Breakfast bowl recipe: healthy oatmeal with seeds and berries

 

Today, I would like to share with you one of my breakfast meals: a healthy oatmeal with seeds and berries :).

It is also completely uncooked, as you will see. And a very important point: it takes less than 5 min to make!

Did you know that oats are really healthy? They have been associated with multiple health benefits (1). For example, oat fiber (soluble fiber) has been shown to lower plasma cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, helping preventing atherosclerosis (2).  Beyond fiber, oats are also a good source of protein, minerals, flavonoids and other phytonutrients that are important for us. And if you are avoiding gluten, oats should be a good option as they are gluten-free. However, some brands that sell oats, also sell other grains, which might end up mixing with the oats in your package. So, if this is an important point for you, check if on the label of the package there is a note “It might contain gluten”.

I usually buy whole oats (unheated and directly from a local mill) and then make the flakes freshly myself when I want to eat them using a small manual stone mill. If you buy your oat flakes already done, make sure they don’t have other added ingredients (many contain sugar, which I am completely against, as you might have realized if you read my previous articles on this topic: this one and this one). I also suggest you always try to buy organic and the least unprocessed version possible.

This healthy breakfast recipe also contains flax seeds and hemp seeds, which are both good sources of a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid called α-linolenic acid (ALA), which has many health benefits that I addressed in a previous article.

Flax seeds have been shown to reduce circulating total and LDL-cholesterol levels and prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing (3), which is what causes atherosclerosis and heart disease. In addition, studies show that it can be very beneficial to lower high blood pressure: it has a “potent antihypertensive action in hypertensive patients”, in the author’s own words (4). Furthermore, flax seeds have also been shown to have anticancer effects and reduce tumor growth, in particular in breast cancer (5). Also, if you have been struggling with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), flax seeds might help (6).

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) seeds contain all essential amino acids and are therefore considered a “complete protein”. Besides, they contain ALA and another type of omega-3 called stearidonic acid (SDA), which, interestingly, has been shown to have a higher conversion rate to another omega-3 called EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) than ALA (for more on this topic, you can read this article I wrote a few weeks ago). Hemp has amazing health benefits, which I will cover in a future article.

Sesame seeds are another type of seed included in this breakfast recipe and they have also multiple health benefits. For example, recent studies showed it has anti-cancer properties (16), and reduces blood pressure (16).

Berries are among the foods with the highest antioxidant content (7). There are literally thousands of studies showing the beneficial effects of berries for our health. Among many other benefits, they can help prevent neurological diseases (8-14). Also, they have been shown to lower and regulate posprandial (after the meal) blood sugar levels (15) and they have in fact been suggested as an additional strategy to prevent type 2 diabetes (15).

So, I hope you are now motivated to try out this super tasty and healthy oatmeal recipe! :).

Here I indicate the amount of each ingredient that I eat myself. This will of course depend on each person, but this is a guidance for you.

Let’s go to the recipe!

 

Preparation time: 5min

Ingredients:

– 40g organic wholegrain oat flakes

– 1 tablespoon organic flax seeds

– 1/2 tablespoon organic hulled hemp seeds

– 1 tablespoon organic sunflower seeds

– 1 tablespoon organic sesame seeds

– 1 tablespoon organic almond butter

– 75g organic (frozen) berries

– 1 small apple (or if you think it is not sweet enough, replace it with 1 banana)

– water

Suggestion for toppings:

– more berries

– other fruit

– nuts

– cacao nibs

Preparation:

1- Let the oats, flax, hemp, sunflower and sesame seeds soak overnight in the same bowl with water. This step is really important and necessary as the soaking process will reduce the phytates in the oats and seeds, as well as soften them and make them thus more digestible. Some people also call this overnight oats or seeds.

2- In the morning, add all ingredients (including the soaking water) to the blender except the apple. Add a bit extra water if you think it is really necessary. Blend for about 30 seconds at medium speed (or until you see that the flax seeds are broken).

