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Oats belong to the cereal family which has devoted fans, but also… several sworn enemies. The truth is that it is usually part of the daily diet of athletes, as well as of all those who follow a healthy diet. Perhaps, if the rest of us knew a little more about this particular cereal, the benefits of consuming it and possible ways of using it in cooking and baking, we would probably be including it more often in our diet.

Oats spread to the West around 1600 BC by the Scots and for several centuries were used exclusively as animal feed. Then, around the end of the 19th century, oats began gaining recognition as a food with high nutritional value. Eating oats helps protect the heart and lower cholesterol, while the selenium and vitamin E contents, strengthen the immune system. At the same time, oats are considered as an excellent source of protein and even better quality than other cereals or wheat. The fact that oats have a prominent place in the diet of those who exercise, is clearly no accident, as it is considered as a very good source of energy, while at the same time it helps keep weight off, since it makes people feel full.

A bowl of oats in the morning can give you the necessary energy to kick your day off. One of the many options you have is to soak the oats from the night before. Then, empty the water you used for soaking and put the oats in a saucepan with half a cup of fresh water. While the mixture is boiling, add cinnamon, cardamom and a little ginger. You may need to add a little more water while the mixture is thickening, so that it doesn’t stick. Then take the mixture off the heat and add almonds, walnuts, raisins and honey to enhance the flavour.

Alternatively, you can combine oats with milk and blueberries, while those who follow a vegan diet can use coconut or almond milk instead. In addition to breakfast, oats can be used accordingly, both in cooking and baking.

For instance, you can try baking oatmeal cookies and we promise you will not regret it. You will need 450gr oats, 220gr almonds or hazelnuts, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 150gr mashed bananas or apples, 120gr lukewarm honey, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 37gr melted dairy butter, 1 tbsp olive oil and 150gr fresh orange juice.

Step-by-step instructions: Grind the oats and then the almonds or hazelnuts, depending on what you choose. Then mix the fruit (bananas or apples) with 50 grams of orange juice until the mixture is mashed. Mix the oats with the baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla. Then, put the mashed fruit, sugar, honey and olive oil in the mixer bowl and mix well. Then add the remaining orange juice and baking soda. Finally, pour in the oat mixture (in two or three doses) and knead well.  Having already preheated the oven, place the cookies on a sheet of non-stick paper and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes at 170 degrees.

To make lovely healthy oatmeal recipes, all you have to do is visit Alphamega Hypermarkets and choose from a wide variety of products.

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