Smoothies are very satisfying because they’re made with fruits and vegetables with a touch of milk or fruit juice to serve as the substrate, but the addons really don’t have to stop there.
To bring out life from an already brilliant smoothie, to boost it’s nutritional value and also to enjoy a wide variety of creative flavors from it, you have to start giving other ingredients a try.
One such ingredient is the common oatmeal grain!
Available in rolled and instant varieties, oatmeals are a perfect addition to any fruit smoothie because they contain heavily beneficial nutrients and are able to influence the final flavor of a smoothie in a very unique way.
Oatmeals contain fiber: beta glucan, which promotes the feeling of satiation as well as reduce the total cholesterol levels in the body, and also antioxidants that may help lower blood pressure.
They’re also rich in many essential nutrients and vitamins which explains why they’re regarded as one of the healthiest grains on our planet!
Now imagine if you’re not incorporating oatmeal in your everyday recipes?
Benefits Of Adding Oats To A Smoothie
Oats pack a punch in nutrition. They’re rich in the following essential compounds, mineral and vitamins:
- Pantothenic acid
- Soluble fiber
There are strong scientific evidence to suggest the soluble fiber in oats contribute to lower cholestrol levels in the body and also blood levels.
There are also studies that claim oats contribute to the feeling of satiety as well as promote a healthy digestive tract by allowing healthy gut bacteria to thrive.
Oats may also help lower blood sugar levels which is good news for people with diabetes.
In short, the many beneficial compounds and minerals present in oats provide a host of health benefits worthy of commanding a new blogpost on their own.
So we’re not going to discuss the health benefits of oats in a comprehensive manner here. We’ll leave that for another day.
The important thing to take home is that oats are really nutritious food items and one should never shy away from using them as ingredients in a smoothie.
When it comes to the texture and flavors however, the story can only get more interesting.
Oats can quickly take smoothies from thin to bulky, light to fulling, boring to stimulating and many more.
What Kind Of Oats Is Best To Use In A Smoothie
When it comes to the best and safest type of oats to use in smoothies, it’s no other than rolled and instant oats a.k.a those that have undergone the most in terms of processing.
While a strong case exists to point out their much skinny nutrient profile compared to other types of oats, they still remain the safest because they have been steamed and heated to rid them of harmful pathogens, they are the most easily digestible due to their higher refinement, and most of all, they are the most flavorful.
Depending on your requirements also, you may choose to go with a flavored and sweetened pack of oatmeal in which case you’d have to pay close attention to the sweetners you add to avoid a smoothie that is too sweet.
What Is The Best Way To Add Oats To A Smoothie?
Whilst oats are safe to consume raw and dry when sprinkled in smoothies, they’re more nutritious and better digested when they are soaked overnight in the refrigerator before incorporating them into the smoothie.
Soaking oats in a liquid base makes them softer because they absorb enough liquid in them.
This cause them to swell and become easily chewable, more flavorful (when soaked in a flavorful base like milk or juice), more nutritious (because the effect of phytic acids on the absorption of nutrients is reduced), and readily digestible (because they no longer buildup on the intestinal walls as easily as when they are consumed dry).
You can soak oats in water or milk, fruit juice or any other flavorful base, and let it sit overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Add the mixture to your smoothie recipe the following day for a healthy starter.
If soaking for long doesn’t sound like your thing, add the oats, before any ingredient to the blender first, and pulse intermittently until ground finely.
Then add the rest of the ingredients to complete the smoothie. This should work perfectly well too.
Best Recipes For Oatmeal Smoothie
Oatmeal Banana Recipe
A three ingredient recipe sufficient to provide a good part of your breakfast nutritional requirement.
With one ripe banana, one cup of milk and a half cup of rolled or instant oat, you’re already on your way to a memorable starter.
Simply add in the oats first, then blend and add in the other items to make the smoothie. Make sure to consume the smoothie the moment you make it as the banana in it will turn it brown and then black eventually.
Oatmeal Berry Recipe
Same ingredient as the oatmeal banana recipe except that you substitute banana for ½ cups frozen berries.
You can add ice, honey or sweeteners, and even yogurt for more creaminess. If adding yogurt, start with ⅓ cups.
Oatmeal Apple Recipe
This uses peeled and cored apples as the star ingredient. To make this, combine 1 large apple (peeled and cored), with a cup of unsweetened milk, three pitted dates and half cup of instant oats.
Add ice cubes to chill the entire mixture and blend intermittently. Serve.
What Else Can You Put In A SmoothieTo Up The Game?
- Protein powder: To up the nutritional game. There are many different protein powders to choose from, each with a certain amount and kind of nutrition that it packs.
- Spices and condiments: Use spices like cinnamon, ginger, salt, ground nutmeg, cloves etc. for specific flavors and also to obtain specific health benefits. Making smoothies is an art rather than a casual guesswork of a homeowner that came to life. Ingredients are checked for specific qualities in the health, flavor and textural department, before they are ever incorporated into a recipe! You can begin your journery to master the art today with a few trial and errors here and there.
- Ice: Ice is added to chill to the smoothie, obviously. It is typically tossed into the blender alongside other ingredients and then ground until it is no longer visible.
- Vanilla extract: When pure vanilla extract is used, it provides deep and complex flavors because of the hundreds of compounds that make up it’s composition. Adding vanilla extract is a sure way to mess around with flavors until something unique is birthed.
- Flax seeds: Flax seeds are highly nutritious and as a result, they’re becoming a popular option for smoothie lovers to increase the nutritional content of their smoothies.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are added for nutrition, texture and flavor. They are typically added to the mixture and grounded into a mix, and then sprinkled over for some texture.
- Cocoa powder: To add that chocolaty flavor and color and also to help with nutrition.
- Brewed coffee: Brewed coffee is added for a coffee taste in smoothie (you’ll need this hack if you’re a coffee addict).
- Coconut water: Use this as a substitute for liquid base. Pay careful attention when upping the nutrient game is the concern, as coconut water isn’t a highly nutritious addition.
Oats are commonly part of the ingredients ditched for smoothies, but their presence in them can be a great turn around in many facets.
Oats are nutritional powerhouse containing many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body.
These can only be reaped when oats are put to consistent use in the house: and what easy way is there to achieve such a dream? Smoothies of course!
Oats additionally bring in texture to the table and can subtly affect the taste of smoothies in a unique way.
If you’re not already using oats already in your household, smoothies, I believe, should be the first way you start using them!