UNAIR NEWS – Nowadays, various alternative healthy processed food has been popular, especially to healthy life practitioners, one of them is cereal food like oats. Even though oatmeal known full of nutrition, not many people can enjoy it because it is tasteless and soggy after being processed so it is unappetizing. To make it more appetizing, creations to prepare oatmeal is developed, one of them is by serving it cold or called overnight oatmeal.
Overnight oatmeal has been healthy menu consumed abroad. The preparation is easy and practical. The ingredients used did not need any other process. You just need to mix some ingredients such as yoghurt, oatmeal, and milk into a mason jar and then leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, overnight oatmeal is ready to eat as healthy breakfast.
In the serving, special overnight oatmeal can be added with fresh fruit slices such as bananas, strawberries, mango or dates on top. Chia seeds, honey or peanut jam can also be added. The blend of yogurt, milk and oatmeal with fresh fruit offers sensational oatmeal sensation.
From its composition, overnight oatmeal is full of protein, calcium and fiber. A nutritionist Meryana Adriani, S.KM, M.Kes, explained that overnight oatmeal is good for everyone even someone on a diet. Overnight oatmeal can be full fiber breakfast but still low of fat and sugar.
High fiber food such as oats can lower cholesterol rate. From many researches, oatmeal has proven to be able to give fullness longer than other food source, even lignan content in oatmeal known to be able to make the heart healthy.
In his opinion, mixing oats with milk, sugar and yogurt then keep it in the fridge was a safe way to maintain the nutrition and good bacteria in yogurt. By keeping it in the fridge, it can disrupt bad bacterial growth, and it can destroy the nutritive yoghurt content.
“The point is, overnight meal is nutritive and does not make us hungry for longer period. Fulfilling but low on calories. If it is a daily breakfast menu, the benefit is extraordinary for the body, especially the digestive system because oats and fruit relax it,” he explained.
To avoid excessive calories and fat, milk used as ingredients of overnight oatmeal is low fat, non fat or alternative milk from processed seeds such as soy bean or almond. Meri also said to reduce usage of sugar or syrup.
“If you want it sweeter, date honey or bee honey is the right choice as healthy sweetener,” she said.
Other than milk and yoghurt, one ingredient you cannot leave out to make delicious overnight oatmeal is chia seeds. What are those?
Chia seeds are a kind of seeds from Chia flower (Salvia hispanica), they are oval similar with basil seeds and if they are soaked in water they turn to gel. Chia seeds are popular among modern healthy life practitioners. The seeds are rich in fiber, protein, omega 3 fat and antioxidant. Chia seeds also contain triptofan, essential amino acid which manage our appetite and control mood.
Chia seeds have been superfood ingredients for overnight oatmeal abroad. Unfortunately, they do not grow in Indonesia so it must be imported and the price of course is not cheap.
To serve them, Chia seeds can be mixed in food or drinks. Chia seed are flavorless and have different characteristics of taste.
Chia seeds are in the same family with sages (Salvia officinalis). Small seeds in black, white, brown and grey color have been the main food of Incan, Mayan and Aztecan tribes, also for Native American in the Southwest. “Chia” was from Mayan word which means power.
Chia seeds are believed to contain rich nutrition. They enhance our stamina and the energy and also for losing some weight.
Chia seeds are very popular for losing weight. Their nutrition contents can prevent calory absorption in the body so it does not make us hungry for longer period. It is because Chia seeds absorb 10 times water in the body, form big gel.
Furthermore, Chia seeds contain the highest omega 3 compared to salmon. Omega 3 is important fat which is anti-inflammatory so they prevent arthritis and heart disease.
Other benefits of Chia seeds, they are safe for diabetics to consume because they can slow carbohydrate turning to sugar. Some researches showed that they can control sugar blood. The researchers believe that they give big benefits to diabetics.
To be Healthy does not have to be Expensive
According to Meri, to consume healthy food, we do not have to be import-minded and spend much money. Meri suggested to use local ingredients which are not so bad in its nutrition quality compared to imported food. For that reason, to make overnight oatmeal, we can mix available fresh fruit in the markets.
She added that antioxidant are not only in Chia seeds but also from local fruit such as dragonfruit or grapes. That fruit can be served with overnight oatmeal.
“Nutrition content in Chia seeds actually can be replaced with local fruit high in Vitamin E and antioxidant. It depends on our creativity because to be healthy doesn’t have to consume expensive food source,” she said. (*)