Summary

All about oatmeal, including its amazing health benefits and all the tasty concoctions you can create with it.

Oatmeal is a comforting breakfast classic that provides stable energy throughout the day. Endless nutritious add-ins and flavor combinations also make it a versatile base for flexing culinary creativity muscles. This post covers oatmeal’s history – it’s an ancient grain! – and breaks down its nutritional benefits. We’ll also tell you where to find oatmeal on Thistle’s menu and how to build your own balanced oatmeal breakfast at home.

Oatmeal History

Oats are a grain dating back 4,000 years ago to the 12th Egyptian dynasty, when they were mostly used to feed cattle and other livestock at the time. Although there are scattered incidents in ancient history of humans consuming oats, oatmeal appears to have its origins in medieval Scotland, when people recognized that the edible seeds of oat grass could be turned into the hearty porridge we know and love today. 

Oatmeal Benefits & Nutrition

Due to the unique blend of fibers found in oats, oatmeal helps you stay fuller for longer.  Oatmeal is particularly rich in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which not only supports satiety and suppresses appetite, but provides a whole host of benefits to the body, one being the reduction in LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is known as “bad” cholesterol as it can form atherosclerotic plaque build up in blood vessels, leading to heart disease. Beta-glucan fiber binds to LDL cholesterol, helping it progress through the intestines and out of the body. 

The soluble fiber found in hearty whole grains like oatmeal also supports stable blood sugar. This makes oatmeal a good fit for people with diabetes and for non-diabetics looking to feel fuller for longer after breakfast. 

Lastly, beta-glucan (and fiber generally) is beneficial for gut health. By attracting water to your intestines, fiber adds bulk to stools and makes elimination easier. As your body digests beta-glucan fiber in particular, byproducts break down and ferment. Sounds bad, but it’s actually good! These fermented byproducts, also known as prebiotics, are healthy bacteria’s food of choice. Your gut will gobble them up and help create a healthy and thriving diversity of gut flora.

Outside of oatmeal’s uber beneficial fiber, this grain is also a good source of energy. Oats are a carbohydrate, thus they provide natural sugars that we use to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fuel that powers each cell in the body. As for micronutrients, oatmeal is a good source of pantothenic acid, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. What a powerful breakfast base!

Oatmeal on Thistle’s Menu

With such a plethora of nutritious benefits, it’s no wonder oats (and other whole grains) are a big part of health-conscious diets. Thistle loves to offer a rotation of oatmeal breakfasts each week, with fan favorites including Dirty Chai Oats with Oat Latte Cream; Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Baked Oatmeal; Apple and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats; and Seed Steel Cut Oats With Maple Pears. Thistle also uses oats in house-made granola toppings, and in snacks like our Peanut Butter Mousse Cup, Almond Moringa Fudge, Oatmeal Cookie Energy Balls, and our Mango Coconut Oat Bar. 

Oatmeal makes an excellent base ingredient for both sweet and savory meals. It pairs well with proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to create a well-rounded bowl. Thistle’s oatmeal breakfasts tend to include both protein and fat in the form of nuts, seeds and nut butters. For more active individuals or those requiring a higher calorie or protein intake, other helpful additions to oatmeal include protein powders (such as vegan options like hemp, rice, pea and soy proteins), egg whites or even mashed chickpeas for a savory take! 

DIY Oatmeal

Looking to build your own balanced bowl of oatmeal? First, select your favorite kind of oatmeal. Options include steel cut, rolled, and instant. Since all varieties of oatmeal are nutritionally similar, it mostly comes down to texture and cooking time preferences. Steel cut oatmeal has a coarse, chewy texture. Instant oatmeal is smooth. Rolled oats fall somewhere in the middle. Steel cut oatmeal takes the longest to cook while instant oats are, well, instant! And once again, rolled oatmeal is in between.

Next, mix and match from the columns below! With protein, healthy fat, spices, and produce, your bowl of oatmeal will be a tasty, satisfying, and healthy start to your morning.

A few of our favorite combinations include the following:

  • Oats + Greek yogurt + peanut butter + cinnamon + banana (+ optional sweetener of choice)
  • Oats + mashed chickpeas + tahini + smoked paprika + spinach
  • Oats + pea protein + chia seeds + cinnamon + pumpkin puree (+ optional sweetener of choice)

By combining ingredients in this way, you’ll be creating oatmeal bowls that include all three macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) with a focus on foods that support stable energy. Fiber-rich carbohydrates (oatmeal, and fruits and vegetables in this case), proteins, and healthy fats all delay gastric emptying, which keeps you full for longer. 

Oatmeal serving size ranges from ½ to ¾ cup dry. In terms of add-in quantities, the amount you should add to an oatmeal bowl is dependent on your specific goals and needs. A good place to start, however, is a total of ~20 grams of protein, 1-2 tablespoons of fat (or around 15-30 grams of fat), and a big handful of fruits or vegetables. Here are a few examples:

Smaller meal: 1/2c (dry) oats + 3/4c Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon peanut butter + a sprinkle of cinnamon + 1 banana

Larger meal: 3/4c (dry) oats + 1/2c mashed chickpeas + 2 tablespoons of tahini + ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika + 2 large handfuls of spinach

Getting excited to eat your next bowl of oatmeal? We are too! This classic breakfast remains a go-to for many cultures throughout the world. Due to the incredible health benefits, Thistle uses oatmeal in breakfasts and snacks each and every week. From fiber to vitamins to minerals, oatmeal is a powerhouse addition to your diet! We encourage you to try a tasty Thistle concoction, or whip up your own bowl for a truly oat-ta-this-world start to your day.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Nov 10, 2022
 in 
Nutrition
 category.
Summary

All about oatmeal, including its amazing health benefits and all the tasty concoctions you can create with it.

