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Oatmeal

Nutritional Information:

Oatmeal contains two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can reduce LCL cholesterol (the bad kind) without affecting HDL cholesterol (the good kind). Ingesting soluble fiber also prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar, a danger for diabetics. Insoluble fiber, which can’t be digested, helps prevent constipation. Oatmeal contains a small amount of protein, as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, calcium, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, and manganese.  Furthermore, it is a low in saturate fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Additionally, it helps fight cancer because it attacks certain types of bile acid and reduces their toxicity. Oatmeal also contains phytochemicals, which may help to prevent certain types of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

The nutritious factor of oats have been extensively analyzed over the past few years.  Major active constituents of oats include vitamins B-complex, D and E; minerals silicon, potassium and zinc (in fact, oats are the richest plant source of zinc); polysaccharides like beta glucan; proteins such as peptides and amino acids; unsaturated lipids, and other nutrients such as flavonoids, polyphenols, vanilloglycosides, and trigonelline. Extensive investigation of oats resulted in the isolation of 24 different phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity.  Antioxidants are capable of quenching free-radical reactions, which in turn leads to enhanced longevity.

From an article entitled Feeling Your Oats in “The Healthy Cell News,” Winter/Spring 1997

Including oats in our diet regularly has various beneficial effects:

 ·         Contains more linoleic acid, B vitamins, vitamin E, soluble fiber and protein than other grains

·         Lowers blood cholesterol levels

·         Prolongs the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream (for sustained energy rather than dramatic shifts in blood sugar level, especially good for diabetics)

·         Reduces constipation and improves bowel health

·         Good For heart health

·         Enhances immune system functioning

·         Calms nerves and curbs withdrawal symptoms of smokers trying to quit

 From a publication called The Healing Doctor by the Lombardi Publishing Corp and “Alternatives” March, 1999

Preparation
For more information concerning preparation & grains see Traditional Grain Preperation for Better Health or see School of Life's writeup on oats by clicking here
 
For more information on soaking oats & digestion go to Healing Naturally By Bee.com or School of Life link above.


Simple from Scratch:

Muesli.

1 Cup rolled oats

2 cups of unsweetened almond milk or any kind of milk or yogurt/water mix
(raw cows milk can be left out overnight)

4 dates pitted and chopped

½ cup sunflower seeds

 ·   Soak all ingredients over night, covered, and it will be done by the morning (without cooking!)

Add raisins, walnuts, flax, shredded coconut or anything you like but keep in mind this is naturally sweet.

Breakfast Porridge - From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Mix 1 cup rolled, cracked (or steel cut) oats with 1 cup warm filtered water plus 2 Tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk.  (Those with severe milk allergies can use lemon juice or vinegar.)  Cover and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours.  When ready to cook, bring an additional 1 cup of water to a boil with ½ teaspoon sea salt.  Add soaked oats, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes.

Remove oats from heat, let stand for a few minutes. Serve with plenty of butter or cream and a natural sweetener or other toppings (see below). 

Easy Oatmeal

1 cup oatmeal (also called rolled or flaked oats) or steel cut oats; 2-3 cups water; ¼ tsp salt

You can use rolled oats as is, straight from the freezer, or pre-soak with half the water in the recipe and a fermenting agent as recommended above.  (Soak overnight with water, 2 Tbsp yogurt, whey or other fermenting agent, cover and put in a warm place.)  In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring to a boil water (only the additional water if they’ve been pre-soaked) and salt.  Add oatmeal, dried fruit and spices if using and bring to a simmer stirring frequently to prevent thickening and burning on the bottom.  Then turn to very low heat and cook, stirring occasionally (this is important), until done.  Pre-soaked oats will take maybe 5 minutes, unsoaked will take 10 minutes or more.  Serve with 1 or 2 toppings.  Vary it for a different feast every day!

SUGGESTED ADDITIONS OR TOPPINGS:

1)     Dried fruit: biodynamic raisins, dried apricots, peaches, nectarines or other organic or biodynamic dried fruit.

2)     Spices, any or all of: ½ tsp cinnamon or a cinnamon stick, ¼ tsp ground or freshly grated ginger, dash of nutmeg, 2-3 cardamom pods broken open to add whole seeds

3)     Toppings: Butter, yogurt, or milk.  Natural sweetener such as maple syrup, raw honey, molasses, grated coconut, sucanat or other dehydrated cane juice.  Organic walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc or sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds roasted, ground, chopped, or soaked and dried or soaked and sprouted as Sally Fallon recommends in Nourishing Traditions. 

4)     Flax seed for enhanced nutrition.  Grind 1 Tablespoon flax seeds in a mini-grinder (a coffee or spice grinder).  Stir in after cooking.

OTHER RECIPES:
Basic Hot Cereal Recipe:

3 ½ cups water
¼ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp oil or butter
1 ½ cups oatmeal

Start the water heating in a separate pot, while the oatmeal is being sautéed in the cereal pot.  Stir the roasted oatmeal for even browning, until a pleasing grain aroma greets your nose.  Take the pot off the fire, let it sit a minute or two, and then pour into the boiling or nearly boiling water.  Use hotpads!  Stir briskly, then return to low flame and continue cooking for 10-30 minutes.  If the oatmeal is burning, continue the cooking in a double boiler.  Add a little more hot water if it gets too thick.

(Tassajara Cooking: Norval Delwyn Carlson)
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