I am one of those picky eaters, where texture can make or break my meal. Oats are one ingredient that I always have stocked in my pantry, but I cannot eat them in the traditional fashion.
Oats are one plant-based protein source that pack alot of nutrient punch, plus they have demulcent properties, which soothes the digestive tract and soothes the skin topically. They are also a galactogogue, stimulating milk supply in nursing mothers. Oats are wonderfully filling, and have a naturally sweet taste. I honestly cannot live without them, so I have to stay creative in the kitchen, finding other ways to incorporate oats in to my own meal plans. (yes, even Nutritionists make their own meal plans)
One of my favorite ways to use oats is topically in skin care. You probably have had an oatmeal bath as a kid, to soothe chicken pox or hives. Being demulcent and soothing, simply adding 1 cup of oats to your bath with instantly relieve itchiness, dryness and redness. To prevent the oats from clogging your drain, steep the oats in boiling water for 10 minutes, like you are making tea. Then, strain the oats through a fine strainer and add the oat water to your warm bath.
Oat milk is my new dairy-free choice for smoothies and cereal. I have seen the effects of cow’s milk on my daughter’s skin, so we now avoid it completely. I add dates to naturally sweeten the milk, which is delicious in coffee, and I got creative by adding raw cacao to make a healthy chocolate milk.
Bliss Balls, or Energy Bites, are a healthy snack that I suggest on all the Wellness Plans I create for clients. They are loaded with healthy fats and plant-based protein to keep your brain nourished, blood sugar balanced, and energy up. I have several recipes that I swap between, some with matcha, some nut-free, some with espresso! But, they all have at least 1 cup of oats in them. The best part about these snacks is that the oats do not have to be cooked, so meal prep days go all that much more smoothly.
Having two children and packing lunches for several years, I wanted to come up with a homemade granola bar that is kid-approved, healthy, and reduces all that individual packaging. The Next Bite Granola Squares are the fave in our house. They make the ultimate mid-day snack, providing those healthy fats and protein again to keep energy up without sugar.
My version of oatmeal, without the texture, is an Oat Smoothie. I do soak the oats for a bit to soften them, and this also makes them easier to digest. I soak 1/3 C oats, 1/3 C cashews, and 2 pitted dates in 1 1/2 C water for 15 minutes. I add the whole mix to a blender, plus 1/2 banana and a scoop of pumpkin protein powder, and blend until smooth. I like my smoothies thick, but you could add more water to thin, if desired.
So, there are my oatmeal alternatives. I still get in the nutrients from this pantry essential, but found creative ways to avoid the oatmeal texture. Do you have any other oat recipes to share? Follow us and tag us on social media. We’d love to see them!