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Nutrition & Diet

The ABC’s of Oats: Nutrition Facts, Benefits & Indian Style Oats Recipes

Oats were first cultivated in several parts of the world in around 16th century and generations later in the 21st century; Oats have become one of the most consumed food items as breakfast and snack all across the globe. So why is it that everybody including your grandma loves oats so much? Let’s find out.

The sole reason why everyone loves oats is due to its rich nutrient profile. Oats are 66% carbohydrates, including 17% protein, 11% dietary fibre, 7% fat and 4% beta-glucans.

However, there are few things that you need to consider before buying oats. One such particular thing you need to do is carefully look at the labels and see if it’s loaded with sugar or not. Always opt for plain rolled oats or steel-cut oats over flavoured or instant oats. Read on to find out more about nutrition profile, benefits of eating oats plus tasty Indian style oats recipes.

Oats-recipe

Nutrition Facts of Oats

A one-cup serving (150 grams) of oatmeal (rolled oats cooked with milk) contains following –

  • Calories – 110
  • Protein – 4 g
  • Carbohydrates – 19 g
  • Fibre – 3 g
  • Fat – 2.4 g

Oats are well off with minerals and vitamins too. The same 150 grams cooked oatmeal contains following vitamins and minerals –

  • Vitamin A – 134% Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B1 – 10% DV
  • Iron – 20% DV
  • Phosphorous – 17% DV
  • Manganese – 40% DV
  • Selenium – 15% DV
  • Zinc – 15% DV

Major Health Benefits of Eating Oats backed by Scientific Studies

Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Oats is better-off with fibre content. In fact, it contains the highest portion of soluble fibres compared to other grains. More importantly, it contains around 2.5% – 8.5% of a unique soluble fibre called Beta-glucan which has been known for lowering cholesterol levels and increasing excretion bile acids.

According to a study, daily intake of beta-glucans has shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Similar results were drawn from this study which showed the effectiveness of oats in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the blood. It may surprise you but as per this research, just 3 grams of beta-glucans per day can reduce total cholesterol levels by 8% – 23% (Note – a 150 gram/one-cup serving of oatmeal provides 3 grams of fibre.)

Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

Due to the presence of soluble fibres especially beta-glucans, oats gets slowly digested (as a result of the low glycemic index) and thus helps in controlling blood sugar levels. As stated in this study, beta-glucans from oats have proved to be beneficial regarding controlling blood sugar levels for type-2 diabetic patients.

Another research showed that adequate amounts of beta-glucans from oats could keep a check on both glucose and insulin response after carbohydrate-rich meals.

Increases Satiety Levels and Weight Loss

Research carried out in 1995 showed that cooked oatmeal is the best breakfast food compared to other 38 common foods on the list regarding satiety.

Satiety is not only important for improving health but also losing few pounds of extra weight. And oatmeal does the same thing. Not only does it pack plenty of fibre but it is also low in calories, making it a perfect choice for a weight loss diet plan.

In fact, this study compared the effects of oatmeal and ready to eat breakfast cereals regarding satiety and appetite and found that oatmeal, due to its beta-glucan contents, decreased hunger and increased the feeling of fullness among individuals.

Decreases the Spread of Colon Cancer Cells

Avenanthramides are the antioxidants which are present in oatmeal. You might have often heard that antioxidants are crucial to the body for they protect your cells from harmful free radicals which can increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases. As a matter of fact, research published in “Nutrition and Cancer” concluded that avenanthramide present in oats might decrease the spread of cancer cells.

Other Health Benefits of Eating Oats

Apart from previously mentioned benefits of eating oats, here are few others that you should consider –

  • This research conducted by National Institute of Health and Welfare (Finland) showed that feeding oats to babies before they reach an age of 6 months was directly associated with a reduced risk of persistent asthma in their childhood.
  • Several other studies have provided enough evidence to support the fact that oats may boost the immune system of the body by enhancing body’s natural killer cells to fight against bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites.

Delicious Indian Recipes to Cook Oats

Eating the same traditionally cooked oatmeal day in day out sounds pretty much boring and monotonous. Eating healthy does not mean not eating tasty foods. Here are few quick and tasty Indian style oats recipes to replace your traditional oatmeal –

1. Oats Uttapam Recipe

Ingredients required –

  • Rolled Oats or Instant Oats – 120 grams
  • Rice Flour or Sooji – 60 grams
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoon
  • Chopped onions – 20 grams
  • Grated carrots – 20 grams
  • Chopped green chillies – 10 grams
  • Diced tomatoes – 20 grams
  • Coriander leaves – 10 grams
  • Water – as required
  • Salt – as required

How to prepare Oats Uttapam –

  • If you are using rolled oats, you will have to first measure 120 grams and then powder it. Note that instant oats don’t need to be powdered.
  • Begin by adding 120 grams of instant oats or rolled oats to a bowl containing 60 grams of either rice flour or sooji.
  • Add two tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture.
  • Now pour enough water to make it a batter. Stir well for some time and let it rest for few minutes.
  • Take a non-stick pan and pour a 1-2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and allow it to heat.
  • Then pour the prepared batter into the pan and gently spread it. Now you can add all the chopped veggies to the pan and press them lightly.
  • After a couple of minutes, flip the Uttapam and allow it to cook on the other side.
  • Slow down the flame and flip it back again for one final minute of cooking.
  • Serve with green chutney.

