Rolled oats are increasingly used. What has contributed to making them so popular are their nutritional properties such as high protein, fiber and low glycemic index.
Oat flakes are a food of vegetable origin that is obtained from the processing of the oat grain, a cereal belonging to the grass family. Compared to other cereals belonging to the same family (such as rye, barley and wheat), oats are gluten-free and, therefore, suitable for the diet of celiacs and those suffering from gluten sensitivity.
Oat flakes are produced starting from the hulled grain. The latter is steamed, then crushed with special rollers, which give it their typical shape, and finally they are lightly toasted. Steaming is a fundamental step to facilitate their digestibility and prevent them from causing intestinal swelling.
On the market it is possible to find mainly two types of rolled oats:
- Large oats: that is the steamed grain, crushed and left whole. They are the most widespread and well-known oat flakes, in fact, they are used above all for muesli, bars and porridges;
- Small oats: in this case the grain after steaming is crushed and then lightly chopped, they are used to make bread and biscuits.
All types of oat flakes are stripped of their bran before cooking, so both large and small oats are very similar from a nutritional point of view, what distinguishes them is mainly the amount of water they can absorb. and therefore the cooking time. Large oats absorb water less easily and, therefore, the cooking time of the flakes is longer than small oats, which absorb water more easily and cook faster.
Instant oats are also increasingly used and are obtained from grains that are cooked, dried and then ground to a fine powder. This should not be confused with oatmeal which is instead obtained by grinding raw grains.
From a nutritional point of view, the best oat flakes are those without sugar (such as sugar, glucose syrup, fructose syrup, etc.), without vegetable oils and added flavorings. Therefore, when we buy oat flakes, it is good practice to read the list of ingredients to choose a simple, natural product that preserves all the nutritional properties.
Oat flakes: calories and nutritional properties
Now that we’ve got to know this food better, let’s also discover the nutritional properties of oat flakes. Oat flakes are a source of important nutrients such as proteins of vegetable origin, a feature that makes this food highly appreciated and used by athletes.
Like other cereals, oat flakes also have a good content of carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates, and fiber; this makes them a satiating food with a low glycemic index that can be used safely in the diet of diabetic people. Furthermore, the good fiber content allows them to be classified as whole grains.
Since oats are naturally gluten-free, rolled oats can be eaten by celiacs. However, it is good practice to check that the wording “gluten-free” is present on the package to make sure there are no traces of other cereals containing gluten.
Oat flakes also retain the germ of the grain, which is the richest part of fat, which is why, compared to other cereals, they have a good amount of good fats (7.5 g per 100g). Among the micronutrients we find the B vitamins (in particular niacin and thiamine ) and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and iron.
As for energy intake, the calories of oat flakes are 367 per 100g, an average value with other cereals. For completeness of information, we now report below the table with the nutritional values of oat flakes.
Nutritional values per 100g of rolled oats:
- Power: 367
- kcal Proteins: 8 g
- Lipids: 7.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 66.8 g
- of which sugars: 0.6 g
- Fiber: 8.3 g
- Niacin: 1 mg
- Thiamine: 0.55 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.14 mg
- Phosphorus: 365 mg
- Soccer: 54 mg
- Iron: 5.2 mg
The benefits of rolled oats
Oat flakes have always been the basis of the diet of northern European populations, but its use is also spreading in our country, especially for its increasingly well-known effects. Let’s dive into the main benefits of oat flakes now.
✓ Reduce cholesterol values
Oat flakes are rich in fiber in particular beta-glucans, a soluble fiber that is able to capture cholesterol in the intestine, reducing its absorption. The intake of at least 3 grams of beta-glucans, allows to lower the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. To reach the recommended daily allowance of beta-glucans it is sufficient to consume a portion of oat flakes every day, along with other foods that provide this fiber such as barley, legumes and vegetables.
