Delicious Ways to Eat Oats…
…. and lower your blood pressure at the same time
Oats are fantastic for lowering your blood pressure and have many other health benefits as well. You can read all about these in our post: Can oatmeal help lower high blood pressure?
So what’s the tastiest way to get your oats?
Well, a bowl of oats first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day. Not only have you given yourself a good helping of the soluble fibre that helps lower your cholesterol (details in the other post), and helped stabilized your blood sugar levels (both of these are important for lower blood pressure), but oats will also keep you going for a while, so they give you a good steady energy boost.
You might not think a bowl of oats sounds that exciting though. It’s true that plain porridge can be … well, pretty plain. But there are plenty of tasty things you can add which not only give it more flavour and texture, but are also good for your blood pressure. Muesli too can be as varied as you want it to be.
Here are some ideas for delicious ways to eat oats. But don’t stop there. Experiment! (And add a comment below to tell us if you hit on something particularly tasty.)
Delicious ways to eat oats 1: Porridge, with variations
Porridge is great in the winter to warm you up and keep you toasty. Make it with water, or milk, or a mix of the two. For extra smoothness, you can soak it overnight in cold water, with a little sea salt (Scottish style) or maple syrup (Vermont style) then cook in the morning.
For extra flavour and texture, add other ingredients, either while it’s cooking or once it’s served. Try dried or fresh fruits (berries are great for blood pressure and are delicious in porridge), nuts and seeds, and even some spices. In Vermont they used to add nutmeg, cinnamon and sometimes ground ginger. Experiment!
UPDATE! A friend just served me porridge with turmeric, and I have to say, it was a bit of a revelation. He’d also cooked it with sultanas and ginger water and the subtle combination of flavours was perfect – a little sweetness but not too much.
Turmeric is getting a lot of press lately for its multiple health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. You can read more about it here: Turmeric for lower blood pressure
Here’s the rough recipe for turmeric porridge: add half a teaspoon of turmeric and a handful of sultanas when you’re cooking the oats. For the ginger, boil chopped ginger root in water for at least ten minutes beforehand, and use some or all of this water to cook the porridge. Or, if you’re like me and love the taste of ginger, just chop up an inch or so and chuck it straight in while the porridge is cooking.
Experiment with quantities, and also with different spices. Adding spices like cinnamon and cardamom might work really well, and even a wee dash of chilli/cayenne. All of these spices are good for blood pressure so by combining them with oats, you’re really creating a powerfully healthy breakfast.
Delicious ways to eat oats 2: Muesli and mixes
Muesli is a good for a stimulating morning start, especially in the summer with fresh fruits and yoghurt. It’s also good to take out and about with you and have a handful now and again for energy on the go.
If you’re buying muesli, check the label and make sure there’s not too much added sugar. Granola can be good too, but is often very high in sugar. Health food shops often have their own muesli mixes which you can buy in bulk, and which are simpler ingredients.
Or make your own – buy oat flakes, barley flakes, and your favourite dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Try different combinations and see what you like.
Delicious ways to eat oats 3: baked goods, stews, soups….
Following the Scots, you can eat/use oats in other baked and cooked foods – bread, oatcakes, cookies and muffins, flapjacks and muesli bars, pastry, in burgers, and even as a thickener in soups and stews.
So, go out there and get your wild (or packaged) oats…
Delicious ways to eat oats 4: More ideas…
For more ideas for eating oats – and loads of other blood pressure-lowering foods – check out our new book:
It’s packed with tasty tips on how you can adjust your diet to lower your blood pressure. You’ll be surprised at how many foods and drinks are beneficial for your blood pressure.
The book also includes different kinds of exercise you can do to bring your blood pressure down (some of which you can even do while sitting down watching TV), and gives tips on how to easily integrate these into your daily life – the point being that you don’t have to suffer to lower your blood pressure naturally – you can enjoy it 🙂
As well as diet and exercise, another major cause of high blood pressure is stress. So the book also contains a range of techniques you can use to lower your stress levels and just generally relax more.
Click on the link above for more details and a free sample.