grain rolled oats have a low glycemic index (they are slow to raise blood glucose levels). Quick oats have a medium glycemic index.
  5. Oats contain no gluten. According to the Quaker oat company, there may be some cross-contamination when transporting oats or when the mill used to process them also processes wheat and other grains containing gluten. You might be interested in one study conducted on children with celiac disease (gluten is intolerable to folks with celiac disease) and the tiny amounts of gluten in rolled oats were well tolerated.
  6. Oats and other grains contain plant lignans. These are noted for their antioxidant and phytoestrogenic (estrogen derived from plants) qualities. Studies indicate they may help prevent breast, prostate and other hormone-related cancers as well as heart disease.
  7. Oats are high in antioxidants which help protect you from that fast food diet high in artificially produced trans fats. Trans fats damage our arteries, increase our LDL(the bad cholesterol), make us fat and cause heart attacks.

From the outside

  1. You can use oats on your skin as a cleansing and softening scrub. Check out the post “Homemade Sugar Scrub.”
  2. Have a rash, eczema, psoriasis or itchy skin? Numerous studies indicate oatmeal (particularly colloidal oatmeal) helps to heal and soothe the skin. We can particularly thank the polyphenol, avenanthramide for this. Avenanthramide is found “exclusively in oats” according to a 2011 article which appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  Check out the post “Colloidal Oatmeal – A Really Really Simple Bath for Dry Itchy Skin.”
  3. Have a few wrinkles or maybe a lot of wrinkles? Use colloidal oatmeal to make your skin healthier and diminish the wrinkles. Colloidal oatmeal helps to repair damaged skin. Check out the post “Colloidal Oatmeal Cream Recipe.”
  4. Have problems with your hair and or scalp? Use colloidal oatmeal to help solve the problem. Check out the post “Homemade Conditioner – Colloidal Oatmeal.”
  5. Does your skin feel rough? Take a colloidal oatmeal bath and watch it become smooth and moisturized. Check out the post “Colloidal Oatmeal – A Really Really Simple Bath for Dry Itchy Skin.”
  6. All this plus you get a sunscreen. (Further explanation follows below.)

Oats contain the following:

  • Protein 15 – 17%
  • Starches and sugars 59 – 70% These sugars include beta glucan (beta glucan concentrations range from 2 – 6%) – The sugars and starches are the protective and water holding function of oats with beta glucan being of primary interest as its function in lowering cholesterol.
  • Fat 4 – 9%
  • Dietary fiber 5 – 13%
  • Saponins – The saponins in oats are mostly what give them their cleansing properties.
  • Polyphenols – Some of the phenols in oats protect against UVA in the range of 320 – 370nm. (The total UVA spectrum ranges from 320 to 400 nm and is associated with cell damage, skin cancers, and aging). Of particular interest are the avenanthramides for their role as anti-histamines and antioxidants.
  • Various vitamins 3 – 11%
  • Minerals in whole grain oat – Very small percentages of copper, manganese, zinc and iron. Higher percentages of Calcium (95mg/100g), magnesium (140mg/100g), sulfur, phosphorus (340mg/100g) and potassium (460mg/100g).

Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats

The steel cut oats will take longer to cook (10 minutes or more depending on how soft you like them), but they have a delicious nutty flavor and any leftovers can be fried. The rolled oats are quicker to cook, but you have to take care that you are purchasing a rolled oat that is made from whole grainoats. Some rolled oats have a portion of the bran (the outside part of the grain) removed. Also, because rolled oats have gone through the toasting process, they are slightly less nutritious than steel cut oats.  Steel cut oats also have a lower glycemic index than rolled oats because they take longer to digest. That makes steel cut oats preferred for personal care products and cooking.

How to make colloidal oatmeal

You can buy either uncut oats or steel cut oats, but steel cut oats are easier to find than uncut oats. Whatever you use, grind the oats in a coffee grinder to fine flour. To determine if the oats are fine enough, add a small amount to warm water. If fine enough, the oats will suspend in the water. If they sink to the bottom, you will need to grind them a little more and retest.

There, now you have it. The truth is that oats to eat or prepared as colloidal oatmeal for your hair and skin formulations are a wonderful gift to us from Mother Nature. They are truly magical when you consider just how many benefits they offer. Plus, they are not only delicious, they’re very affordable.

Tip: I suggest you buy organic grains they don’t cost that much more and you’re supporting the organic growers while avoiding possible pesticide and or herbicide contamination.

