We all have our favourite Starbucks treat that we like to indulge in from time to time.
For me, that treat has always been the simple yet decadent oat bar 😍. After looking up the ingredient list and discovering the presence of high-fructose corn syrup, I knew I could come up with a more wholesome product using ingredients I trust.
And I did!
I love oats for several reasons.
1) They are one of the highest sources of a trace mineral called manganese, which is essential for proper thyroid function, collagen synthesis, and the production of insulin, allowing us to regulate our blood sugars more efficiently. Preliminary research even shows that manganese, together with calcium, may help improve symptoms of PMS, and that women may be more prone to period pain and mood disturbance if they have lower levels of manganese in their blood.
2) Oats are also very high in thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, which plays a special role in burning carbohydrates as fuel for our cells Without proper thiamine levels, we run the risk of deficiency which can lead to inadequate glucose delivery to our nervous system and brain.
These two nutrients make oats an excellent option for those individuals living with blood sugar imbalances, i.e) type 2 diabetes, or insulin-resistant PCOS. Just pair them with some extra protein and you will be fueled for hours!
Prep time: 5-10 min
Bake time: 15-20 min
3½ cups quick cooking steel cut oats
½ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup honey
⅓ cup milk of your choice
¼ teaspoon salt
10 drops French Vanilla NOW Stevia
Preheat the oven to 325°F/162°C and line a 9x12 inch pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, grind 2½ cups of the oats until they reach consistency of flour. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 cup of oats. Set aside.
In a pan, melt the butter, honey, stevia, and salt together over low/medium heat until everything is melted. Mix ingredients well. Remove from heat and whisk in the milk.
Pour the wet ingredients over the oats and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer mixture into the lined pan and using a spoon or your fingers, press the oats into the pan firmly and evenly.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is a bit golden and mixture is no longer wet.
Cool the oats completely and then cut into 12 bars. Store in fridge.
These bars only contain 5 grams of protein, so add a bit of peanut butter or Greek yogurt to keep those blood sugars stable and to keep you feeling satiated for longer!
Lisa Makeeva, RD, MAN