Ode to Oats
It’s Oatmeal Month, a time to savor the earthy warmth of this fiber–rich porridge. But while families have been serving up the Goldilocks favorite for centuries, only recently has this hearty breakfast choice been recognized for its cardiovascular, metabolic, and digestive benefits. No need to keep your cereal bland, though. Kick up the flavor and nutrition by adding some flair to your bowl:
Use low–fat milk instead of water to make a creamy batch that delivers calcium and protein. Add low–fat yogurt or apple sauce for more nutrients.
Swirl in some blackstrap molasses or honey rather than brown or white sugar. Molasses is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, while honey has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Mix crushed almonds, flaxseed, or walnuts to add a robust taste that also improves cardiovascular health and may guard against cancers.
Top with raisins, cranberries, blueberries, or strawberries for a fruity punch that’s full of fiber and antioxidants.
Spice up your oats with cinnamon — found to help lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, fight infection, and reduce inflammation.
Go with steel cut or rolled oats over the instant varieties, which are often laced with unhealthy additives. If you’re pressed for time, try cooking it up in your slow cooker the night before so a nice warm pot awaits you.