✓ Stabilize blood sugar levels
Among the nutritional properties of oat flakes we talked about its high fiber content, as well as its low content of simple sugars. These characteristics make oat flakes a food with a low glycemic index , that is, it slows the absorption of sugars in the intestine by increasing blood sugar more slowly and avoiding glycemic peaks. Therefore, oat flakes are indicated in all cases it is necessary to pay attention to the management of blood glucose such as: diabetes, insulin resistance and polycystic ovary syndrome.
✓ They have a calming effect
Oat flakes contain avenin, an alkaloid, which promotes the production of serotonin also known as the “good mood” hormone. Avenin also stimulates the production of melatonin, which is essential for regulating the sleep cycle. Avenin, together with the content of B vitamins, phosphorus and calcium, makes oat flakes a useful food in times of mental and physical stress thanks to its calming and balancing effect on the nervous system.
✓ Stimulate the immune defenses
This benefit is linked to the presence, in oat flakes, of beta-glucans that are able to modulate the function of the immune system. In particular, this fiber influences the activity of white blood cells so that these cells recognize and react more effectively to the presence of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.
✓ They improve intestinal well-being
Oat flakes have a good fiber content (8.3 g per 100g of food) and this is beneficial for intestinal health for several reasons: it favors the development of good bacteria present in the intestinal bacterial flora; fights constipation as it regulates the transit of intestinal contents and prevents diseases of the digestive system such as colorectal cancer.
Does eating oatmeal help you lose weight?
Oat flakes are certainly an excellent food for those who follow a low- calorie diet , in fact, they have few sugars and a good protein content as well as being rich in fiber. But does consuming oatmeal help you lose weight? Indeed, oat flakes, if placed in a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can promote weight loss.
Thanks to their fiber content, in fact, oat flakes volumize and contribute to the distension of the stomach walls. Distension of the gastric walls is one of the most important signals for communicating the sense of satiety to the brain. Therefore, oat flakes improve satiety by counteracting the sense of hunger, this allows you to keep the daily energy intake under control, avoiding that between one meal and another you can feel the classic “hole in the stomach”.
10 recipes to use oat flakes for breakfast and more
With oat flakes it is possible to make many preparations, from the classic breakfast porridge, to muesli or cereal bars, but they are perfect for enriching soups, salads or velvety. Let’s see together what are the best ideas for using oat flakes in the kitchen.
Porridge is the perfect breakfast for those who want to indulge in a sweet and genuine awakening. We could define it as an oatmeal soup but it is a simple and versatile preparation, but above all, it gives a prolonged sense of satiety. For one serving of porridge you can use 30 g of oat flakes to be cooked in 100 g of water or milk or vegetable drink until the porridge has a creamy consistency. This preparation can be enriched with cinnamon, honey, seeds, fresh and / or dried fruit.
Homemade muesli, apart from being delicious, do not contain the hydrogenated fats of packaged muesli. It is also possible to customize the recipe according to your tastes.
The recipe we propose includes: 300 g of oat flakes, 30 g of almonds, 20 g of walnuts, 50g of sultanas, 2 tablespoons of honey and a glass of water. The procedure is as follows:
- In a bowl pour the oat flakes together with the sultanas, then add the almonds and coarsely chopped walnuts;
- Melt the honey in the boiling water and then pour the syrup into the oatmeal mix;
- Mix carefully and then pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, level it and then cook in a ventilated oven at 150 ° C for about 45 minutes, taking care to stir the mixture every 15 minutes;
- When cooked, let it cool and store the muesli in an airtight jar.
You can use two / three tablespoons of muesli for breakfast or snack together with a low-fat unsweetened yogurt.
3. Oat flakes bars
Oat flakes can become an excellent snack and with the recipe of the bars you can make a comfortable snack to take away from home and also appreciated by the little ones.
To make 10 bars you will need: 100 g of oat flakes, 100 g of pitted prunes, 20 g of walnuts and 150 g of egg white.
The procedure is very simple: chop the oat flakes with prunes and walnuts in a blender, then transfer everything to a bowl and add the egg whites. Mix well and roll out the dough in a square pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated static oven at 180 ° C for about 15 minutes, let it cool and then cut the mixture into 10 bars.
