Adding raw oats to your breakfast smoothie will make it a more filling and nutritious meal. The oatmeal you use for cooking porridge can be a wholesome smoothie ingredient. But is it OK to use it raw?
Oats are nourishing whole grains that can be eaten raw or cooked. Any oats can be used raw, but the texture and smoothness will differ on the coarseness of the oat – depending on whether you use rolled oats, steel-cut, or quick oats.
Raw oats improve the fiber in a smoothie, healthy fat, plant protein, mineral, and vitamin content. For a silky texture, soak the oats in water or milk overnight, or blend them into flour before adding the other smoothie ingredients. Rolled oats work best.
A hearty breakfast helps sustain energy during the day and keeps your mind focused. You can add uncooked oat flakes to thicken and boost your smoothie’s health benefits. Here’s how to maximize the benefits of raw oat smoothies.
Using Raw Oats In A Smoothie
Cooking oats, like most foods, causes some nutrients to be lost depending on the cooking temperature and time. So it’s actually best to add the oat flakes to your smoothies uncooked – the benefits of overnight oats are well documented.
The starch content of oats starts breaking down when it is soaked in liquid, resulting in a more digestible meal. Phytic acid is found in oats which is an “anti-nutrient” that hinders your body’s ability to absorb certain minerals.
Soaking raw oats overnight will reduce phytic acid levels. And soaking the oats will help make a grit-free smoothie, even without a powerful blender.
What Type Of Raw Oats Is Best For Smoothies?
The best raw oats for a smoothie are rolled oats or quick oats as they have been processed so will blend smoothly. Unprocessed whole oat groats, coarse steel-cut oats, or bran can still be used but will add more texture to the smoothie.
Each has certain advantages, and all are healthy whole grains with roughly the same nutritional profile.
Rolled oats are lightly steamed and rolled into thick or thin flakes between heavy rollers. The oat flakes are then lightly toasted. This processing means that less cooking time is required. Raw rolled oats are ideal for adding to smoothies as they are or pre-soaked to enhance the smoothness after blending.
Quick oats or instant oats are partially cooked and processed to a fine texture, which causes the loss of some nutrients. It can be added to smoothies raw and will blend in smoothly. Be wary of these oats with added sugar or other unwanted additives.
Steel-cut (Irish oats) are minimally processed and considered more nutritious and “raw” than rolled oats or quick oats. The whole oat groat is chopped in half but not rolled or toasted. Steel-cut oats need more prolonged cooking. It will add a chewy, gritty texture if added raw to smoothies.
Oat groats are the most basic form of the oat grain that includes the cereal germ, endosperm, and bran. Not the best for adding to smoothies unless you can break them up fine.
Oat bran is the flaky outer layer of the oat groat after the endosperm and cereal germ has been removed. It has various health benefits and contains more protein, soluble fiber, and fewer calories than regular oatmeal. It can be added to smoothies but will make the texture rougher and grittier.
Glyphosate (herbicide) is often sprayed on oat and wheat crops. This chemical is a health hazard, therefore, it is best to use raw, organic oats for smoothies.
How To Add Oats To Smoothies
When using dry oat flakes, it’s best to put the oats in the blender first and blend until fine before adding the other ingredients. You can optionally soak the oats first to help them blend more smoothly.
Soaking the oat flakes for your smoothie overnight in water, juice, or the milk you prefer can lead to a more digestible and creamier smoothie with better nutrient absorption.
Put half a cup of oats per serving in a bowl and cover with your preferred liquid. Keep the oats soaking in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Add to the blender liquid included with all the other smoothie ingredients.
How Much Oats To Put In A Smoothie
Add a quarter cup of oats as a starting point for a single smoothie. To make a thicker smoothie add up to half a cup of oats. Oats blended too dry are less digestible and can leave you with a heavy feeling in the stomach.
There are numerous smoothie recipes online that raw oats can be added to. You can invent your own smoothie recipes by combining oats with fruit, nuts, spices, milk, water, or yogurt. Try these smoothie recipes combining blueberries, yogurt, honey, and cinnamon.
Ingredients To Add To Raw Oat Smoothies
A favorite of mine is banana, honey, peanut butter, oats, and milk – thick and full of flavor and nutrients after a workout.
A basic smoothie recipe combines fruit or vegetables with liquids, nuts, seeds, spices, and sometimes a sweetener. Add honey, maple syrup, or dates to make a sweeter smoothie. Try a powerful green smoothie with mixed greens, banana, and protein powder, or experiment with the following flavorful additions.
- Peanut butter
- Grated ginger or turmeric
- Miso paste
- Carob powder
- Spinach or kale leaves
- Maca powder
- Redbush or other caffeine-free teas instead of milk
- Chia, pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower seeds
- Avocado creates a deliciously creamy consistency
- Coconut water or coconut milk
- A spoon of ice cream for a decadent smoothie
Are Oats Already Cooked?
The raw oats you buy are slightly cooked already due to the heating processes before the oat groats are rolled into flakes. The more processed the oat type, the more cooking – instant oats are partially cooked the most.
Oat grains are the seeds of a grassy plant (Avena sativa) and are classified as whole grains. Oat kernels cannot be eaten until the stiff hull is separated from the oat groats. The groats are then treated with heat and moisture, enhancing digestibility and making the final cooking time shorter.
Benefits Of Raw Oats In A Smoothie
Oats are dense with nutrients, proteins, fiber, and healthy fats. They contain minerals like zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin E and Vitamin B. The list of health benefits is substantial, with raw oats even more nutritious than cooked oats.
Oats contain Beta-glucan, the soluble fiber that helps keep bad cholesterol from being absorbed in your blood. A study showed raw oats release more beta-glucan (26%) during digestion than cooked oats (9%). It has been found that a daily intake of 3 grams of beta-glucan in oats can reduce LDL Cholesterol by five to ten percent.
The beta-glucans in oats lower blood pressure and can significantly benefit heart health.
Oats are also high in insoluble fiber, which aids gut health and benefits those suffering from constipation. This type of fiber is fermented by the bacteria in your intestines and increases bowel movements.
Fiber makes oats a filling meal and can benefit a weight management program.
Adding Raw Oats To Your Diet
Raw oats can be added to sweet and savory smoothies. Their nutty taste combines well with a variety of ingredients. But why stop at smoothies when raw oats can be added to unbaked seed bars and puddings. Try these healthy treats.
Hopefully, you now know that you can put raw oats in a smoothie. Remember that the best types are the ones that have been processed slightly, like rolled oats, which will blend more easily.
Raw oats are a nutritious, energy-giving addition to any smoothie. Enjoy some daily to promote gut, heart, and digestive health.