So… it’s 2023, you’ve persuaded yourself to start looking after yourself again, its fucking freezing and dark every morning, the thought of a frozen berry protein smoothie screaming at you from inside the blender before work sounds like the worst way to start your day but, what else do you have for breakfast… you need something warm, welcoming, a hug in a bowl to ease you into your day.
A round of applause and a big welcome to… OATS.
Perfect for when you’re - Time poor, money poor, nutrient poor, devoid of *almost* any cooking skills and just generally uninspired by anything labelled as ‘healthy’.
Their health benefits include:
Fibre - 1 cup of oats contains 8 of the 30 grams recommended per day. Keeping your gut happy, healthy and your bathroom schedule on point!
Slow release energy - Helping to manage blood sugar levels and providing energy to you gradually throughout the day.
They are filling (from the carbohydrates and fibre) - Helping to keep you fuller for longer which can aid weight loss and fuel your work outs!
They help to reduce bad cholesterol levels - Keeping your heart and cardiovascular system pumping!
They are full of essential micronutrients including - Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, B Vitamins and Folate. All of which are vital for your body.
The health benefits are pretty bloody clear and with a 1kg bag of oats costing less than £3, you’re set for some savings with your meal prep too!
Now, I know that a bowl of plain oats isn’t the most inspiring thing in the world so go wild with those toppings…healthily of course ;)
Stirring in big dollops of fruity jam, swirling in peanut butter or neatly placing slices of strawberries around the edge in an attempt to become the next published food stylist for BBC Good Food Magazine … might not be your thing but they really are a blank canvas for a flavour explosion even with the whole fridge just thrown on top!
Oats are a game changer not only for health but, also for getting your creative juices flowing in the kitchen and (if you’re whipping in protein powder) those training gains too!
My recipe for hot oats - This makes 1 serving for a small (ish) person.
50-60g Rolled Oats
Milk of choice or water
Put the oats in a saucepan over a low heat and just cover with milk or water.
Stir continuously until thickened and bubbling - Add more milk or water if you prefer a looser consistency or continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced further.
Here is a good point to add protein powder if you're looking for that extra boost, if doing so keep the oats on a low heat, stir in the protein powder thoroughly and add more milk or water until you reach the consistency you like.
You can also cook this same recipe in the microwave, cook for 30 second blasts stirring in between, until hot and creamy… drool.
My recipe for overnight oats - Again, 1 serving.
50-60g Rolled Oats
1 Teaspoon of Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon of Natural or Greek Yoghurt
Milk of choice
Stir everything together in a pot, there should be enough liquid that the oats are still moving but reasonably thick.
Leave the oat mixture in the fridge overnight to set. If the oats are too thick in the morning add a splash more milk to get your desired consistency.
You can also add protein powder to the oat mix before putting in the fridge overnight or add extra in the morning to thicken oats if needed too!
Top either recipe with whatever you fancy!