Dec 17, 2015

Heart Healthy Oats


Yes, deep-fried foods on Chanukah are wonderful but moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. So let’s get our eating habits back in shape with some healthy choices.

Oats were brought to the New World in 1602 by exploring sea captains.  But it wasn’t until the early 1900s that oatmeal became a major ingredient in the American diet when the Quaker Oat Company began selling rolled oats.  These oats are steamed and rolled flat to cook quickly.  This form of oats was easier and quicker to prepare and became a staple for breakfast.   The Quaker Oats Company became famous for their distinctive cardboard canister with its red, white and blue label.  In 1908 they printed the first recipe for “Oat Cakes” on the canister to promote sales.

Daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol. In fact, research shows eating oats is linked to an average 7% drop in LDL cholesterol. The fiber in oatmeal also helps you feel full and eat less later on during the day. Fiber also eases constipation and helps control blood sugars.

Eating oatmeal with no sugar added is, of course, the most beneficial. But if you are like most mothers, you need to sneak it into your kids’ diets. This one is sure to be a hit!


2 cups fat-free milk

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 large ripe banana, sliced

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil; stir in oats. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the banana, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon. Divide among three serving bowls. Serve with additional milk and cinnamon if desired.


The first oatmeal cookie recipes contained just one half cup of oatmeal; almost an afterthought.  During the Second World War, when wheat was in short supply, oatmeal cookie recipes were adapted to take advantage of plentiful oats. Over the years oatmeal cookies have continued to change and adapt to the times with the addition of chocolate chips or chunks, dried fruit and nuts. 


1 cup vegetable shortening (you can substitute canola oil but the texture will be a bit different)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup craisins or chopped walnuts

1 cup cinnamon chips
Cream together shortening, and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then stir in vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. If you are using nuts or raisins, mix into dough, combining well. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

Line 2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Scoop the dough into balls using a medium cookie scoop. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


3/4 cup all –purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 sticks cold margarine, cut into pieces (trans fat-free)

2 cups oats

1 cup raspberry jam


Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flours, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor and briefly combine. Add the cold margarine and mix until a dough forms. Place the dough in a bowl and knead in the oats until well combined. Reserve 3/4 cup of the dough and press the remainder into a parchment lined and greased 13-inch x 9-inch pan. The dough may seem too crumbly, but after a few minutes of working with it, it will evenly press into the pan.

Spread the jam evenly over the top of the crust and sprinkle the reserved dough on top of the jam.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool completely in the pan on a rack, then lift the parchment out of the pan and cut into bars. Store either in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The bars can also be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and frozen in a plastic bag.



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