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Oat Flakes: Beneficial Properties And Tasty Recipes

Oats are one of the most cultivated and used cereals in the world, not only in the production of animal feed but also for human consumption. Among the most well-known oat-based products is, first and foremost, oat milk, a vegetable drink much appreciated by those who do not like cow’s milk but also pasta and bread. Oat flakes are obtained from its grains, which are subjected to a steaming process. Oat flakes are a product that is particularly rich in nutrients and beneficial properties. 

Always at the basis of the Anglo-Saxon diet, where they are used to prepare the famous porridge, they are also becoming increasingly popular in the cuisine of this beautiful country. In addition to being very healthy, oat flakes are exceptionally versatile; their neutral flavor makes them the ideal ingredient for many recipes, both sweet and savory, which can be included in a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Do you want to know more about oat flakes and how to use them in cooking? In this article, we tell you all their secrets.

Oat Flakes: What Are They?

Oat flakes are nothing more than the seeds of a plant known as “Avena sativa”. Just like wheat grains, the roots of this plant also have an outer shell that is too hard to digest. In order to consume oats, therefore, the seeds are subjected to a process that eliminates this casing, keeping only the soft heart. Once the outer shell has been removed, what remains of the oat seeds is crushed, steamed, and then pressed to obtain what we know as oat flakes.

Nutritional Values Of Oat Flakes

One of the reasons for the ever-growing popularity of oat flakes is their high nutritional value; this food, in fact, contains numerous essential nutrients. Proteins, in particular, are one of the nutrients present in the most significant quantities. Like most cereals, oat flakes represent a privileged source of complex carbohydrates and fiber (including beta-glucans) with a low glycemic index; the latter characteristic makes them ideal for consumption even by those who suffer from hyperglycemia

Furthermore, the absence of gluten also makes them suitable for celiacs. By also preserving the germ present in the grain, oat flakes keep their polyunsaturated fat content almost intact. They also contain B vitamins and mineral salts such as phosphorus, calcium, and iron. And the calories? 100 g of oat flakes contain approximately 367 kcal.

Oat Flakes: All The Benefits For The Body

Oat flakes, if included in a balanced diet, can offer numerous benefits to the body.

They help lower cholesterol. The high dietary fiber content of oat flakes, in particular beta-glucans, helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol, thus lowering its levels in the blood.

They help stabilize blood sugar. The low content of simple carbohydrates, combined with the high fiber content, makes oat flakes not only a low-glycemic index food but also a valuable ally for slowing down the absorption of sugars and thus avoiding glycemic peaks. They help improve mood. 

The evening present in oat flakes is an alkaloid that promotes the production of serotonin, also known as the good mood hormone. Furthermore, this alkaloid is a stimulator of the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. The union between serotonin, B vitamins, and calcium, therefore, makes oat flakes an ideal product to consume during periods of stress and emotional imbalance to regain tranquility and a good mood. They regulate intestinal functions: The fibers contained in oat flakes also contribute to the well-being of the intestine; not only do they promote the development of good bacteria, but they also help fight constipation and regulate intestinal transit.

Oat Flakes: 6 Tasty Recipes

In addition to being the protagonist of the famous English porridge, which can be enriched with your favorite fruit (as in the case of banana porridge), oat flakes can become the main ingredient of many recipes, thanks to their neutrality and extreme versatility. Here are six exciting ones.

Muesli

Oat flakes are perfect for preparing a delicious muesli to enjoy in the morning for breakfast, together with a glass of milk or yogurt. To schedule a good muesli with oats, you will need:

  1. 300 grams of oat flakes
  2. 30 grams of almonds
  3. 20 grams of shelled and toasted hazelnuts
  4. 50 grams of sultanas
  5. 50 grams of sunflower seeds
  6. Two tablespoons of honey and a glass of water

Pour the honey and water into a pan. While they come to a boil, mix the remaining ingredients for the granola (except the raisins) in a bowl; then, when the syrup has thickened, turn off the heat and add them to the pan. Mix well to combine everything, then transfer the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, spreading it well, and toast it in a preheated oven at 160° for about 30 minutes, stirring it every 5 or 6 minutes. Five minutes before the end of cooking, add the raisins and mix again. Once ready, let the muesli cool, and then transfer it into an airtight jar.

Oatmeal Bars

To prepare a delicious and balanced snack to be enjoyed as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, you can use oats to create bars. To make oatmeal bars, you will need:

  1. 100 grams of oat flakes
  2. 100 grams of pitted, dried plums
  3. 30 grams of toasted, shelled hazelnuts
  4. 20 grams of walnuts
  5. 2 grams of honey
  6. 150 grams of egg white

Chop the oat flakes together with the prunes, walnuts, and hazelnuts, then transfer everything into a bowl and add the honey and egg whites. Mix the mixture well, then spread it on a rectangular baking tray lined with baking paper. Cook the bar dough in the preheated oven at 180° for about 15 minutes, then let it cool and divide it into rectangles to obtain your oatmeal bars. You should be able to get about ten of them.

Smoothie With Bananas, Oat Flakes, And Cocoa

The smoothie with bananas, oat flakes, and cocoa is ideal for starting the day with an injection of energy and deliciousness. To prepare it, you will need:

  1. 100 ml of Zymil Benefit Live Ferment
  2. One small glass of Zymil Vanilla Yogurt
  3. 20 grams of oat flakes
  4. One banana
  5. One teaspoon of bitter cocoa

The procedure is effortless: soak the oat flakes in milk for about 10 minutes, then combine all the ingredients in the blender glass and blend until you obtain a thick and creamy mixture.

Budwig Cream With Oat Flakes

Budwig cream is a nourishing and balanced preparation. It is ideal to prepare breakfast to start the day with new energy. To prepare it, you will need:

  1. 120 g of Zymil Natural White Zero Fat Yogurt
  2. One tablespoon of maple syrup
  3. One tablespoon of flax seeds
  4. 50 g of dried fruit (almonds, hazelnuts)
  5. 50 g of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
  6. One tablespoon of oat flakes
  7. Three tablespoons of almond milk
  8. 100 g of seasonal fruit

Pour the flaxseeds with the oat flakes into the blender and chop them to obtain a sort of flour. Pour it into a bowl and add the yogurt, maple syrup, and almond milk. Mix well to get a creamy mixture, then add dried fruit and seeds and mix again. Complete the Budwig cream with fresh fruit cut into pieces.

Vegetable Soup With Oatmeal

Oat flakes are a very versatile ingredient, not only in sweet recipes; they are, in fact, also excellent for enriching savory recipes, such as this simple but tasty vegetable soup with oat flakes. To prepare it, you will need:

  1. Two carrots
  2. One leek
  3. 700 ml of vegetable broth
  4. 1 cup of oatmeal
  5. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Clean and wash the vegetables, then cut them into coarse pieces and cook them in a high-sided pan together with the vegetable broth. After about 15 minutes, add the oat flakes and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Once the soup is ready, serve it hot, enriching it with a drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil.

Salad With Oat Flakes

During the summer, you can also use oat flakes to enrich your salads. Here is a delicious example of a salad with oat flakes: Mix 50 grams of tomatoes, a few green lettuce leaves, 30 grams of rocket, 50 grams of Greek feta, 30 grams of oat flakes, and five black olives. Then, prepare an emulsion with a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper, and a few drops of lemon, and use it to dress your salad. If you like intense flavors, you can enrich the oat flakes salad with thinly sliced red onion.

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