bookmark_borderThe oatmeal breakfast; is oatmeal healthy or not?

Many people think that oatmeal is healthy for breakfast, but is that so? Oatmeal is full of dietary fiber and it is associated with various health effects such as lowering LDL Cholesterol and even fat loss. Yet oatmeal can be at least as bad as bread or a croissant. I figured out how you can take advantage of an oatmeal breakfast without the bad side effects and also share some delicious recipes with you.

But first … oatmeal in a nutshell
To make a healthy choice and to understand why one is healthy and the other is not, it is good to know how oatmeal is produced. Because ‘oatmeal’ comes from the cereal ‘oats’. Oatmeal is the germinated (shell removes) version of oats and if only the shell is removed you speak of ‘long-boiling’ or ‘whole grain’ oatmeal. You don’t usually find this type of oatmeal at the supermarket, but at a health food store.

In addition, you also have the cut oatmeal, which is broken or cut into two parts. The advantage of this is that the cooking time is drastically reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes. In both this version and the ‘whole’ version, most nutrients and dietary fiber have been preserved. They are healthy for both of these oatmeal varieties.

The latest version is the rolled oatmeal. And how could it be otherwise … you can usually find it in the supermarket. The rolled oats are flat and sometimes this oats are sweetened and processed. You often see this when the oatmeal is already mixed with other ingredients. Therefore, with this form you only benefit for a small part from the beneficial efficacy of these grains. In fact, this variant causes peaks in blood sugar levels which you naturally prefer not to have (more about those peaks later).

So … is oatmeal healthy?
The answer to that question depends on the preparation and the type of oatmeal you choose. If you eat ready-made oatmeal that is sweetened with sugar, it is by definition not healthy. Usually, the ready-made oatmeal contains only half of the original fiber contained in oats and a lot of junk is added to make it ‘tasty’. In some ready-made oatmeal there is even more than 10% pure sugar. So when you ask “is ready-made oatmeal healthy?” the answer is “No!”.

But fortunately there is also good news! Pure oatmeal is healthy. By ‘pure’ I mean unprocessed oatmeal or at most ‘cut’. You recognize the whole grain oatmeal by the full, round structure and it is packed with valuable food for your body. The taste of whole-grain oatmeal has a slightly more ‘nutty’ taste than processed oatmeal.

Also advantageous for people with a gluten allergy is that oats naturally do not contain gluten. However, the oats are often treated in an environment where products are processed with gluten, so if it cannot contain any traces of gluten, you should also look for real gluten-free varieties.

The big disadvantage of whole grain oatmeal is that you have to boil it for about 15 minutes to make it soft and edible. On the other hand, you get a lot in return and it also tastes better. I will list the benefits of oatmeal for you.

The benefits of oatmeal
Reduces LDL Cholesterol by 7%
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
It helps your body to regulate your sugar levels
Whole grain oatmeal contains many dietary fiber
You will be full longer (that’s why an oatmeal breakfast is so popular)
It is full of vitamins and minerals
Oatmeal also contains many antioxidants
It is also a source of protein
It naturally contains no gluten
The difference between wholegrain oatmeal and ready-made oatmeal is particularly reflected in the ‘GI index’. Without becoming too technical … The GI index indicates what nutrition does to your blood sugar. The higher the GI index is, the less healthy it is for our bodies. We speak of a high glycemic index above 70 and a low below 55. Ready-made oatmeal has a GI index of 83, while whole-grain oatmeal has a GI index of 55. See how much difference it makes ?

Oatmeal for breakfast
As you can read above, an oatmeal breakfast can be a fantastic addition to your diet. In particular, the dietary fiber and the proteins ensure that you are full for longer than when, for example, you eat bread or a cracker.

An oatmeal breakfast is usually combined with milk or yogurt, but can also be combined with water or, for example, almond milk.

A whole-grain oatmeal breakfast is therefore healthy and even recommended if you want to lose weight. Losing weight with oatmeal is something you often encounter on the internet. You can of course come up with (and find) very exciting explanations, but basically it simply means that you have less appetite and therefore eat less. The amount of dietary fiber also plays an important role.

Prepare oatmeal:
Oatmeal is fairly easy to prepare. May I assume that you are convinced by my article and choose the whole-grain oatmeal? 🙂Beautiful! A basic oatmeal is easy to prepare. You can boil it with water, milk or something like almond milk.

Bring the liquid to the boil and add the oatmeal. Let it boil for 15 minutes and remove it from the heat. Let it cool down and you’re done. Now we can add some things for the taste, as I show below with the recipes.

What is also recommended is to bring water to the boil and let the oatmeal boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave the oatmeal covered for a night. The next morning you will have wonderfully soft oatmeal!

