26 October 2009

Don't WHIMP out, go for the "slow burn"

There's a chill in the air, and winter is near, so what is the best way to start the day warming up the body without adding some EXTRA layers of winter's flab ?

OATMEAL!  Steel Cut Oatmeal!  But don't whimp out with the "quick oats,"  go for the Steel Cut Oats.  Why?  Because the quick oats have been PROCESSED.   Stripped of some of their true "wholeness" though still healthy, not as exceptional as the real deal. 

What is this "slow burn" that you often hear about?  Quite simply, it's the rate at which the carbs that you are eating gets burned up.  Slow burn is slow digestion, and this is a nice gradual process that takes place before the sugar is released into the bloodstream.  For breakfast, you want the "slow burn" carbs to keep you FULL longer, and you are less likely to overeat (and thus snack on things that are detrimental to your nutrition program). Because the Quick or Instant Oats have been processed, they burn up a lot faster.   Instant Oats, by the way, are actually "precooked" oats and that is why they cook so quickly and come out so mushy with NO texture -- you basically are just reheating them.  In the spirit of freshness, that is not appealing! 

Don't be afraid of the Steel Cut Oats!! The Steel Cut Oats are the true WHOLE grain oats, that have been cut with a steel blade... that's it!   They have not been tampered with and so you get to consume the true goodness that it has to offer !  Much of the time people are turned off from the "cooking process" of the Steel Cut Oats.   They take 30-40 minutes to cook as opposed to the Quick Oats that take about 10 minutes and the instant that takes only 2 minutes or so.

You can get around this by (a) finding a good process to prepare it, (b) making a few servings at a time, so that you can have it ready to reheat when you want it, (c) perfect your own recipe, (d) put it on to cook when you are doing something else.

You can soak the oats over night in hot boiling water, and then put on the cook for 15 minutes the next day.  You can toast them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, and then cook them about another 10-15 minutes with milk and what ever else you like to add into your oats.   You can also put the oats in the food processor if you would prefer a "finer" textured cereal.   When making Oat Pancakes or cookies, be sure to use the "Quick" Oats... not the Instant. 

Steel Cut Oats, cook in 30-40 minutes, that is it!  The key is to do the correct measurement of liquid (water or milk), low flame, stirring often, and adding a little liquid as necessary.   They should come out nice and soft, but still hearty.  Do not overcook your Oats.  You can, however, cook them in a slow cooker for 7 hours, but I truly can not understand the necessity of this.  If you make them the night before, keep it a bit dense, and then when you go to reheat in the a.m., you can add some extra milk to make it rich and creamy.  30 minutes for a bowl of GRAND GOODNESS to warm your body, give big nutrition, and ward off hunger pangs, seems simple enough! 

Don't forget to add your spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, etc.), choice of sweetner, fruits, nuts, protein.. whatever you like for added taste and nutrition! 


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