Blossoming Health with Nanny Bee

By Linda Pecone

I have decided to start a series on single ingredients from nature that are both nourishing and delicious. Oats are my first subject. Oats are such an amazing food. They’re rich in fiber and beta-glucan and help to cleanse and support our digestive system, while naturally supporting healthy cholesterol levels. They are also a great source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, zinc and antioxidants.

Did you know that oats can help with anxiety? They contain vitamin B and magnesium, vital nutrients in reducing stress.

Oats are also one of the best food sources for serotonin production, the antidepressant hormone. When serotonin is low, anxiety increases, so eating foods that aid in the production of this hormone is essential. And what’s more comforting than a warm, bowl of oatmeal?

Oats are the number one consumed food for breakfast because they are a hearty start to our days. They come in many forms, instant, quick, rolled, and groats. We can eat them hot, we can eat them savory, and we can eat them cold.

Here are three delicious ways to revamp your oats that don’t require cooking and only need minimal preparation time in the morning. You can eat them cold straight out of the refrigerator, or warm them up. You choose!

Here is the base recipe:
Mix 1 part oats with 1 part liquid (1/2 cup of whole oats with 1/2 cup of coconut milk)
Mix in any spices (I love cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and clove for a chai flavor), add sweetener or other add ins such as nuts, seeds, dried berries, coconut, etc. Place into an airtight container such as a glass jar with lid, and let the oats soak in the liquid overnight in the fridge.
In the morning when you’re ready to eat them, serve with fresh fruit, nuts or any other toppings you desire.

You can easily take them with you if you make them in a sealable jar.

Experiment with flavor combinations, or try these:

• Coconut and Blueberries: 1/2 cup quick cooking oats, 1/2 cup coconut milk or coconut water, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp. desiccated coconut, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. coconut sugar, 1 tbsp. protein powder (optional), 1 tsp. chia seeds(optional). Top with extra coconut, blueberries and/or chia seeds to serve.

• Cacao Banana: ½ ripe banana, mashed, 3/4 cup whole rolled oats, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 3/4 cup water, 2 tbsp. cacao powder or chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, ¼ cup coconut or almond milk.
Top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs and some banana slices to serve.

• Pecan Peanut Butter: 1/2 cup whole oats (or quick cook),1 tbsp. chia seeds,1 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. of vanilla extract , 3/4 cup almond or coconut milk, 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter (or any other nut butter), 1 tsp. of maple syrup, 1 tbsp. of pecans, crushed, 1/2 ripe banana, mashed. Top with extra pecans, a drizzle of nut butter, banana slices, cacao nibs and/or shredded coconut to serve.

Make a large batch to feed the family or save yourself even more time. Simply create the base recipe of soaked oats with milk, then when it’s time to eat, everyone can add their own flavors! The base recipe should keep for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Linda Pecone, along with her husband, is a long time resident of Lyons Colorado. She has a degree in nutrition, and is a certified herbalist. She enjoys creating healthful recipes for families and pets. She is also the owner of The Lyons Little Yellow Wellness House on Second Avenue.

Editor’s Note: The Lyons Recorder does not endorse the contents of this article as medical advice and encourages readers with serious medical conditions to contact a professional health provider.

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