Smooth Sailing To Health And Happiness!

This is a sponsored post for Quaker and was first published on 

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. A meal to be had within an hour of waking, breakfast offers many benefits to the body and the brain. So obviously, this is the best time to consume some of the healthiest things so as to enhance the benefits of breakfast. Of course, snacks too are important for growing children at regular intervals to keep their energy levels up. And one of the healthiest inclusions in all your meals can be none other than, Oats!
However, we Indians love our paranthas, pooris, and our idlis so much, that a steaming bowl of porridge first thing in the morning is out of the question for us; no matter how healthy or how filling it may be. And that is exactly the problem I have been trying to tackle ever since I got to know the long term health benefits of Oats. You see, oats being a whole grain, rich in fiber and generally great for us, is clearly something that every health-conscious mother wants to include in her family’s diet. And if you look at it, you will find several yummy recipes you could try using this humble grain, from oats upma to oats khichdi; from oats idli to oats dhokla, they are all there, at your fingertips, if you are willing to do the research!
The bland taste and the coarse feel of the grain, however, makes it an unwelcome addition to our palate; and when it comes to children or husbands or even in-laws, taste trumps it all; and anything that we try to include in our cooking that doesn’t make our food tasty, is clearly tossed out the window! So what then, can we do, that will let us include this grain in our everyday cooking and yet keep the food tasty?
Well, I found the simplest solution! The trick is to use include a little quantity in our food, such that it doesn’t change the taste or the texture of the dish and secretly offers up all its wholesome goodness to the dish we cook! Don’t believe me? Try this,    
A part added to the atta: We all make rotis in our home every day. How about substituting a part of the whole wheat atta with finely ground Quaker oats? Believe me, there’s not much change in the taste of the roti, but you know you have sneaked in some health in your family’s staple food!
A part added to your favorite snack: Snacks are prepared in every household every day, and with growing children, even several times a day. So why not take advantage of this fact, to include oats in them? Here’s how you do it, no matter what you make, add a part of Quaker oats to the ingredients! Aloo/veg/soya granules patties are favorites with kids, so add a cup of oats to the mix as well, and see the children enjoy their finger licking snacks! What’s more, oats also helps by acting as a good binding agent.
A part added to the dosa/idli batter: If traditional south Indian snacks like idlis and dosas are preferred in your home, worry not! You could just add finely powdered roasted Quaker oats to the batter and make the idlis and dosas as usual! Believe me, everyone will thank you for the added crunch and no one will even suspect oats!
A cup added to your favorite cookies/biscuits/cake batter: Are you a baker at heart? I know most moms love to bake with their little ones (I do too!) and here’s the good news for them! You could add a part of Quaker oats to your ingredients and blend some health in there! Believe me, soft moist cakes, soft chewy cookies and even homemade biscuits taste like heaven! Just make sure you include your secret ingredient!
A part to make the most delicious kheer: Did I tell you how delicious an oats kheer can taste? Well, kheer, by itself, will taste amazing anyway; but no matter what kheer you make, if you add a part of oats (powdered or whole, depending on the kheer you make) to it; you will have thick, creamy, delicious kheer that everyone will talk about for ages! Do remember to keep some aside for yourself, as this is not something anyone will leave at the table!
A part added to your favorite smoothies: And now comes to my favorite part - smoothies! I started out by telling you about breakfast, right? Well, this is the most delicious (and healthy) breakfast you could ever take credit for! Here’s how you go about it –
Now, what are some of the healthy foods we know of? Oats, of course, fruits, yogurt, milk; and even flax seeds, right? And what if I said, these are exactly the ingredients you need to make your healthiest possible breakfast?
Yep, you read that right! Bananas, strawberries, oranges, kiwi; get those fruits out and blend them with yogurt, a bit of milk, roasted and powdered oats and powdered flax seeds for a heavenly smoothie that you can take with you for a breakfast on the go! You could include a single fruit or go with a combination of fruits that suits you, it doesn’t matter; they all taste awesome! Try this with your children and see the contented smiles spread across their faces! Then take a sip of this divine breakfast yourself and lose yourself in the bliss!  
Now that, is what I call, smooth sailing to health and happiness!



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