Looking for the perfect smoothies? Just add oats!
All about oats
Smoothies are one of those things that once you try it out, it’s hard to imagine how you ever struggled through the day without! OK... that might be a bit over the top but they are seriously handy health-wise, easy to throw together on a whim and usually very tasty! Why are we here at Nairn’s so excited by them though? Well, that’s because oats make such a great addition to pretty much any style of smoothie. More on that soon, but first...
If you’re already a convert to the goodness a good smoothie provides, oats are probably already a staple in your cupboard. We could go on all day about why they’re such a hard-working ingredient. Full of cholesterol-lowering fibre, slow-release energy, and more vitamins and minerals than you could shake a protein shaker a – the term ‘superfood’ most definitely applies.
Oats make a great addition to your smoothie and all of the above are great reasons for this. In terms of taste and texture, they add a bit of bulk to your mix as well as that signature flavour that’s slightly sweet and wholesome. If you can leave your oats to soak in the smoothie mix for a while (say 10 to 20 minutes) this will give them a nice soft texture, similar to overnight oats if you’ve ever tried them. It doesn’t really matter if you’re more of a green smoothie type of person or if you’d rather have one that’s a bit on the sweet side, oats fit perfectly into both sweet and savoury kinds.
Healthy or unhealthy?
One of the big questions around smoothies is if they’re healthy or not. Given the fact that there’s no one definitive smoothie and the ingredients obviously vary it’s not as straightforward as yes or no. Smoothies and smoothie bowls are so versatile that the answer has to be: both. It all depends on what you put in. Of course, if it’s 50% ice cream… yeah, not so healthy. If you’ve used loads of green veg, oats, nuts berries and other fruit on the other hand – give yourself a pat on the back. That’s one healthy smoothie.
One of the reasons smoothies are so great is that, because they’re in a more liquid state than most of the food that goes in to them, your body finds them much easier to digest. Your stomach has a lot less work to do in breaking down a liquid than a solid. They also make it easier to ‘disguise’ the taste of solid foods that certain people might not normally look forward to eating but know are good for you. In other words, ideal if you have kids (or grown-ups!) who are reluctant to eat their greens. Given this fact, it makes sense to say that making a smoothie that’s ‘healthier’ is a good way to take advantage of the quick nutritious hit that you can pack in to one serving.
Technically, smoothies aren’t really a liquid though. Because they don’t separate the liquid from the fibre, you’re still essentially getting the whole nutritional spectrum of whatever goes into your blender. Fibre is not only important for digestion and gut health but a satisfactory fibre intake (around 30g a day for most of us) is thought to be linked to lower chances of heart disease, type two diabetes, strokes and other serious ailments.