Berry & cinnamon oat bowls
So good for you
Oats are one of those everyday ingredients that we are all familiar with. Did you know that it’s far more versatile than just being served as breakfast? This basic grain is also nutritious and indeed easy to use in a range of dishes. If you are following a healthy way of eating, don’t fall into the ‘trap’ of being mostly focused on the things you should avoid or eat less of. An important healthy principle, is to know which healthy ingredients to include on a regular basis. Oats is one of them, as it’s high in unrefined fibre, known to reduce cholesterol levels and contain certain vitamins, minerals and even a bit of protein.
More than just breakfast
Yes, we all know oats as a bowl of breakfast. Some love it and will have it every day. Others just don’t enjoy the texture or flavour in this form. Luckily there are many other ways to include the health benefits of oats into your meals, even if it will be in smaller portions than for that first hot meal of the day. Add it to meat balls or fish cakes for extra fibre and a lighter texture. It’s a good alternative to bind a bobotie mixture, instead of using soaked bread. Homemade muesli is a great way to still enjoy it as breakfast. Oats are a delicious baking ingredient and can be added to smoothies, scones, crumpets, muffins, bread, cookies, rusks and even desserts. Make the most of these creative ways to ensure that your family still eats oats on a regular basis, even if you have to hide it from non-oats eaters.
Bowls of flavour
If you do enjoy oats as breakfast, remember that there is a long list of wholesome ingredients to use as seasonings and toppings (see my favourite recipe below.) You don’t need to only have it with milk and sugar. Add seasonal fruit, nuts and seeds, cinnamon or even a spoonful of peanut butter (just choose the option with the less salt and sugar) to your breakfast list. A bowl of oats is a nutritious breakfast and doesn’t have to be the same every day. Here is a fun and colourful way to brighten up your next breakfast. Berries are known for their health benefits as they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and a natural way to sweeten the oats. Enjoy the flavour combination of these fruits with a dash of lemon zest, cinnamon and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds.
Berry & cinnamon oat bowls
Recipe developed for Pharma Dynamics Let’s talk
1 cup (250 ml) uncooked oats
3 cups (750 ml) water (see tips)
½ tsp (2,5 ml) ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
400-450 g berries, like strawberries, blueberries and gooseberries, cut to your preference (see tips)
3 tbsp (45 ml) pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp (45 ml) flaked almonds or more seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) finely grated lemon rind (optional)
- Place oats, water, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. When it begins to simmer, stir continuously to prevent lumps. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until cooked to your preference.
- Spoon oats into bowls and top each portion with fresh berries, seeds and nuts. Add a sprinkle of grated lemon rind and serve immediately.
- Choose any fresh berries of your choice to enjoy with the oats. Raspberries and blackberries are also delicious. Plums also work well or try pears or bananas in winter – cut into cubes and sprinkle over the oats.
- If preferred, the oats can be prepared with 1½ cups (375 ml) each milk and water for a creamier texture. You can add more liquid to the oats, depending on the consistency you prefer.
- Add fresh mint leaves to the oats just before serving for a refreshing flavour.
- Frozen blueberries or raspberries can be added to the oats during the cooking time. The oats will change colour and have a delicious flavour. Use ½ cup (125 ml) frozen berries to cook with the oats. Serve with extra fresh berries.
- If preferred, the flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds can be replaced with any other nuts or seeds. Sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts or even chopped raw almonds work well. A sprinkle of coconut shavings will also be delicious.
- Serve with milk or dollops of plain unsweetened yoghurt, if preferred, to make it even more filling.