3- Add now the apple and blend for about 20 seconds at medium speed (it’s good to still have some apple pieces – no need to be completely blended).

4- Put the mixture in a bowl and top it with some of the ingredients in the “suggestion for toppings”. Or just eat it like that 🙂

5- Enjoy your healthy and tasty breakfast!

Let me know in the comments below how you liked this healthy oatmeal recipe! 🙂 And if you make it, don’t forget to tell us! 🙂

 

Live healthy,

Ana

 

References

  1.         Singh R, De S, & Belkheir A (2013) Avena sativa (Oat), a potential neutraceutical and therapeutic agent: an overview. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 53(2):126-144.
  2.         Andersson KE & Hellstrand P (2012) Dietary oats and modulation of atherogenic pathways. Molecular nutrition & food research 56(7):1003-1013.
  3.         Pan A, Yu D, Demark-Wahnefried W, Franco OH, & Lin X (2009) Meta-analysis of the effects of flaxseed interventions on blood lipids. The American journal of clinical nutrition 90(2):288-297.
  4.         Rodriguez-Leyva D, et al. (2013) Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients. Hypertension 62(6):1081-1089.
  5.         Flower G, et al. (2014) Flax and Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review. Integrative cancer therapies 13(3):181-192.
  6.         Cockerell KM, Watkins AS, Reeves LB, Goddard L, & Lomer MC (2012) Effects of linseeds on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot randomised controlled trial. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics : the official journal of the British Dietetic Association 25(5):435-443.
  7.         Carlsen MH, et al. (2010) The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutrition journal 9:3.
  8.         Shukitt-Hale B, et al. (2015) The beneficial effects of berries on cognition, motor behaviour and neuronal function in ageing. The British journal of nutrition 114(10):1542-1549.
  9.         Shukitt-Hale B (2012) Blueberries and neuronal aging. Gerontology 58(6):518-523.
  10.       Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, & Willis LM (2009) Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. The Journal of nutrition 139(9):1813S-1817S.
  11.       Shukitt-Hale B, Lau FC, & Joseph JA (2008) Berry fruit supplementation and the aging brain. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 56(3):636-641.
  12.       Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, & Lau FC (2007) Fruit polyphenols and their effects on neuronal signaling and behavior in senescence. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1100:470-485.
  13.       Cherniack EP (2012) A berry thought-provoking idea: the potential role of plant polyphenols in the treatment of age-related cognitive disorders. The British journal of nutrition 108(5):794-800.
  14.       Krikorian R, et al. (2010) Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 58(7):3996-4000.
  15.       Castro-Acosta ML, Lenihan-Geels GN, Corpe CP, & Hall WL (2016) Berries and anthocyanins: promising functional food ingredients with postprandial glycaemia-lowering effects. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 75(3):342-355.
  16.       Khosravi-Boroujeni H, Nikbakht E, Natanelov E, & Khalesi S (2017) Can sesame consumption improve blood pressure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Journal of the science of food and agriculture 97(10):3087-3094.

 

4 Responses to “Breakfast bowl recipe: healthy oatmeal with seeds and berries

  • Looks delicious and a great heathy breakfast!

  • Camila Alvarez Romero
    6 months ago

    Thank you guys for this recipe!

    Since I´m a person who cannot process lactose, and commercial almond milk often contain sugar, I was so much looking for a different alternative for mixing my breakfast muesli.

    I have been trying this recipe for almost half a year, and it works perfectly for me.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Ana Coito, PhD
      6 months ago

      Hi Camila,
      Thank you so much! I’m glad to know you liked the recipe! 🙂
      About the almond milk, there is indeed no need to buy it! You can make it at home in literally 1 or 2 min – just blend 100g of almonds with 500ml of water and there you have it! You can filter it but I normally use it just like that to add to other foods.
      Greetings,
      Ana

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