Refreshing Oat Smoothies

I have always loved oats ever since I was a child. Unfortunately, getting my boys to love it has not been quite as straightforward so I’ve had to look for sneaky ways to incorporate them into their diets.

One of the easiest breakfasts to start the day with is a smoothie – it’s quick and easy to make and highly nutritious when you add the right ingredients. Adding oats as an ingredients helps to make smoothies go the extra mile because of its high satiety index that keeps us feeling full for longer.

Health Benefits of Oats:

  • may reduce asthma risk in children
  • may add extra nutritional value to gluten-free diets
  • increases appetite-control hormones
  • beta glucans contained in oats improves the immune system’s defenses
  • natural laxative – helps keep the bowel movements regular
  • may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • may improve insulin sensitivity
  • lower bad cholesterol
  • helps control blood pressure
  • has a high satiety index – keeps us feeling full for longer

Recently, Quaker sent me some interesting oat smoothie recipes and I’ve decided to give them a go. Here they are if you would like to try them, too…

Orange Oat Smoothie

Oranges are rich in vitamin C and super refreshing. Your body will thank you when you stay healthy, energetic and refreshed with a boost of fiber, vitamin B1, Iron and magnesium from oats.

Orange Oat Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice
  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind to a powder
  • ½ cup crushed ice cubes

Method:

  • Add orange juice, oats and ice cubes into a blender, blend well, and serve.

Peanut Butter Oat Smoothie

Looking for something filling, nutritious and delicious? Toss in peanut butter for a protein and fiber boost; and an extra nutty taste and flavor.

Peanut Butter Oat

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind to a powder
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup low- or non-fat milk, chilled

Method:

  • Add oats, bananas, peanut butter and milk into a blender, blend well and serve.

Mango Oat Smoothie

Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. They taste great and are easily available at your nearest supermarket.

Mango Oat

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind into a powder
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup low- or non-fat milk, chilled
  • 1 tsp sugar or low-calorie sweetener
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Method:

  • Add oats, mango, milk, sugar or sweetener and ice cubes into a blender, blend well and serve

Chocolate Oat Smoothie

Need some pampering? Do it the healthy way – add chocolate, bananas, oats and yogurt into your smoothie. Not only will you satisfy a chocolate craving, but you’ll nourish your body and stay full for longer too.

Choco Oat

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 cup low fat unsweetened plain yogurt
  • 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup ice cubes
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method:

  • Add oats, yogurt, banana, cocoa powder, ice cubes and sugar into a blender, blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Banana Oat Smoothie

Besides being a good source of potassium, bananas are a good source of fiber. With fiber rich oats and a double fiber benefit, you’ll not only feel full, but fiber is also good for your digestive system.

Banana Oat

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsps Quaker Instant/ Quick Cooking Oats, grind into a powder
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsps sugar or low-calorie sweetener
  • 2 cups low- or non-fat milk, chilled

Method:

  • Add oats, bananas, vanilla essence, sugar or sweetener and milk into a blender, blend well and serve.

About Quaker

The Quaker Oats Company, headquartered in Chicago, is a unit of PepsiCo, Inc., one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies. For more than 135 years, Quaker’s brands have served as symbols of quality, great taste and nutrition. Holding leadership positions in their respective categories, Quaker® Oats, Quaker® Rice Cakes and Quaker Chewy® Granola Bars are consumer favorites. For more information, please visit www.QuakerOats.comwww.Facebook.com/Quaker or follow them on Twitter @Quaker.

Going Green with Smoothies

G1 has discovered La Juiceria and, much to my surprise, he really loves it. I always thought the flavours were a little too out there for my fussy son but it turns out, I was wrong. He tried “Goodness Greens” – which is a combination of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley, apple and lemon – and he loved it so much, he even agreed to run laps if that was his reward. Really!?

