Where does oatmeal come from? Oatmeal is made from oats that undergo a kind of renewal and ageing process. The oat kernel is germinated before being dried out. This water-based germination process lasts a few days. To stop germination, the oats are given a blast of hot air. Once the oats are fully dry, the roots are removed and what is left over is oatmeal. The oatmeal often contains large pieces that are chopped to the desired size. That's why the structure of different brands of oatmeal varies.
Oatmeal has special properties. That is, the fibres in oatmeal do. These fibres are so powerful that they bind the cholesterol, particularly the 'bad', unhealthy kind, and safely transport it out of the body (via your bowel movement). And the result is a reduction in harmful cholesterol in your body.
A slim figure
Oatmeal is good for your muscles. But, if you want to put on a sprint on oatmeal, you'd better look elsewhere. Oatmeal is 'slow'. This is due to its slow carbohydrates. Being 'slow', however, has nothing but advantages for us humans. The slower the carbohydrates, the slimmer you become.
A full bath…
The Greeks were mad about oatmeal too. They often filled their baths with it. A practice we found very peculiar at the time. But now we know the Greeks were no fools because oatmeal excels at taking the heat out of the skin and soothing skin irritation.
These days, many beauty products are enriched with oatmeal or oat milk to cleanse the skin. Recently, a friend's child was suffering from eczema. I advised her to draw a full bath with several big scoops of oatmeal. It really helped!
Oatmeal has many beneficial properties. Because it can be used in almost any meal, I've listed below some of my favourite ideas for how to use oatmeal.
If I think about my favourite breakfast with oatmeal, it has to be a thick slice of home-made banana loaf spread with butter. Nowadays, all manner of variations on banana loaf can be found on the internet. I prefer to incorporate chocolate chips in my recipe. If the mixture is still a bit warm, it's like having chocolate spread swirled through the loaf. It goes without saying that healthy food should be tasty too!
You can use oatmeal to make very simple croutons. Create a mixture of oatmeal, grated cheese, some herbs that you like, a little soft butter and a few tablespoons of water. Mix thoroughly. Put dollops of the mixture onto a baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes at 170° C. Remove the croutons from the oven and let them cool down. And, voilà, you have your own cheese croutons to throw on top of a salad.
Since I'm not the biggest breadcrumb fan, I sometimes use oatmeal to make a gratin for my home-made mash. I mix two tablespoons of oatmeal with grated cheese and flaked almond. I then sprinkle it over the mash and put it under the grill until a deliciously crispy crust forms.
So, oatmeal's 'coming out' has not been in vain. As far as I'm concerned, it's here to stay in our kitchen cupboard.