A bowl of steaming hot oatmeal is a good way to start a cold winter day. But oatmeal for breakfast is just the first of many ways to enjoy oats throughout the day. With four grams of dietary fiber in each cup of oatmeal, it’s a great way to boost fiber intake.

Rolled oats are the type most often seen in markets. There are three kinds: old-fashioned (the grain is simply rolled), quick-cooking (the oats are sliced before they are rolled), and instant (the oats are precooked, dried and then rolled thin for fast preparation.)

In addition to being a good source of soluble fiber, oats contain phytochemicals – cancer-protective substances found only in plants.

For extra body, taste and nutrition, add oats to a vegetable soup. Use oats as a coating for fish or chicken. Dredge fish fillets in a mixture of oat flour, sesame seeds, minced fresh cilantro and rosemary, ground white pepper and turmeric. Fry in a bit of sesame oil until golden and crisp, then drain on paper towels and serve immediately with lime wedges.

As a substitute for fried chicken, try marinated skinless chicken parts rubbed with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, lemon juice and minced mint. In a plastic bag, combine oatmeal, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper and more cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin. Coat chicken pieces with the mixture in the bag, shaking to coat well. Then bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and golden.

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Oats are a good addition to baked goods such as muffins or cookies, and are a favorite topping for fruit crisps.

Try a dessert of baked apples with golden raisins and bulgur. Layer a casserole dish with bulgur that has been cooked in a mixture of milk, sugar and vanilla, add a layer of cored and thinly-sliced golden delicious apples and golden raisins. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the foil and sprinkle with a mixture of oatmeal, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer, or until the topping is golden brown.

Or go back to the breakfast table and have a plate of oatmeal pancakes.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Makes 18 pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats
  • 2-1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Canola oil spray

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats and milk. Stir to blend and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend well. Add eggs and vanilla to oat mixture, stir to blend and add to dry mixture. Stir just until all ingredients are moist. Do not overmix.
  3. Spray large frying pan with oil spray and preheat over medium heat.
  4. Use 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Turn when bubbles appear on the surface and bottom is browned.


Nutritional Information Per Serving:
78 calories,
1 g. total fat,
less than 1 g. saturated fat,
13 g. carbohydrate,
4 g. protein,
1 g. dietary fiber,
157 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Bread/Starch