Honestly, can't get enough of this stuff at the moment. Oats are about as old as cavemen (okay, might be a slightly spurious claim, but you get what I'm saying) but for me, they're an essential part of my diet.

  image credit: muscleandfitness.com

image credit: muscleandfitness.com

Oats should definitely not just be confined to coming out of the battered boxes in your cupboard during winter months only to make porridge, and although on their own are quite boring and bland, there's so much stuff you can do with them that means there's really no excuse but to go forth and love thine oats...

5 reasons why I feel everyone should have oats in their life

  1. They're cheap as chips. Cheaper, in fact. If you need to fill your tum on a budget, oats are your friend.
  2. They're SOOO versatile. If you think all oats are good for is porridge & flapjacks, you're wrong. One of my favourite recipes is from fantastic food blogger Nic Whitehead (Nic's Nutrition) for overnight oats. Prepping brekkie the night before will ensure you're not rushed in the morning and will still enjoy a delish, nutritious brekkie. You can also use them to make pancakes, and in place of breadcrumbs on fish.
  3.  They're flipping great for you. Providing you're not slathering them in sugar (or salt), the beta-glucans in these little oaty mouthfuls helps slow down carbohydrate absorption, preventing blood sugar spikes and subsequently production and storage of fat. Some evidence suggests it's great for heart health too. Win, win.
  4. They're quick & simple. Whether you're giving them a soak overnight or using the 'express' kind, they'll take no time at all to prepare. No more excuses to skip brekkie, or even dinner. If I'm arriving home late without any proper dinner, a small bowl will stop me going to bed hungry!
  5. To me, they're the best pre-workout fuel. I've found if I have a bowl of porridge, overnight oats or a homemade bircher muesli  a few hours ahead of a run, it really helps with my energy levels and therefore how far and how fast I run, or how hard I work in the gym. Of course, it could all be in my head, but I'm happy to believe it helps!

Are you a cheerleader for oats? How do you like yours?