We don’t have a juicer – not sure that I’m ready to invest in one either – so I did the next best thing… I made a really green smoothie:

  • a handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 tbsp supersprout lemon powder
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 tbsp barley grass powder
  • 1/2 tbsp supersprout blueberry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp supersprout carrot powder
  • 1 cup ice
  • water for dilution

I wasn’t holding my breath but he drank it! And the best bit was that he said it was nice!

G2, of course, wouldn’t have any of it – not that I was ever hopeful – but at least I now know how to feed more greens to G1 without having to get into a battle over it at the dining table. I saved La Juiceria’s menu to get more ideas for future smoothie combos. Perhaps we can even try adding a little kale and parsley in our next smoothie…

La juiceria

Recipe: The Brain Smoothie

This is our Brain Smoothie inspired by recent findings on Brain foods

The Brain Smoothie

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 5 tbsp of vanilla yoghurt
  • 2 dates
  • 1 handful of dried black currants
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 30g walnuts (soaked in water for 4 hours, then rinse)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 12 frozen red globe grapes
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp barley grass powder

Blend everything in a high powered blender and serve.

Many smoothies add ice cubes, we like to freeze our fruits and bananas instead so we don’t have to add ice.

Chocolate Coco-Nutty Smoothie

The boys drank the entire first batch of fruit smoothie I made this morning so I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to experiment with some new flavours. Boost Juice has a Pro-Choc Smoothie that I tried recently and loved, so this smoothie was inspired by that…

Chocolate Coco-Nutty Smoothie

Nuts, cacao, bananas, dates, soy and coconut milk… what’s not to love about this one. It’s dairy-free, nutritious and delicious to boot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp oatmilk powder
  • 1 tbsp walnut/hazelnut powder
  • 1 tbsp soy powder
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • 2 dates (pips removed)

Method:

  • Blend everything together in a highspeed blender.

Related:

Super Smoothies: Maca and Lucuma

I first stumbled onto Maca when I saw it listed as a “booster” on “The Perfect Smoothie“. While I was looking for it at the shops, I stumbled onto Lucuma. Both have been touted as “superfoods” by various health food sites and are recommended smoothie boosters. Like the regular skeptic that I am, I had to do a little digging separate the fact from fiction…

Figur8 - undomestic nutrition

About Maca

Maca is a Peruvian plant that has been used for centuries in the Andes for nutrition and to enhance fertility. It is related to such plants as rapeseed, mustard, turnip, black mustard, cabbage, garden cress, and water cress. There are three types of Maca – black, red, and yellow. At the time of writing, most of the studies are quite preliminary as they have only been performed on animals. Based on these studies, the results demonstrate some differences in the beneficial properties between the different types of maca, although all types of Maca offer potential benefits for osteoporosis, libido, mood, mental focus, prostate issues, and metabolic syndrome.

…natives in the central Peruvian Andes ascribe to the use of maca in children improves school performance – Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.

The key benefit of maca that caught my interest was its effect on latent learning and memory, and its antidepressant effect. Although all three types of maca had beneficial effects on latent learning and memory, it appears that black maca has the most potent effect.

…different evidences suggest that maca, particularly black maca, improves learning and memory – Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.

Other beneficial properties of maca:

  • antioxidant – protect cells from oxidative stress and scavenges free radicals
  • decreases levels of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL), total cholesterol, and triacylglycerols
  • improves glucose tolerance and lowers glucose levels in blood
  • improves bone mass

About Lucuma

Lucuma is a subtropical fruit of the Pouteria lucuma tree – native to Peru, Chile and Equador. It contains 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Lucuma is also a good source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins (especially beta-carotene and vitamin B3) necessary for bodily functions and beneficial to the immune system.

Beneficial properties of lucuma:

Maca and Lucuma for Kids?

The biggest concern I have about any “supplement” is whether it is okay for the children to consume.

So far we’ve been quite conservative with our use of both maca and lucuma. We occasionally add 1 to 2 teaspoons in a smoothie serving for three – usually no more than a couple of times a week. I believe that the key with nutrition is not to get carried away – superfood or no. At the end of the day, the best diet is still from a wide variety of sources.

How do my boys tolerate maca and lucuma? So far so good…

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