Oats are extremely nutritious on many levels and are a well-balanced source of grain.

They are a good source of carbs and fibre including the powerful fibre beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a soluble fibre and plays a beneficial role in insulin resistance, so extremely beneficial for those with diabetes. Oats contain more natural protein and fats than other grains.

Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Just half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:

  • Manganese: 191% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 34% of the RDI
  • Copper: 24% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 20% of the RDI
  • Folate: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI
  • Smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)

Oats have 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of fibre yet only 303 calories per serving. This means that oats are among the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

Oats are also extremely versatile, being able to use them in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Here are some dishes you can create with this nutritious grain:

  • Porridge
  • Granolla
  • Cookies
  • Flapjacks
  • Energy protein balls
  • Soups
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Alternative to other grains like rice as an accompaniment with stews and savoury sauces
  • Smoothies
  • Milk
  • Plus many many more

Those who cannot tolerate gluten, opt for the gluten free variety of oats which contain avenin, which is a protein similar to gluten. Research has shown that most people with coeliac disease can tolerate gluten free oats with no problems. The issue is that sometimes oats are produced in the same place as wheat, barley and rye, and then become contaminated with these other grains.

**Useful tip** When you come to using oats, it is a good idea to rinse the grains a few times with cold water before use. This helps removed excess gluten from the grains and gives you a much smoother consistency when cooked.

So the question is, how will you enjoy your oats?

If you have any tasty recipes, please share with us!

For now, why not try our Oat Cookie recipe.

Vegan Oat & Almond Ginger Cookies

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