By Jaime Rice
Oats are one of my must haves in my pantry, this super food is so versatile that I literally use them everyday. I am not talking about the instant oatmeal packets although, they are convenient the packets are usually packed with unnecessary sugar and calories. With a little extra preparation you can make a much better oatmeal and add honey, fruit, nuts, etc to make it your own.
I buy the largest tub, which isn’t large enough, of rolled oats. I usually get the “Quick Oats” only because the actual oat is smaller and easier to mix without having to use my blender. A few weeks ago I posted 10 easy breakfast meals and numbers 3 and 4 contained oats. I also introduced my favorite Oat Meal pancake. I absolutely love my Oat Meal Pancakes and never get tired of them because I make different versions depending on what I have in my pantry and fridge.
The basic Oat Meal Pancake:
1/2 cup Rolled Oats (measured dry) and 3 eggs whites. That it!
Now you build upon that to make your custom Oat Meal Pancake. Lately I have added 1/2 a ripe banana and 1 Tbsp of powdered peanut butter. Im using powdered peanut butter because it was in my swag bag for JR USA and its very easy to mix.
Mix all ingredients together until you have pancake consistency and cook like a pancake. I top it with Walden Farms Pancake syrup but any light or sugar free syrup will work.
The combinations are literally endless! Cinnamon and honey are a simple way to sweeten an Oat Meal Pancake as well as adding blueberries or even chocolate chips! On days I know I will be busy and may not eat as much as I would like, I add protein powder and an extra egg for the added calories to keep me full.
If you own a waffle maker you can even make Oat Waffles. I alternate between the two for different textures.
Enough about breakfast, Oats are great for other meals as well. Tonight I am making a Meatloaf with 95% Lean ground Beef with Oats.
Zucchini Oat Meatloaf:
1/2 cup to a Cup of Oats; 1-2 Egg whites (depending on size); 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini; Pepper and Garlic; Worcestershire; and Ketchup to taste. Cook at 375 for about 20 minutes. I served with grilled corn on the cob and splurged with mashed potatoes. So good!
Besides breakfast and meatloaf, oats can be substituted for flour in almost any meal all that is required is a blender. Simply blend the oats into a flour consistency and substitute for flour when making cookies, cupcakes, and homemade protein bars (recipe coming soon).
Once you start thinking outside the oatmeal box you can see how many great ways there are to use this super food and why its a must have in every Athlete’s Kitchen.