“Why do Mares and Does eat oats?” asks Will. “Oats look like dry little bits of paper. Ugh. Does Bambi’s mom know something we don’t?”
“Well,” says I, stalling over yet another why question. “Moms are usually right!”
“People eat oats, too,” I add. “Oats are another of our super foods! That’s why you find oatmeal porridge for breakfast on many popular weight-loss diets.”
Oats, as super food
Choose whole-grain oats when you shop. Groats, steel-cut, stone-ground, or old-fashioned rolled… these are all good for you. Like other whole grains, they’re great sources of fiber.
But they have more soluble fiber than other whole-grain cereals, which help control cholesterol in your blood. Oats are also a good source of good fats, the unsaturated omega fatty acids. These help keep your heart healthy longer.
Its fiber and protein also slow the break down of oats into sugar, a feature called low-glycemic. This means oats controls the level of sugar in your blood… you stay full longer and you’re less likely to get diabetes.
Stay away from instant (or quick-cooking) oats. They are more processed than other oats. Time saved when making instant over old-fashioned rolled oats is minimal, but with instant, you lose the low-glycemic benefits.
Confirmed meat-eater that I am, I’ve never been a fan of breakfast cereal. So I’m overjoyed to learn that I can make cookies from regular rolled oats. The two recipes here are easy enough that even little kids can join in making them. One recipe doesn’t even need baking… just mix it up, roll it into balls and eat. Neither has flour, so they can be enjoyed by folks on a gluten-free diet. And both are sweetened mainly from fruit and maple syrup.
I serve the oat balls in ice-cream cones, convinced that presentation makes a difference to kids.
Banana-Cranberry Oatmeal Cones
- 1 1/2 cup regular rolled oats
- 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 c almond meal (or whole almonds ground in a blender/food processor)
- 2 tablespoon flax-seed meal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit), chopped if necessary
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed until smooth
- 1/4 cup hazelnut oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond or cocoanut extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix evenly.
- In another bowl (or blender), combine the wet ingredients and blend well.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Drop tablespoons of batter onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Be careful and check often, because mine burnt on the bottoms at 20 minutes.
- Delicious as is for breakfast or with soft unripened goat’s cheese (or any low-fat cream cheese).
This recipe reminds me of the pemmican our ancestors made from nuts, seeds and buffalo fat to last them through winter and long trips. Peanut butter makes a tasty substitute for buffalo grease. Serve in cones or take some in your backpack on hikes through the wilds.
- 1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1/4 cup pistachios (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of homemade nutella (optional)
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- a few chocolate chips to garnish
- Mix all this together. Add more juice if the mixture isn’t sticky enough to form balls.
- Make little balls of dough and top each one with a chocolate chip.
- You can eat these balls directly, or you can bake them on a greased pan at 350F for 10 or 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack before tasting.
While baking up these tasty treats tune in to: Mares eat oats (Mairzy Doats).