2. Oats Pongal Recipe

Ingredients required –

  • Rolled Oats – 240 grams
  • Moong Dal – 60 grams
  • Water – 1-2 Cups
  • Chopped spinach leaves – ½ cup
  • Curry leaves – 1-2 sprig
  • Cashews – 15 pieces
  • Peppercorn – As per taste
  • Crushed Ginger – ½ tablespoon
  • Cumin-1/2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric – ¼ tablespoon
  • Hing – ¼ tablespoon
  • Ghee – 1-2 tablespoon
  • Salt – As per taste

How to prepare Oats Pongal –

  • Take a hot pan and add 240 grams of oats to it. Let it roast for 5 minutes. Then allow it to cool.
  • Now take moong dal in a bowl and wash it thoroughly.
  • Cook moong dal with water and a pinch of salt till it turns soft and soppy.
  • Now add roasted oats to the boiling dal and stir properly. Add water only if it’s necessary.
  • On another side, take a non-stick pan and pour a 1-2 tablespoon of ghee. Add cashews, peppercorn, ginger, cumin and curry leaves and fry till the seasoning becomes odorous.
  • Add this seasoning to the previously prepared Pongal and stir well.
  • Serve hot with your favourite chutney or pickle.

3. Oats Khichdi Recipe

Ingredients required –

  • Rolled oats – 120 grams
  • Moong Dal – 60 grams
  • Grated carrots – 30 grams
  • Chopped onion – 30 grams
  • Cauliflower – 30 grams
  • Bell Pepper/Capsicum (use either) – 20 grams
  • Cumin – ½ tablespoon
  • Crushed ginger – ½ tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tablespoon
  • Ghee – As required
  • Salt – As per taste

How to prepare Oats Khichdi –

  • Take moong dal in a medium size bowl and wash it thoroughly.
  • Wash all the required vegetables and chop them as per above mentioned quantity.
  • At a medium flame, add ghee to the pot. Add cumin and ginger and fry until it turns aromatic.
  • Then add all the vegetables in the pot and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add moong dal to the pot and fry for another 3-4 minute.
  • Finally, add oats to the pot and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour 1-2 bowl water to the sauté and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles on a medium flame.
  • Serve hot with pickles.

4. Oatmeal Yogurt Recipe

Ingredients required –

  • Rolled oats – 150 grams
  • Beaten curd – 250 grams
  • Grated carrots – 20 grams
  • Grated cucumbers – 20 grams
  • Chopped onions – 20 grams
  • Chopped green chillies – 10 grams
  • Mustard – ½ tablespoon
  • Hing – ¼ tablespoon
  • Cumin – ¼ tablespoon
  • Coriander leaves – 2 sprig
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – As per taste

How to prepare Oatmeal Yogurt –

  • Prepare traditional oatmeal (cooked with water) and allow it to cool down completely.
  • Then add beaten curd, chopped veggies and a pinch of salt to it. Mix properly and keep it aside.
  • On a medium flame, add mustard and cumin to the pan. Sauté till fragrant. Add chillies, crushed ginger and curry leaves to the sauté. Turn off the gas.
  • Pour this over the curd oats.
  • You can also top with chopped apples or bananas.
  • Mix well and serve.

5. Oats Chilla Recipe

Ingredients required –

  • Rolled oats – 240 grams
  • Chickpea flour – 40 grams
  • Grated carrots – 100 grams
  • Chopped onion – 30 grams
  • Chopped green chillies – 2
  • Cumin/Jeera – 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tablespoon
  • Chopped coriander leaves – 1-2 leaves
  • Ghee – As per taste
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Water – 1-2 cups

How to prepare Oats Chilla –

  • Use either vegetable oil or ghee to grease the pan and keep it aside.
  • First of all, you will need to powder the oats. You can use mixer jar for that purpose.
  • Add powdered oats to a medium size bowl along with chickpea flour, cumin, a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.
  • Now add grated carrots, chopped onions, coriander leaves and green chillies to the bowl. Oats chilla batter is now ready.
  • Add 1-2 cups of water to it.
  • Now take the greased pan you kept aside and heated it on a medium flame.
  • Pour one ladle full of batter into the pan and spread it gently onto the sides.
  • Pour some extra ghee or oil around edges to avoid uncooked edges.
  • Flip on the other side once the base if firm.
  • Cook for some time and flip back again.
  • You can use the remaining batter to prepare more chillas.
  • Serve hot with pickle or chutney.

6. Oats Omelette Recipe

Ingredients required –

Large eggs – 2

  • Rolled oats – 60 grams
  • Milk – 4-5 tablespoon
  • Chopped onions – 10 grams
  • Grated carrots – 10 grams
  • Chopped capsicum – 10 grams
  • Chopped tomatoes – 10 grams
  • Chopped green chillies – 2-3
  • Pepper powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tablespoon
  • Oil/Butter – As per requirement
  • Salt – As per taste

How to prepare Oats Omelette –

  • Powder the oats in fine to coarse particles using mixer jar.
  • Then add the obtained oats flour to a medium size bowl along with turmeric, a pinch of salt and pepper powder.
  • Add milk to the bowl and make a batter.
  • Once the batter is well mixed, add two whole eggs and beat them gently till the batter turns foamy.
  • Pour some oil into the pan and heat it on a medium flame.
  • Then pour the entire egg batter in the pan.
  • Gently spread all the cut veggies on the batter.
  • Flip the oats omelette on the other side once the base if firmly cooked. Allow it to cook for a while.
  • Flip it back again and cook for a final minute.
  • Serve warm.

Also published on Medium.

Tags : Health benefits of eating oatsIndian recipesIndian style oats recipesOats
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