Thursday, January 27, 2011
Did you know that January is National Oatmeal Month? Apparently more oatmeal is consumed in January than any other month. Maybe it has something to do with the weather, or maybe it's because January is the time when people resolve to eat better. Personally, I don't care what month it is; we eat oatmeal year-round! It's delicious and filling, and comes with a host of health benefits:
* Oats contain soluble fiber, which soaks up cholesterol in the intestines, where they eventually get carried out of the body); as a result, the body replaces the cholesterol in the intestines with cholesterol in the bloodstream -- which lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood! What could be better for your heart? (coincidentally, February is American Heart Month!)
* Oats are a great source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
* Since oatmeal is high in fiber, eating it helps keep you full longer, which helps with weight management.
* The whole grains in oatmeal help control blood glucose levels and give you a steady source of energy.
* Oatmeal is wonderful for dry, itchy skin; the natural, lubricating fats in oats allow oatmeal to be a great moisturizer and can leave a thin layer of protection on the skin.
The only problem with oatmeal is how long it takes to cook; instant oatmeal takes only minutes in the microwave, but the flavored varieties are quite high in sugar. But ever since I reviewed Better Oats oatmeal last year, it has become my oatmeal of choice. Their varieties are generally lower in sugar than other instant oatmeal brands, they use 100% whole grain oats, and they add flax seed for extra nutrition. I'm addicted to the taste of their Oat Heads Berry Blast, and not a week goes by when I don't heat up a bowl or two for breakfast. I have it down to a science -- tear packet, pour into bowl, fill packet with water up to fill line, pour water into bowl, microwave uncovered on high for 1 minute, 20 seconds -- so even though my mornings are a huge rush, I can still enjoy a hot bowl of Better Oats oatmeal.
Whether you’re a once-in-a-while oatmeal eater or the everyday sort, January is a great time to celebrate oatmeal! Here are several ways to celebrate this delicious, healthy food:
* Try this easy recipe using instant oatmeal:
No Bake Cookies from Thrifty Fun (note: These come out more like energy bars than cookies; they are pretty moist, with a nice peanut-butter-chocolate flavor, and my kids love them! This recipe can be halved if you want a smaller yield)
2 C. Sugar (note, I used only 2/3 c sugar since I used flavored instant oatmeal)
2 Tblsp. Cocoa
1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Peanut Butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla
5 C. Instant Oatmeal (note: I used Better Oats' Oat Revolution Maple & Brown Sugar instant oatmeal, 12 individual packets)
Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and peanut butter and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla and oats. Stir until combined. Drop by tsp. on wax paper or spead in a pan, cool and cut in squares.
Here are a couple of other recipes that use instant oatmeal:
Brown Sugar Instant Muffins
Instant Oatmeal Cookie
* This eHow article has lots of fun ways to celebrate National Oatmeal Month
* Last but not least, celebrate by joining my giveaway below! We're picking TEN winners so lots of people get a prize!
Win a month's supply of Better Oats oatmeal
To celebrate National Oatmeal Month, Better Oats is giving away TEN cases of Better Oats oatmeal to TEN lucky Bonggamom Finds readers! That's right, ten of you will get a month's supply of a variety of yummy Better Oats.
Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite way to enjoy oatmeal. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).
2) Write this on the Better Oats Facebook Page wall (1 entry):
I joined the Better Oats National Oatmeal Month giveaway on Bonggamom Finds! Ten lucky winners will receive a month's worth of Better Oats and you could be one of them! Enter by Feb. 14 at www.tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes
3) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Better Oats giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes
4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).
5) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).
6) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
TEN winners will receive a month's supply of oatmeal (10 winners)! Enter the Better Oats giveaway on @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on February 14, 2011 (since oatmeal is good for the heart, and February is American Heart Month, and you know what the symbol of Valentine's Day is!). I will draw 10 winners at random on February 15 and post the winners' names after they confirm acceptance. US addresses only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Thanks to Better Oats for providing the prizes for this giveaway. Product information was taken from the Better Oats website and is clearly indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.