I love making oatmeal in the mornings. It’s so warm and soothing, filling me up alongside a bit of protein for a great energy-filled start to my day. But here’s the problem, folks. I always make way too much and never have any idea what to do with all the leftovers… until now.
Oats, also known as Avena Sativa, are a rich source of fibre. And why is fibre so important? Oh let me tell you, cause she packs quite a doozy! Fibre makes your poop happy. Yep, two paragraphs in and we are already onto the poop talk. Fibre acts like a broom, picking up the junk in your digestive system and then sweeping it out. Literally.
But what else does it do? Well, it helps to feed the beneficial bacteria contained within your gut. This is integral since we are now discovering the importance of the microbiome. Your gut and your brain have a strong, loving and mutually beneficial relationship. Research has shown the link between your gut flora and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The specific type of fibre contained within oats is called beta-glucan which has been shown, through various studies, to have proven results in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. This is just by consuming only 3g of this soluble fibre a day. Add that to the unique antioxidant compounds found within oats and you’re looking at a fantastic way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Beta-glucan is also fantastic for the immune system as it strengthens your body’s non-specific defence mechanisms. These guys are the first response to pathogens and can help to ward off infection within the earliest stages. Studies have also shown that this type of fibre can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Who knew that starting your day off with oats could be so rewarding? I knew that Grandma was right!
So, instead of throwing out that extra oatmeal after breakfast, I decided to pair it with more beneficial fibre and some hormone balancing essential fatty acids to turn it into a delicious protein-packed bite sized muffin. No food-wasting here, folks!
Leftover Oatmeal Muffin Bites
1 1/2 cups leftover plain cooked oats
2 tbsp ground flax
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp dried coconut flakes
1 cup unbleached almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 c dark chocolate chips (I used Camino Fairtrade Organic)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 small muffin pans (I like to use coconut oil for this part). In a large bowl, mix oats, flax, chia seeds, coconut flakes, almond flour, cinnamon and baking powder. This step might take a bit of elbow grease because the oats will be sticky, unless you are fancy and have a mixer, and if so can I borrow it? K thanks.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg, vanilla and maple syrup. Add to the oat mixture and, you guessed it, mix until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon tbsp sized spoonfuls into the muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean in the middle. Let cool and enjoy!
Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins (if you’ve got a bigger bite)
Recipe and photos by Catherine Sugrue
Information Reference: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54