Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Oats-January Grain of the Month

Oats-January Grain of the Month
 Each month Whole Grains Council features a different grain each month. The Grain of the Month for January is Oats. We buy more oats at that time than in any other month – and January has long been celebrated as National Oatmeal Month. 
Samuel Johnson’s 1755 dictionary defined oats as “A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people.” The Scotsman’s retort to this was, “That’s why England has such good horses, and Scotland has such fine men!”
Oats (Avena sativa) have a sweet flavor that makes them a favorite for breakfast cereals. Unique among the most widely-eaten grains, oats almost never have their bran and germ removed in processing. So if you see oats or oat flour on the label, relax: you’re virtually guaranteed to be getting whole grain.
In the U.S., most oats are steamed and flattened to produce rolled oats, sold as “old-fashioned” or regular oats, quick oats, and instant oats. The more oats are flattened and steamed, the quicker they cook – and the softer they become. If you prefer a chewier, nuttier texture, consider steel-cut oats, also sometimes called Irish or Scottish oats. Steel-cut oats consist of the entire oat kernel (similar in look to a grain of rice), sliced once or twice into smaller pieces to help water penetrate and cook the grain. Cooked for about 20-30 minutes, steel-cut oats create a breakfast porridge that delights many people who didn’t realize they love oatmeal!
Here are some are some tips to make oatmeal more nutritious.
  • Add low-fat or fat free milk to your oatmeal. Calcium in milk helps to maintain bone strength.
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas or dried fruit like cranberries or raisins.
  • In place of sugar, try adding a small amount of maple syrup or honey.
  • Add heart-healthy nuts. Nuts contain protein, healthy omega-3 fats and fiber. Examples of nuts to add include walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews.

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