Oatmeal is a breakfast meal that has ever since a staple of our diet. It is easy to cook, cheap, and, most importantly, nutritious. That is why aside from being used in cookies, mixed with fruits, and topped on yogurt, it remains a favorite breakfast meal.
However, oatmeal-loaded smoothies are now becoming a thing. It is a filling and healthy drink with minimal costs and prep time. For example, a ginger shot is a rich anti-inflammatory and antioxidant drink; an oatmeal smoothie is also a vital digestive supplement for everyone.
Whether you are looking for a healthy drink to gulp after the gym or want to change your current smoothie recipe, you have come to the right article.
What are the Benefits of Oatmeal in Smoothies?
A lot of smoothie recipes like adding oatmeal because of mainly three things:
- It boosts the drink’s dietary fiber amount and overall nutritional value
- It makes the drink thicker, which makes oatmeal a good substitute/supplement to cream or yogurt
- It gives the drink a more raw and organic texture.
First, let us talk about its health benefits. Technically speaking, oatmeal is the term used for the oat porridge popular in the United States, while oats are the small bits from the cereal grain plant. We will use oatmeal in this article to avoid confusion.
Oatmeal is naturally rich in a dietary fiber called Beta-Glucan or the “heart-healthy fiber.” It is a soluble fiber, meaning you can easily digest it. A cup of oatmeal has 4 grams of this fiber. It is known to reduce blood cholesterol and improve long term weight management. It is also gluten-free.
Adding oatmeal in smoothies keeps your digestive up and running smoothly. This means there will be lesser cases of constipation or loose bowel movement. If you are losing or maintaining weight, eating oatmeal keeps you feeling full and curbs your appetite.
Second, oats in smoothies make your breakfast smoothie thicker and creamier. Oatmeal is a coarse flour, so it becomes pasty when it mixes with any liquid ingredient. If you are a fan of a dense drink with a creamy texture, oatmeal smoothies are perfect.
Third, oatmeal has a neutral taste that it is a good palate cleanser. Mixing oatmeal in a banana smoothie will probably taste more earthy, similar to a granola bar. For more vibrant flavors like a strawberry oatmeal smoothie, the strawberry flavor is emphasized due to the oatmeal’s bland taste.
As you can see, adding oatmeal to your smoothie may be one of the best decisions you make in the kitchen.
How to Use Oatmeal in Smoothies
There are many types of oatmeal in the market? You have your typical rolled oats where the oats are flat via rolling; you have your quick cook or instant oatmeal are processed, and smaller rolled oats cook faster, and you have your whole, and steel-cut oats with the hulls (the fiber-rich outer shell) are still intact.
You can use any of them depending on how you will use your oatmeal. Either you cook the oats first, then add it to your drink, or put them uncooked. The above method will require more time. Soaking or cooking oatmeal before adding it to your drink is more of a personal preference.
We recommend using rolled oats (or instant oats if you have none) since they require less time to cook and ready to eat if you will put them uncooked. They have the nutritional value of whole oats without the “mushiness” of quick oats (if you will add them raw or not blend them).
Is It OK to Put Raw Oats In a Smoothie?
If you are using rolled or instant oats, then, yes, it is OK to put raw oats in your smoothie. These types of oat have been pre-cooked already via light steaming and toasting. On the other hand, you need to cook whole oats for 20-30 minutes before adding them unless you want hard bits of oats in your drink. Uncooked whole oats can also be a problem for your stomach since they are harder to digest.
The benefit of adding raw oats, rolled or instant oats, is you get all the nutrients and texture in your drink, which will also result in a thicker and fuller smoothie. That’s because the flour coating of the oats stays after cooking.
How about pre-packaged single-serve instant oatmeal? You can still use them but do not expect the same nutritional value or texture similar to using a pack of rolled oats.
Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie Recipes
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup of frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup of almond milk
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
You can enjoy this classic strawberry oatmeal smoothie anytime you want; the taste always awesome. You can blend all at once or add the oatmeal in the middle of your blending process, which will keep the oatmeal’s shape if you want something to bite on in your drink.
Using frozen strawberries will result in a thicker smoothie. Unlike a firm and dense banana, a strawberry is soft and full of liquid that will dilute your smoothie if you do not freeze them.
Also, I recommend setting aside a quarter cup of diced strawberries. You can add them after to give your smoothie a “bite.”
Aside from oatmeal, you can also add chia seeds to your smoothie (or add them both). Turn your classic blueberry smoothie into a chia oatmeal blueberry smoothie. Just follow the recipe above, replace the strawberries with blueberry, and add a ¼ cup of chia seeds.
The difference between a smoothie with oatmeal and one without is significant and noticeable. The smoothie is much denser, the taste becomes more laid-back and neutral, the texture is grittier, and the feeling after drinking it is more fulfilling.