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‘O’ is for Oats

It may not seem like the right way to start off an article about oats but here’s my confession: I used to hate oatmeal when I was a kid. Oatmeal was the last thing that my primary school self wanted for breakfast. The mere idea of eating that thick, gooey substance every morning repulsed me. Unfortunately, my parents did not share my sentiment and made oatmeal my breakfast staple for the years to come.

But looking back now, their efforts have paid off. I may have had to begrudgingly force myself to finish up my oatmeal back then but I now find myself enjoying it. Perhaps, it is because I now understand how regular oatmeal consumption can significantly improve one’s health. For instance, did you know studies found that people who eat oatmeal regularly experienced an average 7% decline in LDL (bad) cholesterol or that the fibre in oatmeal helps maintain blood sugar at normal levels?

Now, you may already be aware of the various health benefits of oats but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to eat it every day. Maybe, it’s the texture or the bland taste. Probably, you have attempted to spice up your oatmeal but your concoctions just end up tasting not much better than how oatmeal tastes on its own.

The thing is oats can be consumed in a variety of way; it doesn’t have to be just about oatmeal. If oatmeal isn’t your thing, you can still incorporate oats in your daily diet such as making it a core ingredient in your favourite desserts and beverages.

Here are some recipes which are bound to tantalize your taste buds while giving your health the boost it needs. Go on, try out these recipes (courtesy of Quaker) and let us know how it went!

Coco and Nana Mini Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 tsp unsaturated cooking oil to grease the muffin cups
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • ¾ cup low- or non-fat milk
  • 4 tbsps unsaturated margarine, melted
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsps chocolate chips

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 205°C.
  2. Lightly grease the bottom of miniature muffin cups with oil and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. In another bowl, blend mashed bananas, milk, margarine, egg whites and vanilla essence with an electric blender.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients and continue blending until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix.
  6. Fill the muffin cups almost up to the top.
  7. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of chocolate chips on each muffin.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. If a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, the muffins are cooked.
  10. Let muffins cool for a few minutes. Remove from pan onto a wire rack to cool.

Nutty Brittle Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 tsp unsaturated margarine for greasing the aluminum foil
  • 2 cups Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsaturated margarine, chilled, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsps. water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup peanuts, lightly salted, dry roasted, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate pieces

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line two cookie pans with aluminium foil and grease the foil with a little margarine and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine oats, flour and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add margarine and beat mixture on low to medium speed with a blender until mixture looks crumbly.
  5. Add icing sugar, brown sugar, water and vanilla essence.
  6. Beat again until dough starts to form.
  7. Slowly add chopped peanuts and mix the dough again.
  8. Divide the dough into two.
  9. Place half the dough on one cookie sheet and flatten with lightly floured hands into a rectangle.
  10. Repeat with the other sheet.
  11. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly brown, rotating cookie sheets after 12 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle chocolate pieces over each large hot cookies, let it soften and then spread melted chocolate pieces over each cookie.
  13. Remove cookies from the sheets, break into pieces and serve.

Strawberry Shortcakes

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsaturated margarine
  • ½ cup low- or non-fat milk
  • 8 tsps strawberry jam
  • Pre-heat oven to 220°C.

Method

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Add margarine and milk.
  3. Mix well until dry ingredients are moist.
  4. Roll the dough into a boll and knead on a light-floured surface.
  5. Patt the dough to about half inch thick.
  6. Using an oval-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into oval-shaped shortcakes.
  7. Using a smaller oval-shaped cookie cutter, make an indent in the center.
  8. Place the shortcakes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until brown.
  10. Serve shortcakes with strawberry jam.

Rich Mango Oats Shake

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Ingredients

  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind into a powder
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup low- or non-fat milk, chilled
  • 1 tsp sugar or low-calorie sweetener
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Method

  1. Add oats, mango, milk, sugar or sweetener and ice cubes into a blender, blend well and serve.

Rich Choco-Oats Smoothie 

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 cup low fat unsweetened plain yogurt
  • 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup ice cubes
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method

  1. Add oats, yogurt, banana, cocoa powder, ice cubes and sugar into a blender, blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Orange Juice with Oats

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups of freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice
  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind to a powder
  • ½ cup crushed ice cubes

Method

  1. Add orange juice, oats and ice cubes into a blender, blend well, and serve.

References:

WebMD. Available at www.webmd.com

Recipes provided by Quaker Oats.

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