 

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Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts

bacon wrapped mushstuff

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 slices uncooked bacon
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley or 1 tbs dehydrated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs butter

METHOD

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute onion & mushrooms until tender. Remove from heat to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Meanwhile prepare chicken breasts for stuffing by butterflying and cutting a pocket as per THIS VIDEO.
  4. Mix shredded cheese and parsley into the cooled mushroom/onion mixture. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Divide evenly and stuff into pocket created in the chicken. Fold as shown in the video link above.
  5. Carefully wrap each folded breast with 2 slices of bacon, securing with a toothpick if needed. Place on a deep baking sheet or in an oblong ovenproof baker.
  6. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on thickness of rolls. Chicken is done when juices run clear or internal temperature is 180 degrees C

Chocolate & Avocado Brownies With Peanut Butter

avochoc

Servings9

Ingredients

BROWNIES:

  • 150g dark chocolate – finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml xylitol
  • 125ml whole-wheat flour
  • 125ml cocoa powder
  • 5ml baking powder
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • pinch salt

To Serve:

  • 60ml sugar-free peanut butter
  • 5 strawberries – halved
  • mint leaves – to garnish

Method

  • For the brownies, pre heat the oven to 180°C and line a 15cm x 15cm baking dish or cake tin with baking paper.
  • Melt the dark chocolate and butter together until smooth.
  • Combine the avocado, eggs, xylitol, flour, cocoa, baking powder, vanilla and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Blend in the melted chocolate.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish/tin, smooth out the top and bake for 25-28 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool in the dish/tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool off on the baking paper.
  • Once cooled, cut into 9 squares.
  • To serve, spread a spoonful of peanut butter on to each brownie and top with half a strawberry.
  • Garnish with mint, if preferred.

 

TIP: Do not be tempted to over bake the brownies. They firm up as they cool and are best eaten slightly moist.

The 4 Best Fruits To Lose Weight

banana 1. Bananas (439kJ Per Banana)

Bananas are often wrongly accused of being fattening. But new research proves their innocence: findings reveal that the yellow guys contain “resistant starch”, a type of fibre that your body digests more slowly, which keeps blood sugar stable and leaves you feeling satisfied longer, says dietician David Grotto, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods. Just be sure to pick a firm banana that’s still a little green. Like any fruit, its starches morph into sugars during the ripening process, making the banana sweeter and more kilojoule-heavy.

Getting more in: Slice a banana in half, then cover each piece with half a tablespoon of your favourite peanut butter and half a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Wrap the pieces in wax paper and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes for a low-fat dessert. (Makes two servings.)

 raspberries 2. Raspberries (268kJ Per Cup)

If you struggle with portion sizes, you’ll love berries! All berries are a great source of hunger-quelling fibre, raspberries have the most, one cup has more than the amount in four slices of whole-grain bread. And because raspberries are about four kilojoules apiece, you don’t have to worry about measuring them. Just grab a handful, rinse them off and indulge until you’re satisfied.

Getting more in: Drop frozen berries into chilled tea for a sweet iced tea without added sugar.

 grapefruit 3. Grapefruit (343kJ Per Grapefruit)

Grapefruit diets may have gone the way of leg warmers and leotards, but these orbs are still one of your biggest diet allies: “They’re low in sugar and high in fibre, plus research shows they improve insulin resistance, meaning they make you feel fuller,” says Grotto. In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, obese adults who ate just half a grapefruit before each of their three daily meals lost 1.4kg more over the course of 12 weeks than those who skipped the grapefruit appetiser.

Getting more in: Citrus is a great complement to soy sauce and other Asian flavours. Add grapefruit segments to a stir-fry once everything else is cooked, then stir gently and heat until just warmed.

apple 4. Apples (397kJ Per Apple)

An apple a day could keep your fat jeans away. The fibre in apples slows digestion, and if your stomach is full of fruit, you’re less likely to reach for a sugary snack. A medium apple has four filling grams of fibre (most of it’s in the skin, so don’t peel it). Research has found that inhaling a green-apple scent when a food craving hits may trick your brain into thinking you’ve already eaten – and result in weight loss.

Getting more in: Toss chopped apple, Asian pear and celery with olive oil, lemon juice and honey for a refreshing side salad with a touch of sweetness.

 

Chewy sugar-free banana, chocolate and macadamia nut bars

These chewy fruit and nut bars topped with nut butter make the perfect healthy snack for any time of day.

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bananas

  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup milk powder

  • 60 ml dried prunes, pitted

  • 2 Tbs macadamia nut butter + extra, to serve

  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder

  • 2 Tbs olive oil

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup macadmias, roughly chopped

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 15cm x 22cm baking dish with baking paper.

Place the bananas, coconut flour, milk powder, prunes, nut butter, cocoa, olive oil and baking powder in a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in the oats and macadamias.

Press the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes before cutting into portions. Transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in an airtight container. Serve with extra nut butter to spread on top.

Tip:
The macadamias can easily be replaced with your favourite nuts or nut butter.

