Thursday, February 07, 2013

Healthy Life: Summer Oats

As a child, my father would make a big pot of porridge most mornings in Winter. We would wake to the nutty smell of milk, honey and rolled oats bubbling away on the stove, climb out of bed, and join our parents for a family breakfast - complete with matching bowls, a tea-cosied pot of black tea, and big glasses of orange juice. Sickeningly sweet and happy family-like, right? Gosh things are good when you're young.

Fast forward 15 years, and enjoying a sit down breakfast is a be honest, any breakfast at all can be a luxury around here *insert gasp of horror here* I know, I know, it's terrible. I can hear my mothers voice scolding me for not starting the day with a proper breakfast, and asking if I'm eating enough, because I look "much skinnier than last time" she saw me (does anyone else's mother make comments like this, or just mine?).

Well, I'm making a change - a lifestyle change - to eat healthier, think healthier and live healthier.

Over the coming months I will be reading and researching, asking questions, experimenting and of course, applying all that I have discovered - and I will share it with you here. There's more to this journey that just tips and recipes for healthy eating, there's an inspiration*, of sorts, to discover and learn more about why we should live better (other than the notion that 'it's good for you'). More on that at a later date.

For now, I want to introduce you to a old friend: rolled oats. Filled with soluble fibre, low GI, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals, the humble oat is one of natures super foods...but you already knew all this.
What I didn't know was that this pantry staple was good for things other than Anzac Biscuits and steaming hot porridge on cold Winter mornings. Enter my new favourite meal - 'Summer Oats' (also fondly known as Bircher Muesli...with a twist).  

Summer Oats

1. place oats and milk in your favourite brekky bowl to soak
2. slice your apple, peel and segment the orange, cut open your pomegranate and 'smack' the glistening, jewel-toned pulp out with a wooden spoon - add to bowl
3. sprinkle with LSA, a dusting of cinnamon and top it all of with a drizzle of honey
4. find a sunny spot and enjoy, whilst catching up on your all favourite blogs, of course!

So, whether it's for brekky or a light (but filling) snack, I have a newfound appreciation, and dare I say, adoration for oats. 


Do you enjoy the humble rolled oat? Any recommendations for interesting and delicious toppings and combos?

* inspiration is a strange word to use but I'll roll with it - 'Healthy Life' will become a series throughout this year, as I strive to learn more about living a healthy life, focussed on healthier eating for better brain function, as well as memory exercises, all focussed on learning and understanding more about Alzheimers Disease and prevention. This is a topic close to my heart - and worth a post all of its own. Stay tuned!

side note: Before you write me off as some lactose-free, almond milk drinking hippy, please hear me out! I have been lactose-intolerant for most of my life (due to a bout of gastroenteritis as in infant), and made the change to lactose-free milks and milk substitutes around about 10 years ago. I have tried my far share of soy, rice, and many many nut 'milks' in my short lifetime, and have finally landed on almond milk as my preferred substitute. I have included almond milk in this recipe and nutritional facts, purely as a suggestion and guide. I recommend almond milk to anyone who is looking for a delicious (and nutritional) alternative to full cream cows milk - give it a go!

Nutrition Facts

Oats: (per 1 cup)
   607 calories
   11g fat (2g saturated)
   0g cholesterol
   3 mg sodium
   103g carbohydrates (11g dietary fibre)
   26g protein
   includes folate, calcium, iron, zinc

Almond Milk: (per 1 cup)
   60 calories
   2.5g fat (0g saturated)
   0mg cholesterol
   150mg sodium
   8g carbohydrates
   1g protein
   inlcudes calcium, vitamin A/C/D/E, iron

Apple: (per 100g)
   52 calories
   1mg sodium
   14g carbohydrates (2g dietary fibre, 10g sugars)
   includes vitamin A/C, calcium, iron

Orange: (per 100g)
   47 calories
   12g carbohydrates (2g dietary fibre, 9g sugars)
   1g protein
   includes vitamin A/C, calcium, iron

Pomegranate: (per 100g)
   83 calories
   1g fat
   3mg sodium
   19g cholesterol, (4g dietary fibre, 14g sugars)
   2g protein
   includes vitamin C, calcium, iron

   532 calories
   42.7g fat
   19mg sodium
   24.2g carbohydrates (23.1g dietary fibre, 4.8g sugars)
   20.6g protein
   includes calcium, zinc, magnesium

Honey: (per 100g)
   304 calories
   4mg sodium
   82g carbohydrates (82g sugars)
   includes vitamin C, calcium, iron

Cinnamon: (per 2g)
   6 calories
   1g carbohydrates (1g dietary fibre)
   includes calcium, iron

The above nutritional facts are a general indicator - refer to individual product information for a exact nutrition information. 


  1. I have friends who have been doing clean living, they eat the same for breakfast except they soak there oats in water not milk..
    I wonder if we have Almond milk in NZ.. Does it taste like almonds?? ha

    1. I usually buy my almond milk from our local organic grocer, however I have seen it in the 'long life milk' aisle at the larger supermarkets. It's also very easy to make yourself - just almond meal and filtered water!

      It does taste 'nutty' but not distinctly like almonds. I like the flavour, especially with coffee and hot chocolates. There's many varieties, with/out sugars and original/lite. I usually opt for the original as I find it's naturally slightly sweeter, so I don't need any sweetener or sugar added. It has a creamy consistency much like cows milk, and froths really well (if you're using a coffee machine or milk frother)

      Anyway, rant over :) I just like it so much!

      Sar xx

  2. Great post, so healthy and wholesome. I particularly love point four about where to enjoy it in a nice sunny spot.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Bella xx

    1. You've got to get your daily vitamin D!

      Sar xx


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