Oats, orange and kiwi

This dish is loaded with nutrients and tastey too. Cabarrus Health Alliance photo

Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re gluten-free, whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Sometimes they can be contaminated by other grains, so please read the label before buying. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits.

For diabetics, they are known to help lower blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that people with heart disease benefit from oats because the beta-glucan fiber is effective at reducing both total and LDL (aka “bad”) cholesterol levels.

Oats are also a really good source of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. One half cup of uncooked oats contains 28 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, 3.6 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber, but only 166 calories. There is the added bonus of plant compounds called antioxidants and the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of the following vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39 percent RDI

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10 percent RDI

Manganese: 191 percent RDI

Phosphorus: 41 percent RDI

Magnesium: 34 percent RDI

Copper: 24 percent RDI

Iron: 20 percent RDI

Zinc: 20 percent RDI

Folate: 11 percent RDI

There are also smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin). You can increase the nutritional value even more by adding almond or coconut milk and topping your bowl with kiwi fruit and oranges. This makes a delicious, dairy-free, gluten-free breakfast that will kick start your engine and have you raring to go all day. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups oats

3 to 4 cups coconut milk or almond milk (depending on how thick you like your oats)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 oranges (clementine’s would great), peeled and sliced into rounds or chucks

2 kiwi fruits peeled and sliced into rounds or chucks

1 tablespoon your choice of unsalted nuts or seeds

How to cook:

Combine the oats, coconut milk, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.

Cook on a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and divide the oats equally between 4 breakfast bowls, then top with the fruit and scatter over nuts or seeds.

Chef Mark Allison

Mark Allison, Executive is Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Check out www.cabarrushealth.org/cookingclasses for more recipes and a list of upcoming cooking classes with Chef Allison.

Mark Allison is Executive Chef of Culinary Innovation at the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Check out www.cabarrushealth.org/cookingclasses for a list of upcoming cooking classes with Chef Allison.  Want more recipes?  Visit www.chefmarkallison.com.

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