Oatmeal recipe 1:
Breakfast for 1 or 2 people:

100ml water
100ml almond milk (or whole milk)
50 grams whole wheat oatmeal
1 large banana (crushed)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Oatmeal recipe 2:
100ml water
100ml almond milk (or whole milk)
50 grams whole wheat oatmeal
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Oatmeal topping:

Hand of blueberries
A few raspberries

Oatmeal recipe 3
Oatmeal cakeOatmeal cake
For a variation on the oatmeal breakfast, I also have a recipe for an oatmeal cake . Easy to take to work as a lunch or snack.

There are dozens of recipes on the internet to make a delicious oatmeal breakfast. And also nice books all about oatmeal. That is also one of the benefits. You can vary endlessly with ingredients and put something new on the table every morning.

The conclusion
If you choose the right type of oatmeal, oatmeal can be healthy for you and boost your health. I can therefore recommend an oatmeal breakfast to anyone who wants to have a healthy breakfast or to lose weight. Because some people jump directly to the conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the ‘supermarket’ oatmeal is not always healthy! Go to a health food store for ‘whole’ or ‘half’ oatmeal.

Do you also want to eat a little healthier?
Would you also like to eat a little healthier, preferably without fast sugars / carbohydrates but you don’t know what? Sign up now for the VIP Club of Gezondblog. You can read more about it here.

bookmark_borderBalsamic Chicken And Veggies Meal Prep

Ingredients

for 4 servings

2 sweet potatoes
2 bunches asparagus, ends trimmed
1 ¼ lb  chicken breast tender (565 g)
olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
SAUCE

⅓ cup  balsamic vinegar (80 mL)
2 tablespoons  white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons  olive oil
1 tablespoon  lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon  black pepper
½ teaspoon  salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
Cut sweet potatoes into medium julienne.
Spread sweet potatoes evenly onto parchment paper-lined baking tray.
Season with olive oil, pepper, and salt.
Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside.
Trim asparagus and cut into pieces diagonally.
Spread evenly on the baking tray next to the sweet potatoes. Season with olive oil, pepper, and salt.
Season chicken with pepper and salt. Place on top of the veggies.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚F (75˚C).
While chicken is baking, reduce balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt in a small saucepan for 5-7 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens.
Distribute veggies and chicken into four containers.
Pour the sauce reduction onto the chicken.
Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.
Enjoy!

bookmark_borderFresh makes me a top chef!

After my sister-in-law and best friend had both enthusiastically recommended me the Hello Fresh box, I could no longer ignore it. So hop on to the Hello Fresh site to order one. I was somewhat suspicious about it (as with almost all new things). Would it really be that fresh, tasty and “easy” ?! Well, I can tell you: I’m up!

No worries about your dinner
With a man at home who wants to eat low-carb / free food, a toddler son of 2.5 who decides on the spot whether he wants to eat and myself as an anti-stampot woman, it is really a drama in the supermarket every week. How in heaven’s name do I put together a menu for the three of us in which I also mainly cook healthily? Hello Fresh offers me a solution: no longer putting together a menu, but simply receiving it in a beautiful booklet with accompanying ingredients.

Freshly delivered at home
In the supermarket it is quite a hassle to get everything together for such a great meal. And when my son interrupts my search for the tenth time, it sometimes happens that I just forget something. That does not happen anymore, because everything (except for some oil, salt, etc.) is supplied ready-made in the box. The quantity for the number of people is also taken into account, so I don’t throw away half afterwards.

I feel like a top chef
The first week was just as exciting, because I am not such a great cook and now I suddenly had to “really” start cooking. There was just ginger in my package, Hake fillet and pumpkin. But with the handy recipe book where everything is mentioned in detail, I even managed to create a great meal! Cutting the vegetables myself is not that bad, I now also enjoy cooking much more. All of a sudden I put a delicious dish on the table every evening, made of all pure ingredients and I feel like a true chef!

Suitable for any age & diet
The meals that I have made so far were very tasty and also suitable for our young son. Hubby eats carbohydrate-free twice a day, so he can eat some carbohydrates in the evening. The advantage of Hello Fresh is that the proportions are correct and that you do not eat more rice or pasta than you need. In addition, we also eat much more varied than before, we all get the nutrients that we need. A win-win situation for all of us.

Not expensive and flexible
We now eat a Hello Fresh dish 3 days a week, but we eat 5 next week during the holidays. You can adjust the frequency and sometimes skip a week. If I look at what I had previously lost in the Jumbo and now on my Hello Fresh box, I see no financial reason for not doing it, it is rather cheaper and more expensive.

Become a top chef too!
Are you now also a busy woman, not a master chef, or weekly plagued by all choice stress? Then I would definitely try the test box without obligation. You will be amazed by your own cooking skills: D!