Cool Tip: Oats 42: The Answer to LIfe, Breakfast and Everything!

I don’t know about you, but every doctor and nutritionist we’ve talked to lately has preached, “Eat more oats!” Sometimes, we just feel like saying: Neigh!

To begin, neither of us is very fond of hot oatmeal. It’s difficult to prepare a quantity for just one or two, and you have to prepare it fresh each time, because old, formerly hot oatmeal is really not a pretty (or tasty) option.

But the benefit of oats are undeniable.

Here’s what the Livestrong Foundation says:           
Whether cooked or uncooked, oats have high nutritional value and approximately 310 to 390 calories per 100 g serving. This serving size delivers a whopping 9 to 11 g of fiber and 13 to 17 g of protein. Oats are also a good source of polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat, which are healthy for the heart. Although they don't pack a powerful punch in terms of vitamins, they are high in several minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and manganese. The soluble fiber in oats helps to eliminate cholesterol and lower blood pressure, and the insoluble fiber helps keep your digestive tract healthy and efficient. The beta-glucan in oatmeal can also help regulate blood sugar, and the lignans can protect the body against cancer.

So, enter our new and dear friends, Silvia and Hap: they introduced us to a better approach to getting our oats. And because we bonded over “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, we call this discovery “Oats 42: The Answer to Life, Breakfast and Everything”.

Start with 2 cups of either oat groats or steel cut oats (this choice will influence the texture of the result) and soak them overnight (we add ¼ cup of almonds to this--another super food) in enough water to cover. In the morning, drain and rinse the oats and almonds, and put them in a food processor, together with ¼ cup water and 6 large or 8 smaller pitted dates. At this point, you can be as creative as you want. We add ½ teaspoon ground cardamom, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon rose water (available at BevMo or almost any Persian or Indian grocery store, as well as many other places--it adds a lovely subtle flavor to a whole range of dishes.) Then process away. If you’ve used steel cut oats, the result with be smoother; with oat groats, it will be a little chewier. In either case, it’s delicious.

Now to serve it, Silvia and Hap showed us how to make our own almond milk: also very simple. Soak raw almonds in water to cover overnight. Next day, rinse and drain the almonds and put them in a blender with 2 cups of fresh water. To this we add ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon orange flower water (often available where you find rose water.) Process all of this at top speed in your blender for a about 3 minutes, then drain it through a fine mesh bag.
Add some dried or fresh fruit - again, your options and creativity are boundless! - and you have an amazingly delicious and healthy breakfast. And because both of these recipes make 6 or more servings, but keep pretty well in the refrigerator, on the second and third day, this is also a quick breakfast to fix.

This truly is The Answer to Life, Breakfast and Everything … 42.