Did you know January is National Oatmeal Month?  Truth be told, neither did I.  But my weekly Hungry Girl newsletter hit my Inbox this morning, and after scrolling through her salute to all things oatmeal, there it was.  National Oatmeal Month!

You’d think I’d know this.  After all, this is the Whole Grains Council, and I eat oatmeal for breakfast every single morning.  Not only do I think oatmeal is the quickest, easiest, and most cost-friendly breakfast option out there, but I can make instant oatmeal at work in a coffee mug with just a little bit of hot water.  And let me tell you, after walking to the office in 8 degree weather like I did this morning, it’s really nice to close my hands around a mug full of delicious warmth!

Oats are a great whole grain, and not just because they can be so convenient to eat.  Oats are full of important nutrients like vitamin B complex, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.  They contain a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan, found to be especially effective in lowering cholesterol, as well as insoluble dietary fiber, which has anticancer properties and keeps our bowel clean.  All this fiber also helps with satiety (that feeling of being pleasantly full), which can help us get from breakfast to lunch without a mid-morning snack.  If you, like me, are trying to shed the extra pounds that are inevitably gained during the holidays, we’ll take every bit of help we can get!  Best of all, oats, like most other whole grains, can help us maintain a healthy weight once we’ve reached it.

So why not take a few minutes to celebrate National Oatmeal Month with us?  First, check out our list of hot cereals so you know which of your favorite oatmeal products bear the Whole Grain Stamp.  Next, think about ways you can incorporate oats into recipes.  Some of my favorites are Pumpkin Oatmeal Bites, Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut Cookies, and Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes.  Finally, give yourself a pat on the back – you are well on your way to making half your grains whole!  (Kara)


I grew up in a large family and we ate lots of oatmeal...my mother and I differed as to how it should be cooked however, she preferred a more porridge-like consistency while I would set the pan of water to boil with less water and more oatmeal so that the result was so thick you could literally stand your spoon up in it. Also, if there was any dried fruit around, such as raisins, figs, dates, currents, cranberries, etc., I would add them to the boiling water before adding the oatmeal. There were actually times that I would snack on raw rolled oats out of the box. Now I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs in fishloaves/meatloaves, add to flour in any baking recipes, use in toppings for apple crisp, rhubarb crisp, cobblers, add to casseroles, and of course as the main ingredient in Scottish oatcakes and breads.
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