Creamy Vanilla Rolled Oats

Creamy Vanilla Rolled Oats

A gluten free creamy rolled oat recipe that uses natural sweeteners such as bananas and coconut sugar in place of refined sugar with a hint of vanilla.  Topping this Creamy Vanilla Rolled Oat Recipe with flax oil helps with both brain and heart health!  A warm and satisfying breakfast to start your day on the right foot!

Pre-packaged quick oats are dangerously delicious, but that’s because they are usually loaded with added sugars.  This compromises their wholesomeness and can spike the body’s insulin production.  Boo.  When made from scratch, oats with added vanilla (and Vanilla Almond Milk) give you the ability to adjust sugar levels properly.  Yay!  If you like your oats like you like your men (or women) – sweet and mushy, of course – this is the recipe for you.  However, you’ll see in the recipe that there is room to play with how sweet or not-so-sweet your oats turn out.

Before we dive into the recipe, I thought I’d start by looking at oats in general.  There are so many varieties out there, it’s difficult to know their similarities and differences.

Oats are Whole Grains

Traditionally eaten by livestock in Northern Europe and North America.  Besides their fashionable contribution of the kilt, the people of Scotland are attributed with discovering the amazing health benefits of eating oats themselves, as well as giving it to their animals.

Once removed from their tough hulls, whole oat kernels (or groats, which is really fun to say) remain ready to be prepared and eaten. Groats can be cooked as is, but cooking time increases with the oat in this form.  Steel cut oats are cut into two or three smaller pieces with a steel blade.  Similarly, the Scottish traditionally grind their oats into smaller pieces, aptly calling the porridge they produce: Scottish Oatmeal.

Rolled Oats

(also known as Old Fashioned Oats) are prepared by steaming oat groats and then rolling them into flakes.  When rolled, oats flatten and have a greater surface area which allow them to cook faster than Steel Cut Oats or Scottish Oats.  When Rolled Oats are flattened thinner and steamed longer, Quick Oats (also called Instant oats) are created.  These oats take the shortest amount of time to cook, are the most processed, and therefore tend to have the mushiest texture. However, they still maintain most of the nutritional value of other types of processed oats, except for a decrease in fiber.  This is due to the almost complete removal of the bran, or outer region of the oat.

Oats Have a Ton of Nutritional Value

Oats are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and antioxidants.  My favorite component of oats is a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has proven effective at lowering cholesterol levels In the body.  When dissolved in water, beta-glucan forms a thick gel-like substance in the bottom of the stomach.  Although this sounds gross, this lining promotes growth of good bacteria in the gut, creates a feeling of fullness which helps weight-loss, and delays emptying of the stomach and absorption of glucose into the blood.  This has been linked to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

One Note:

Oats, in their true nature, are gluten-free.  However, they’re sometimes planted in fields adjacent to wheat and are often processed in facilities that handle other grains.  These circumstances tend to contaminate oats with traces of wheat.  If pursuing a gluten-free diet, look for oats labeled, “Gluten-free” to ensure they have been grown and handled without a chance of cross contamination.

Specialty ingredients for this recipe:

Creamy Vanilla Rolled Oats

Gluten-Free

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 ripe banana chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Drizzle of Flaxseed oil

Instructions

  1. Place oats in a medium size saucepan with coconut milk, vanilla, 2 Tablespoons of coconut sugar, chopped banana and sea salt.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat.  Cover and simmer, stirring constantly until oats are soft and creamy, about 15 minutes.  Cooking time may vary depending on the oats you purchase, so also refer to cooking instructions on your oats.  When finished cooking, oats should be creamy and thick, but still have some liquid around the edges of the saucepan.
  2. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding 1-2 more Tablespoons of coconut sugar.  Serve warm topped with a drizzle of honey and flaxseed oil.

 

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