It was tough when I first learned how to eat again.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘What is this grown woman on about? Learning how to eat – again?’ But it’s true. We live in a world of many fad diets and complicated statistics allowing us to look at our food with such microscopic vision that you inevitably start to forget what the hell you’re staring at. My fruit smoothie and bowl of cereal was no longer breakfast. In fact, now I knew it in such mathematical detail, I realised that it was actually an abundance of sugary cardboard whipped up into a sweet pile of mush. And the worst part of it was, no matter what I ate, I was always hungry, and thus, rather…curvy, shall we say.
Refusing to acknowledge the headlines in trashy newspapers – ‘I LOST A STONE EATING CURRY EVERY DAY’ – I decided to learn a bit more how food operated. But I didn’t want such research to become boring. I wanted to be able to incorporate it into my lifestyle and have fun with it, and know that what I was doing would be good for me without having to study calculus every single meal time. Thankfully, I managed to figure that out pretty easily, no calculator required.
Breakfast. I bet when you were growing up your mum or dad told you how important it was, right? That it’ll set you up for the day, it’s good for you, yadayada. Now. Tell me. How many of you as adults skip it? Because you’re too busy, or you simply don’t have time, or maybe, you’re just not hungry in the mornings. Okay, now also tell me this, how many of you are happy with your weight? Are you a little bit chubby, or maybe even a tad underweight? Maybe you’re neither of those things, but man, are you tired! You’re that one in the office with the grumbly gut at 10am that everyone laughs at because your tum sounds like Alan Rickman. If you answered yes to any of those questions, then read on…
THE MYTH, THE LEGEND, THE SUPER OAT!
Pay homage to these golden pearls, for they will save you from eating (or not eating, in some folk’s cases) a tastleless, boring and dissatisfying breakfast ever again! (You can also make the most sensational flapjacks and biscuits with them too, but that’s only if you’re feeling particularly indulgent…)
ANYWAY, back to the wonderous gluten-free wonder carb. This nutritionally dense breakfast hero will not only save you from hunger and keep your waistline nice and trim, but it will also play a part in keeping you looking younger for longer. What’s not to like? (If you wanna geek-out over oats, then find out a little more about them by clicking here)
Before I get too sciencey and tell you about how they work, what makes them special and their percentages of antioxidants etc. I’ll try my best to keep it simple, which, after all, is what oats are – simple goodness.
Aside from being tasty AF, they’re a great blend of protein and complex carbohydrate, and because they’re such low GI, they keep your blood sugars nice and steady. Oh, and they’re packed with fibre too. This balance works to keep you fuller for longer and your energy levels high, and thus, stops you from snacking on junk throughout the rest of the day. And because they’re gluten-free, they make a great alternative to wheat-based cereals. Plus, they don’t bloat you out like wheat does, so it’s a win-win!
Oh, and who could forget how diverse these little gems are? You can literally use them in anything! From bread to smoothies, soups to cakes, the options are endless. But, for the sake of this article, I’ll just display some of my favourite breakfast recipes. And because I’m reeeeally nice and know you’ll be dribbling after looking at the images, I’ll even write down the basic recipe instructions so you’ll know how to create a tasty, protein-rich batch for yourself (without the use of sugar!)
Cashew and Coconut Crunch Granola
Coco-loco Berry Porridge
Vegan Spiced Granola
Cocobanana Beach Paradise
Sweet Vanilla Protein Banana Porridge
How To Bake a Super Granola Batch
Here it is! The bit you’ve all been salivating for! Extra ingredients listed for HIGH-PROTEIN and VEGAN diets!
- Grab yourself a roasting tray and line it with baking paper.
- Then, take out a mixing bowl
- A wooden spoon
- 500g of rolled oats
- A sweetener of choice (e.g. honey, agave syrup, maple syrup)
- 80g of nut butter (my favourites are almond or cashew) or you can use rapeseed oil (3 tablespoons) if you don’t have any nut butter to hand and get your protein from 50g of hemp, rice, pea or soya powders.
– Turn on the oven and heat it to 195° (Or, 175° if fan assisted / Gas Mark 5.)
– Take all of your ingredients and put them into the mixing bowl, oats first, then the powder (if using), stir until nicely blended, add the nut butter/rapeseed oil and then finally add your sweetener (amount varies depending on taste and texture preference, but I’d suggest around 100g for the honey, or around 3 tablespoons for the agave/maple syrups) and stir until all the oats are evenly coated and clustering together.
– Once that is done, spoon out the mixture onto the baking paper in the tray and smooth it out so it’s laying nice and flat.
– Making sure the oven is fully heated and ready to go, place the tray of granola into the centre of the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
∗∗∗ Before you choose to indulge, make sure you leave it to cool for a bit after it’s cooked! ∗∗∗
YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD, WONDER-OAT
And that, surprisingly, is all there is to it! Obviously, if you wish to brave a few different ingredients once you’re more comfortable with making the granolas and porridge then I’d strongly advise you to! I love adding cinnamon and nutmeg for a warming spice (plus, cinnamon is an epic metabolism booster and pumped with fibre, which keeps you burning extra calories and remain fuller for longer), and then add dried apple and sultanas for sweetness. Or, you can mix it with fresh fruit – berries are always lovely to have scattered on the top with a high-protein yoghurt. You could even make it super-nutty, with a scrumptious blend of hazelnuts, almonds, pecans and walnuts, dust it with vanilla pumpkin seeds and dates and you’ll be in heaven! I could go on.
So, there you have it, some amazing ideas for a glorious breakfast that will not only keep you bouncing with energy, but also be amazing for your heart, weight and skin too! Just don’t forget that if you tend to go for the sweeter options that you may want to pair it with a plainer cereal to maintain those sugar levels. Also, sip a green tea beforehand to keep that metabolism on its toes even more! And lastly, remember to keep an active lifestyle and eat a balanced diet in order to gain the most benefit (and least weight!)
Talking of tea…I found the perfect (not so green) one to go with my indulgent oaty snacks, in the form of T2’s Scot’s Breakfast. A sweet caramel blend of black tea rolled with oats, spicy cinnamon and hearty chocolate. Seriously, it’s incredible. I need a cup!
Happy eating (and drinking), everyone!