Oatmeal is a comforting breakfast classic that provides stable energy throughout the day. Endless nutritious add-ins and flavor combinations also make it a versatile base for flexing culinary creativity muscles. This post covers oatmeal’s history – it’s an ancient grain! – and breaks down its nutritional benefits. We’ll also tell you where to find oatmeal on Thistle’s menu and how to build your own balanced oatmeal breakfast at home.

Oatmeal History

Oats are a grain dating back 4,000 years ago to the 12th Egyptian dynasty, when they were mostly used to feed cattle and other livestock at the time. Although there are scattered incidents in ancient history of humans consuming oats, oatmeal appears to have its origins in medieval Scotland, when people recognized that the edible seeds of oat grass could be turned into the hearty porridge we know and love today. 

Oatmeal Benefits & Nutrition

Due to the unique blend of fibers found in oats, oatmeal helps you stay fuller for longer.  Oatmeal is particularly rich in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which not only supports satiety and suppresses appetite, but provides a whole host of benefits to the body, one being the reduction in LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is known as “bad” cholesterol as it can form atherosclerotic plaque build up in blood vessels, leading to heart disease. Beta-glucan fiber binds to LDL cholesterol, helping it progress through the intestines and out of the body. 

The soluble fiber found in hearty whole grains like oatmeal also supports stable blood sugar. This makes oatmeal a good fit for people with diabetes and for non-diabetics looking to feel fuller for longer after breakfast. 

Lastly, beta-glucan (and fiber generally) is beneficial for gut health. By attracting water to your intestines, fiber adds bulk to stools and makes elimination easier. As your body digests beta-glucan fiber in particular, byproducts break down and ferment. Sounds bad, but it’s actually good! These fermented byproducts, also known as prebiotics, are healthy bacteria’s food of choice. Your gut will gobble them up and help create a healthy and thriving diversity of gut flora.

Outside of oatmeal’s uber beneficial fiber, this grain is also a good source of energy. Oats are a carbohydrate, thus they provide natural sugars that we use to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fuel that powers each cell in the body. As for micronutrients, oatmeal is a good source of pantothenic acid, thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc. What a powerful breakfast base!

Oatmeal on Thistle’s Menu

With such a plethora of nutritious benefits, it’s no wonder oats (and other whole grains) are a big part of health-conscious diets. Thistle loves to offer a rotation of oatmeal breakfasts each week, with fan favorites including Dirty Chai Oats with Oat Latte Cream; Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Baked Oatmeal; Apple and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats; and Seed Steel Cut Oats With Maple Pears. Thistle also uses oats in house-made granola toppings, and in snacks like our Peanut Butter Mousse Cup, Almond Moringa Fudge, Oatmeal Cookie Energy Balls, and our Mango Coconut Oat Bar. 

Oatmeal makes an excellent base ingredient for both sweet and savory meals. It pairs well with proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to create a well-rounded bowl. Thistle’s oatmeal breakfasts tend to include both protein and fat in the form of nuts, seeds and nut butters. For more active individuals or those requiring a higher calorie or protein intake, other helpful additions to oatmeal include protein powders (such as vegan options like hemp, rice, pea and soy proteins), egg whites or even mashed chickpeas for a savory take! 

DIY Oatmeal

Looking to build your own balanced bowl of oatmeal? First, select your favorite kind of oatmeal. Options include steel cut, rolled, and instant. Since all varieties of oatmeal are nutritionally similar, it mostly comes down to texture and cooking time preferences. Steel cut oatmeal has a coarse, chewy texture. Instant oatmeal is smooth. Rolled oats fall somewhere in the middle. Steel cut oatmeal takes the longest to cook while instant oats are, well, instant! And once again, rolled oatmeal is in between.

Next, mix and match from the columns below! With protein, healthy fat, spices, and produce, your bowl of oatmeal will be a tasty, satisfying, and healthy start to your morning.

A few of our favorite combinations include the following:

  • Oats + Greek yogurt + peanut butter + cinnamon + banana (+ optional sweetener of choice)
  • Oats + mashed chickpeas + tahini + smoked paprika + spinach
  • Oats + pea protein + chia seeds + cinnamon + pumpkin puree (+ optional sweetener of choice)

By combining ingredients in this way, you’ll be creating oatmeal bowls that include all three macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) with a focus on foods that support stable energy. Fiber-rich carbohydrates (oatmeal, and fruits and vegetables in this case), proteins, and healthy fats all delay gastric emptying, which keeps you full for longer. 

Oatmeal serving size ranges from ½ to ¾ cup dry. In terms of add-in quantities, the amount you should add to an oatmeal bowl is dependent on your specific goals and needs. A good place to start, however, is a total of ~20 grams of protein, 1-2 tablespoons of fat (or around 15-30 grams of fat), and a big handful of fruits or vegetables. Here are a few examples:

Smaller meal: 1/2c (dry) oats + 3/4c Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon peanut butter + a sprinkle of cinnamon + 1 banana

Larger meal: 3/4c (dry) oats + 1/2c mashed chickpeas + 2 tablespoons of tahini + ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika + 2 large handfuls of spinach

Getting excited to eat your next bowl of oatmeal? We are too! This classic breakfast remains a go-to for many cultures throughout the world. Due to the incredible health benefits, Thistle uses oatmeal in breakfasts and snacks each and every week. From fiber to vitamins to minerals, oatmeal is a powerhouse addition to your diet! We encourage you to try a tasty Thistle concoction, or whip up your own bowl for a truly oat-ta-this-world start to your day.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Nov 10, 2022
 in 
Nutrition
 category.