I don’t like oatmeal! So how do I get more oats in my diet?

Oats - even the side effects are good for your heart.

I just had to find a way to eat this stuff, and I did!

More recently it was discovered that heart attacks are often the result of cardiovascular inflammation. Guess what has also been discovered about oatmeal? It has inti-inflammatory properties when consumed with vitamin C!

Studies have shown oatmeal to also fight diabetes, childhood asthma (when consumed with fish), colon and breast cancer, and boost the immune system. The fiber in oat products also helps people trying to lose weight.

However, despite all my knowledge about this wonderful substance, I just don’t eat, because I just don’t like oatmeal. Heart decease is no stranger to my family. I am a fool for not chowing down on oatmeal by the bucket. So what should I do to practice what I preach?

There is more than one way to get oatmeal and oat products in your gut where they belong. If I can’t pallet hard-core oatmeal, I can tread lightly but significantly into the God-given gift of oat products.

Begin with a small box of oat bran. Every time you eat fruits or yogurt, sprinkle a spoon or two on top. It ads some crunch and plenty of nutrition. Oat bran can be added to pasta sauces for enhanced texture and nutrition as well. One of my favorite hiding places for oat bran is on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It gives the smooth peanut butter a little crunch.

Bran muffins are healthy treats. However, be careful of commercially prepared versions. Some are baked with mounds of butter, sugar, and other evil additives. Some even start with bleached white wheat flour (the Benedict Arnold of healthy baking) and are browned-up to fool consumers. Make your own. You can add raisins without remorse.

There are a number of commercially prepared breakfast cereals that have oat products (ie clusters) in them. For the most part, they are very good for you. I even consume them as a replacement meal for dinner. It cuts my meat and calorie consumption by a third for the day.

If you are going to eat any ground beef, why not add oatmeal. Put in just enough to make it healthier without taking over the flavor. I have added oatmeal to meat loaf, meat balls and stuffed hamburgers. Toss in some onion and sun-dried tomato to the mix and you will have better beef for sure. Feed this to other people and you will have found the secrete to being popular.

My last suggestion is based upon the fact that I am cheap. Stores charge $4-$7 for a box of oatmeal-based granola bars. As a member of the skinflint community, I cannot help but look for a better way to get my nutrition without prying open my wallet that far. The solution is to make your own bars. One of my concoctions is described below.

The Cheap Guy’s Granola Bar

* 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (This stuff is cheap and you can save even more if you can do without the picture of William Penn on the container.)

* one cup of almonds or unsalted peanuts (You choose.) Chop them up too.

* 2/3 cup of honey (Generic. I’m cheap)

* ½ cup unsalted butter

* ½ cup packed light brown sugar

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (imitation is cheaper and just as good)

*½ teaspoon of sea salt (I am now using a salt substitute)

* 1 cup of raisins

Optional - ½ cup of dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line your baking pans 8"-10'’ (2) with foil and then use cooking spray or oil.

Bake the oats and almonds (not the peanuts) for about 4 or 5 minutes and pull.

Put the above in a large bowel.

Place the butter, honey, vanilla and salt in a saucepan on the stove. I use a little less than medium heat, plenty of stirring until the butter is fully melted.

Then pour the stuff in the bowel with the oats.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir them thoroughly.

Transfer the works into the lined baking pans.

Press the mixture down hard with your spatula or wax paper.

Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours and enjoy.

They are good for about a week if you keep them air-tight.

Did you remember to turn off the oven?

Do whatever it takes to eat more oatmeal and oat products.

Stay tuned. It has been found that flax seeds also have similar good health super-food effects. You can add flax to some of the measures above or use a mixture of the two. Follow for a coming HUB on the benefits and uses of flax seed.

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