4. Oatmeal Cookies
With oat flakes we can also make crunchy biscuits that will surely be appreciated even by the little ones.
To prepare them you will need: 150 g of oat flakes, 250 g of type 1 flour, 50 g of chopped hazelnuts, 50 g of brown sugar, 50 g of dark chocolate flakes, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a sachet of baking powder, 120 g of egg white and 50 g of sunflower oil.
- In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, mix, then gradually add the egg white and sunflower oil;
- Knead fine to obtain a compact dough and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour;
- After the resting time, resume the dough and shape the biscuits (form many slightly flattened balls of about 25 g);
- Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated static oven at 180 ° C for about 20 minutes.
These biscuits are perfect for a snack accompanied by tea or herbal tea.
5. At Cold Yogurt Cake
Oat flakes are the perfect base for making a delicious cold yogurt cake with low sugar and a good amount of protein. We suggest you make a delicious single portion to be enjoyed at breakfast.
Prepare the base of the cake by chopping 50 g of oat flakes, then mix with skim milk or a vegetable drink until the mixture is moist. Finally, take a dessert plate, compact the mixture into a 6-8 cm pastry ring and let it rest in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt cream by pouring 100 g of skimmed milk (or vegetable milk) and a teaspoon of honey into a saucepan, put it on the stove and when it starts to simmer add a sheet of isinglass.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, mix carefully, add 80 g of low- fat white Greek yogurt and pour the cream onto the previously prepared base. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours then, unmold and garnish the cake with fresh strawberries or berries.
6. Banana, oat and cocoa smoothie
This smoothie is delicious and is an excellent alternative to start the day with a healthy, satiating and low-calorie breakfast.
The ingredients for one person are: 100 ml of water, 100 g of low-fat white yogurt, 20 g of oat flakes, 100 g of banana and a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa. In the jug of a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend everything until you get a creamy and fluffy mixture.
7. Vegetable and legume soup with oat flakes
Oat flakes are a perfect ingredient not for sweet recipes, but also for savory dishes. Thanks to their neutral taste, in fact, they can be used to enrich soups and vegetable and / or legume soups. How to use them?
You can add a few tablespoons of rolled oats halfway through cooking your soup, this way the rolled oats will absorb water and become softer, while the soup will become thicker and pleasantly creamy.
8. Summer salad with oat flakes
Do you want to prepare a fresh, tasty and crunchy salad? Oat flakes are excellent for giving an extra touch of crunchiness to classic summer salads, like this one that we suggest below.
Ingredients for one person: 50 g of tomatoes, 50 g of feta cheese, 20 g of oat flakes, 5 black olives, rocket to taste, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, onion and herbs pleasure. A fresh single dish enriched by the many benefits of oat flakes.
9. Whole wheat braid with oat flakes
Among the benefits of oat flakes we talked about its low glycemic index, a feature that makes this food a perfect ingredient for making excellent bread.
The ingredients to use are: 250 g of oatmeal, 150 g of flour 0, 100 g of oat flakes, 300 ml of water, a cube of brewer’s yeast, a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. The procedure is as follows:
- Dissolve the yeast in the water and then add the flour and oat flakes;
- Start mixing with a spoon and then add salt, honey and oil;
- Mix everything on a pastry board until you get a smooth dough and then let it rise for 3 hours;
- Take the dough and shape it giving it the shape of a braid, sprinkle the surface with water and dust the surface with oat flakes;
- Let the braid rise for another 3 hours then bake in a preheated static oven at 200 ° C for about 40 minutes.
Oat flakes can also be used to make delicious breading to make your preparations more delicious. For example, you can make a tasty breading for chicken breast: beat an egg, pass the slices of chicken breast and then bread them in a mix of oat flakes, black pepper and grated Parmesan. Arrange the cutlets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a static oven at 200 ° C. Serve the cutlets with a tasty tzatziki sauce.