Did you know that Goldilocks may have been eating oatmeal when she snuck into the three bears’ house? Specifically, the fairy tale says she was trying their porridge, which can be made from boiling grains like oats. But if little Goldilocks lived in modern times, she would find this next recipe "just right" since it takes all the familiar flavors of a tasty, satisfying bowl of oatmeal and gives them a new spin.
"As far as breakfast goes, this smoothie is perfect since it is healthy, filling, and tastes like a traditional bowl of oatmeal. Only better!" recipe developer Maren Epstein explained. "The smoothie is pretty filling, and it’s best to have it on its own. But your favorite coffee drink would complement it nicely."
And for anyone who is not a morning person, this simple recipe only takes three minutes to make. How easy is that? Learn about how you can whip up this healthy smoothie for yourself.
Gather your ingredients for this oat smoothie
To make your oat smoothie, you’ll need rolled oats, almond milk, ice cubes, and dates. Epstein also recommends using a frozen banana since it will make your smoothie thicker. "If you use a fresh or overripe banana, it will just make the smoothie a bit runnier," she explained. "You can combat this by adding extra ice cubes."
Of course, not everyone prefers almond milk, and there are a lot of other milk options out there. Whether you go for a dairy or a non-dairy version, this smoothie should still come out perfectly.
Blend your ingredients
Combine the banana, the oats, the almond milk, the ice cubes, and the dates in a high-speed blender. You want to blend them until they are fully emulsified. While Epstein used steel-cut oats in the pictured smoothie, she says you’re not limited to this type of oat.
"Any type of oat will work for this recipe since they are getting ground up in the blender," she explained. "Just make sure to use organic oats." Those oats you have in the pantry right now? They’ll probably work for this recipe as well.
Why almond milk?
Before we get to the best part of any recipe, serving and enjoying it, let’s talk about why almond milk is a good choice for this smoothie. While Epstein noted that any milk could be used for this recipe, she also pointed out that almond milk is particularly healthy.
"Almond milk is healthier than regular cow’s milk because it doesn’t have the casein molecule in it that reportedly slows down digestion, promotes mucus and inflammation, and leaches calcium out of the bones," she explained. "Casein needs extra calcium from the body to break it down, which could it bad for bone health."
But what if you have a nut allergy?
Despite the health benefits of almond milk, there are many people who need to avoid all products that contain nuts. But that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on this smoothie. As Epstein explained, both soy milk and oat milk are good substitutes for almond milk. However, both have their drawbacks.
"Flavor-wise, oat would work best since it mimics the flavor of the oats in the smoothie," she said. "Oat milk is thick and creamy. But it is higher in sugar and calories than other milks." On the other hand, soy milk is thought to cause a rise in estrogen.
Don’t forget the garnish
Okay, now that’s we’ve discussed possible ingredient substitutions, it’s time to finish your oat smoothie. Once you’ve thoroughly blended your smoothie, pour it into a glass, and garnish it with cinnamon and rolled oats.
If you’re looking for something to add besides cinnamon, Epstein recommends allspice, nutmeg, or a pumpkin pie spice blend. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to try a combination of spices. Just remember, a little goes a long way.
Good for more than just breakfast
While a healthy recipe is a great way to start the day, this smoothie is also a good snack for after an exercise routine.
"I would recommend this smoothie as a post-workout snack, as it will refill your glycogen stores since it is high in healthy carbohydrates," Epstein explained. However, she noted that this particular smoothie is not a good choice if you’re limiting your carbs.
She also pointed out that this recipe could be turned into popsicles by pouring it into molds and putting it into the freezer. Sounds like the ideal healthy summertime treat!
- 1 frozen banana
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup almond milk
- 4 dates
- 5 ice cubes
- Combine the banana, oats, almond milk, ice cubes, and dates in a high-speed blender. Blend until fully emulsified.
- Pour into a glass and garnish with cinnamon and rolled oats.
- Serve and enjoy.
Caffeine is the chemical in coffee that makes you feel awake and energized — and sometimes jittery and anxious. Caffeine has these effects because it stimulates your nervous system. When you drink your morning coffee, the caffeine enters your bloodstream through your digestive system and heads for your brain where it releases serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones (via a 2010 review published in the Journal of Food Science). This whole process takes about an hour, which is why you may not feel the effects of your morning cup of coffee immediately.
The half-life of caffeine (the amount of time it takes to reduce the caffeine in your system to 50 percent) is about five or six hours, but that does vary per person. This explains why, if you drink your first cup of coffee at 7 in the morning, you feel like you need another cup somewhere between noon and three in the afternoon. You’re working with half of the caffeine you had on board after you drank your first cup, and you might be starting to feel tired.
Skipping your morning coffee can result in caffeine withdrawal
Skipping your morning cup of coffee isn’t just a break in your routine. The caffeine in coffee is a drug, and you’re going to feel some withdrawal symptoms. Passing up your morning cup of coffee will result in some or all the following symptoms of caffeine withdrawal: headache, fatigue, trouble concentrating, as well as flu-like muscle pain and nausea (via Cleveland Clinic). The more caffeine you are used to having, the more severe your symptoms will be. The symptoms will start affecting you from 12 to 24 hours after you’ve had your last cup of coffee, and they can last from two to nine days.
The best way to quit caffeine is to do so slowly — wean off of it. If you have three cups of coffee a day, start drinking two, then one, then half a cup, then none. Remember that there is also caffeine is some sodas, teas, and chocolate, so be careful. Another way to wean off of it is by switching some cups of coffee to decaf, which has less caffeine than regular coffee. If you drink three cups a day, start with one decaf and two regulars. Slowly taper off of caffeine over two to three weeks for the best results.