These easy Peanut Butter Oats are made with rolled oats, Peanut Nosh Bars, peanut butter, bananas, and pumpkin seeds. Delicious and nutritious, this bowl can be eaten any time of the day and with any crunchy mix-ins you have in your cabinet.
In colder seasons we love this bowl with an apple and our goji berry bars instead of a banana and our peanut bars.
Why We Love Oat Bowls
Rolled oats don't need to be plain or boring. In fact because they're a bit plain, they make for a great canvas for a creative and colorful breakfast. What makes this recipe stand out is the delicious warm gooeyness of the peanut butter when it melts into the hot oats. It's the definition of comfort food.
This whole bowl is packed with fiber, protein, fats, carbs, and vitamins which are ALL necessary for your body to stay happy. Oats contain all of this goodness, but what they outshine the other ingredients with is their fiber profile. Did you know that there are two types of fiber? Soluble and insoluble. Both are important for overall health and digestion.
Soluble fiber is water soluble, which helps slow digestion. It helps your body slowly digest the oats and whatever else you are eating with the oats, which helps your body maintain a steady blood sugar level. This is beneficial for everyone, but particularly beneficial for people with diabetes.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool, which helps it pass more quickly! Woohoo. This not only makes your stomach feel better, but it can help prevent colon diseases such as cancer or diverticulitis.
Rolled oats have about equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble and insoluble fiber can be found in a variety of foods, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Basically all the good stuff!
Oats are also rich in phosphorus, thiamine, magnesium, and zinc.
Which Oats Should You Eat?
As you've probably seen at the food store, there are different types of oats, all with their own set of pros and cons: Instant, Rolled, and Steel Cut. How can there be so many varieties of one grain?
Well, that one is easy. They're all processed differently. Whole grain oats come from a crop with a hull that contains 3 parts: germ, brand, endosperm. Oat kernels with all 3 parts are sometimes called 'oat groats'. See below for a short explanation of how each one is processed.
Another common question is, are all types of oats equally nutritious? Here's the simple answer: they have almost identical nutrition labels, but the biggest differences are in their glycemic index (which is not shown on a nutrition label). Glycemic index (GI) effects blood sugar levels.
A glycemic index (scaled from 0-100) "is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Foods low on the glycemic index (GI) scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Foods high on the glycemic index release glucose rapidly. Low GI foods [slow digestion], while foods high on the GI scale help with energy recovery after exercise, or to offset hypo- (or insufficient) glycemia." (1). High GI foods can be useful for creating energy when you are going to expend a lot of energy, such as going for a long distance run or doing a long and high intensity workout. Otherwise, low GI foods are a great choice and are the best way to stay fuller for longer and to maintain a steady blood sugar level, which prevents you from feeling suddenly tired or unusually ravenous after a meal. Also, if you have diabetes, you probably already know this, but you'll mostly always want to stick with low GI foods.
Here are the differences between each variety of oats.
Steel Cut Oats
Steel cut oats are made by cutting oat groats into small pieces. These oats can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to cook depending the how big the pieces are. Steel cut oats pack in more flavor and are the least processed oats, remaining as close to their original form as you can get. Steel cut oats have a glycemic index in the low 50's (compared to instant oats which have a GI in the high 70's). Other foods with a GI in the low 50's are rolled oats, plantains, bananas, and sweet corn.
Rolled oats are made by taking the oat groats and flattening, steaming, and then drying them. They take a few minutes to cook in the microwave or stovetop. Rolled oats are quicker to make than Steel Cut Oats, but have less flavor. These are a good option for fluffier oats or if you are using them in a recipe such as oatmeal raisin cookies or granola. They have a GI in the low 50's.
Instant Oats are made by steaming and rolling the rolled oats until they are even thinner than rolled oats. Although Instant Oats are very quick to make, they have a higher glycemic index (high 70's). They have about the same GI as corn flakes, rice crackers, boiled potatoes, and watermelon. Obviously these are all such different foods with such different nutritional profiles, which is why it's important to look at a foods entirety instead of just one macro.
Let's Not Forget About The Other Ingredients
They are superstars too. This peanut butter oat bowl is also made with peanut butter, Peanut Nosh Bars, bananas, and pumpkin seeds. Peanut butter gets such a bad reputation, but that's only because so many peanut butters are made with added sugars or palm oil. Peanut butter made with just peanuts is nothing to be afraid of. Peanuts, and peanut butter, are a good source of protein, fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids), fiber, minerals, and vitamins. These fats provide your body with energy, support cell growth, protect your organs, keep you warm, help your body absorb some nutrients, and produce important hormones (2). Our Peanut Nosh Bars are made with dates (a super nutritious fruit), peanuts, rolled oats, reduced fat organic shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and a touch of sea salt. With no added sugar, they're a great way to add sweetness to this bowl and get in some extra protein, fiber, and vitamins. We add bananas because who doesn't love peanut butter and bananas?! Although dates and our bars provide a good source of potassium, bananas add even more. We topped this bowl with pumpkin seeds because their flavor goes so well with peanut butter and bananas and they provide a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc.
How To Make This Simple Bowl
Ingredients, 1 serving
1/2 cup rolled or steel cut oats
1/2 - 1 Peanut Nosh Bar
1 big spoonful of peanut butter
1 banana, sliced
Pumpkin seeds, to top
Make oatmeal according to package directions
Put oatmeal in a bowl
Top oatmeal with toppings