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Oats Add Whole Grain Goodness To Foods

Chewy goodness, nutty flavor, nutrient richness, and high fiber content have long made oats a breakfast favorite.

But this natural whole grain is versatile and economical for other cooking purposes that shouldn't be overlooked.

Regular and quick-cooking oats are essentially interchangeable, but regular oats add chewy texture and are ideal for granola, cookies, desserts and pie crust. Quick-cooking oats, cut into smaller flakes during processing, are less noticeable.

Six Nutritional Facts About Oats:

1. Oats are high in carbohydrates for sustained energy.

2. Oats are a good source of dietary fiber, assisting the digestive system and aiding in weight control.

3. Oats contain water soluble fiber, which has been shown to have beneficial effects on controlling blood cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a low-fat, balanced diet, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

4. Oats are a low glycaemic index (GI) food. Emphasizing foods with a low GI in the diet can help people with diabetes control blood sugar levels.

5. Oats provide zinc, which is needed for growth, reproduction and good vision, as well as being essential for wounds to heal properly.

6. Oats also provide magnesium, iron, the antioxidant Vitamin E and the vitamins niacin and thiamine.

A "Tasteful" Tip for Oats:

For a delicious nuttier flavor, use toasted oats in recipes calling for oats. To Toast, spread oats on a baking sheet; bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toasted oats turn a plain bowl of breakfast oatmeal into something special (a favorite in my home). Toss in some raisins or chopped dates and watch the smiles appear in your kitchen.

Recipes with the whole grain goodness of oats:

How-To's & Tips Index