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3 Apr 2011

Oats

Oats (Avena sativa) are probably one of the the most useful grains as they are nutritious, healing, cleansing, slimming, and a beauty aid. They are also known as groats. Oat grains have been discovered in Egypt that dated back to 2000BC.
They contain an excellent amount of manganese, good amounts of selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, thiamin (vit B1), magnesium, iron, potassium,calcium, vitamin E, zinc and dietary fibre. Oats have a high quality protein and contain around 9 grams per 100 grams. Dr Bircher-Benner of Switzerland saw the nutritious properties of oats and created his famous dish muesli, which is made up of raw oats and fruit. Muesli is now eaten Worldwide by those wishing to have a healthy start to the day. Some still prefer a bowl of hot oat porridge, also a very healthy option.

Note that oats contain gluten although in some countries you are able to buy gluten-free oats. Many people who are unable to eat wheat gluten find they have no problem with oat gluten, but those with coeliac disease should be very cautious.

The properties of oats include being an antispasmodic, nervine, and stimulant. From a health point of view studies have found the gummy fibre in oats can reduce bad cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and alleviate  constipation. The fibre helps slow down absorption of sugars in the intestines which is an important factor for diabetics. A watery oat porridge (gruel) has been used for hundreds of years for those with digestive problems and fevers, as it is very easy to digest.

Not only are oats excellent internally for the health but they are wonderful for soothing and healing many skin conditions. you can relieve the itch and irritation of chicken pox, poison ivy, psoriasis, eczema and sunburn by taking oatmeal baths. Even dogs with itchy skin can benefit from oat baths. You can either grind up oatmeal very fine before adding to the water or buy colloidal oatmeal from the health shop which is fine enough to dissolve in bathwater. Note that the bath water must be warm and not hot. 

Excellent for slimming, oat porridge, muesli and other oat products stop hunger by stabilizing sugar and giving a feeling of fullness for hours after eating. Just make sure they are sugar and low fat additions added to them. Oats keeping you regular also helps to lose weight.

As a beauty aid oats are marvelous for the skin. They draw out impurities and exfoliate, without stripping the skin of moisture, and leave the skin soft and smooth. This can be done by using oats in homemade masks, scrubs, cleansers and baths. A simple mask or scrub can be made just adding a little water or yogurt to oatmeal and for the bath tie up a couple of handfuls of oats oats in an old stocking, sock or piece of cloth and squeeze a few times in the bath water.

There are various kinds of oats available:
Groats: Oat kernels.
Steel-cut: Kernels which have been sliced.
Breakfast oats: Steamed and flattened oat kernels.
Quick-cooking oats: Steamed , chopped and flattened.
Instant oats: Cooked, rolled very thin. Often have added sugar, flavours etc.
Oat bran: The outer layer of the kernel.
Oatmeal: Ground up oats.

Oats have a slightly higher fat content than other grains and can go rancid, so it is better to purchase them in quantities that you are able to use within a reasonable time. Store in an airtight container in a cool place out of direct light.

Whether you want a healthy meal, to pamper your skin or smooth that sunburn why not try out some oats today!
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Oat and Brown Sugar Scrub
By Eleanor Athens at Pioneer Thinking

2 tbsp. ground oats
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. aloe vera
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water. You can triple the recipe for a fantastic smoothing body treatment. Perishable and should be used right away.

Oatmeal Hand Scrub
From My Beauty Recipes
Homemade spa recipe for a gentle hand scrub. Leaves your hands nourished and soft.

2 tbsps. oatmeal
1 1/2 tsps. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. olive oil

Add the oatmeal to 1/4 cup water and let stand 10 minutes until oatmeal is softened. Add lemon juice and olive oil to oatmeal and mix well. Rub mixture into your hands and let stand 1-2 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Apply moisturizer to your hands and let it soak in 10-15 minutes.  

Amazing Face Mask
Submitted by Genevieve at Make Your Cosmetics  
Instantaneously gives you a glow and helps the skin release toxins which could cause blemishes later.  

3 tbsps. ground rolled oats
1 tbsp.  ground almonds
1 tbsp.  powdered chamomile
1 tbsp.  finely ground sage
1 tbsp.  apple cider vinegar
6 drops drops chamomile essential oil
6 drops sage essential oil

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix together with your fingers. The mixture will have a dry, grainy consistency. Scoop a little out and spread thickly onto wet or dry skin, massaging gently with an outward, circular motion. Rinse off and pat dry. This will give you about 6 or 7 treatments and keeps for 3 months in a cool dry place.

Oatmeal Face Cleanser
From I'm on the Look-out 

3 tbsps. oatmeal
2 tsps. witch hazel
And a few drops of water

You want to dampen the oatmeal first then add the witch hazel. Then add the water to make it moist. Apply to your face with an upward and outward circuler motion. Rinse with lots of warm water. This recipe is good for all kinds of skin. If you have dry skin add a little oil. You can also add a mashed bannana for more nourishment.

Oat Banana Mask
By Arty at Our Vanity  

half of ripe banana
2 tbsps. ground oats
2 tbsps. whole wheat flour
pinch nutmeg
milk or cream

Mix the ingredients to get smooth paste and apply to clean face for 5-10 minutes. Your skin will be soft and oat will sooth any irritation.

Breakfast Smoothie
Recipe submitted by sdvegi at VegWeb  

3 to 4 bananas
1-1/2 cups rolled oats [160g]
1 cup carrots, chopped [150g]
2 cups apple juice (heat if any of the ingredients are frozen)
1 bunch greens (281g) (green kale, spinach, or red dandelion work best, collard and chard are not as bright green).
water

In a blender (Vita-Mix, Ktech or other high power blender with 2 quart / 2 litre container is best), add bananas, oats, carrots, and apple juice. Add water to the 6 or 7 cup mark and blend until everything is smooth. The greens are bulky but will fit when blended in - if blended in steps, a little at a time.  So, fill the remainder of the blender space with as much greens as will fit without packing the blender too tight, blend until smooth.  Add more greens, blend, and repeat, until the whole bunch of greens is used or the level of the smoothie has reached the top. Enjoy and store left overs in the freezer [to preserve the flavor] in one portion sized containers.  I especially like these after exercising in the morning - half defrosted - cold and slushy to cool me off.

Nutrition Facts: 2 quarts
Total Calories:  1342
Calories from Fat: 126
% Fat = 126/1342 = 9.3%

Kiddies Oatmeal Clay
From Family Fun 
Here's the clay equivalent of comfort food: a sturdy, nubbly dough that provides hours of smushing and sculpting. It dries rock hard overnight and makes convincingly Jurassic-looking figures and pretty, earthy beads.

1 cup rolled oats (you can use instant or old fashioned)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra
1/2 cup water
Food coloring (optional)

Step 1 Stir together all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough forms a lump. For colored clay, you can add drops of food coloring to the water before combining it with the dry ingredients. Knead it on a floured surface, adding flour as needed, until it is smooth and not too sticky.

Tips: Allow finished creations to air-dry overnight. Leftover clay can be refrigerated in a ziplock bag for up to three days.

5 comments:

Teresa said...

Hey, great recipes in here! I'm looking forward to trying that breakfast smoothie tomorrow morning.

aesh came said...

Such a thorough blog! I'm loving it and this is the first time I'm here. I love this articles on oats, it's more than just oat's nutrition, thanks for the cleansing tips .I'm now a follower, number 120, isn't that a lovely number..Haah keep it up! I'll be back for more~

Ronald John Neal said...

Oats can also help reduce constipation and helps promote lose bowel movement when taken regularly as part of meal.

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