Asparagus & Chive Frittata

Ingredients

  • 150g fresh baby green asparagus
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 6 jumbo eggs, beaten
  • 1cup cream
  • ½ Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 15g garlic chives, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • sea salt and black pepper

 Method

Preheat the oven grill. On the stove top, heat butter, olive oil in a non-stick pan, add asparagus; sauté until golden.

  • In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream and Dijon mustard and whisk together. Add garlic chives to the mixture and pour over asparagus.
  • Crumble feta cheese on top and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place pan on a low heat, and allow to cook until almost set.
  • Place frittata under grill; cook until puffed up and golden.
  • Slice and serve hot with a green salad.

Berry Popsicle

Ingredients

  • Berry coulis:
  • 250 ml mixed frozen berries
  • 80 ml xylitol granules
  • 15 ml water
  • Cheesecake layer:
  • 80 ml water
  • 80 ml xylitol granules
  • 5 ml lemon juice
  • 5 ml vanilla essence
  • 250 ml plain double cream yoghurt
  • 180 g plain cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Nutty layer:
  • 30 ml raw cashews, chopped
  • 30 ml toasted flakes
  • 30 ml desiccated coconut
  • 15 ml xylitol granules
  • 5 ml cocoa powder

Method

For the berry coulis, place the berries, xylitol and water in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Press down on the berries with a spoon to crush them slightly and allow to cool. 

For the cheesecake layer, heat the water, xylitol, lemon juice and vanilla in a saucepan for 2 minutes until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Combine with the yoghurt and cream cheese and whisk with an electric whisk until smooth. 

For the nutty layer, stir everything together. Add ¼ cup of the cheesecake mixture and stir until combined. 

To assemble, divide the berry coulis between 8 large popsicle moulds. Top it off with the cream cheese mixture, leaving about a 1cm gap at the top of each mould. Use a skewer to lightly swirl the berry coulis and cheesecake mixture together in each mould. Top each one off with a layer of the nutty mixture. Add wooden popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. Check on the wooden popsicle sticks after 1 hour of freezing time to make sure they are still centered and standing up straight. Adjust if needed. 

Tip: Frozen berries give the best colour, but fresh berries can be used.

Chermoula-crusted fish with butternut and mint

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4x 200g salmon fillets
  • olive oil

Chermoula Sauce:

  • 10g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, chopped
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • 1Tbs lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper

Butternut Couscous:

  • 2Tbs butter
  • 1 small butternut, cubed, parboiled
  • 5g fresh mint
  • 2 cup cooked and seasoned couscous
  • 75g pomegranate rubies
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  • Mix together all sauce ingredients.
  • Place fish on a lined baking tray, top with sauce.
  • Season, bake for 7–10 min. Set aside.
  • Heat a frying pan, add butter and toss in butternut, pan-fry gently until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Season well, allow to cool. Toss with mint, couscous and pomegranate. Drizzle over olive oil and lemon juice.

Serve: With butternut couscous.

Lemon pork fillet schnitzels

Servings 2

Ingredients

Potato salad

  • 400g potatoes
  • 3Tbs mayonnaise
  • 1Tbs crème fraîche
  • 2Tbs baby capers – drained
  • 1 lemon’s zest
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tsp flat leaf parsley – finely chopped

For the schnitzels

  • 2 x 180g pork fillets – fat trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1large free-range egg
  • 2Tbs plain flour
  • 75g coarse dried white breadcrumbs
  • ½ lemon zest – finely grated
  • 15g Parmesan – finely grated
  • 300ml cooking oil

Method

For the potato salad:

  • Half-fill a pan with salted water and bring to the boil.
  • Add the potatoes and return to the stove. Cook for 15 – 18 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water until cold.
  • Mix the mayonnaise, crème fraîche, capers, parsley and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  • Cut the potatoes and stir into the mayonnaise dressing with the lemon zest.
  • Season to taste.

For the pork schnitzels:

  • Sandwich the pork between 2 sheets of cling film.
  • Flatten using a rolling pin or meat mallet to create an even thickness of ½ – 1 cm.
  • Remove the cling film and cut the flattened fillet in half lengthways.
  • Season on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Repeat the process with the remaining pork.
  • Beat the egg in a bowl. Sprinkle the flour onto a plate.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, Parmesan and a good pinch of salt in a shallow bowl until well combined.
  • Dredge each piece of pork first into the flour, dip it into the beaten egg, and cover it in the breadcrumb mixture until completely coated.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add 2 of the schnitzels to the pan and fry for 2 – 3 minutes on each side until the coating is crisp and golden brown.
  • Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towel. Repeat the process with the remaining pork schnitzels.
  • Season with a squeeze of lemon.