I was thinking about feel-good comfort food, had a little root around my kitchen cupboards and then Banana & Walnut Style – Oat Squares happened.
- Something sweet – but not too sweet – yes.
- Something filling – but not too filling – yes.
- Something healthy – but tastes a bit naughty – yes.
OK ‘Oat Squares’ are on!
What I am really looking for is something that holds together nicely. A teeny bit of crumbling here and there is fine – adds to the charm. But essentially you want to be able to slice it and have it bar like.
This sort of resembles a flapjack in Britain – an oat bar – except this version is way healthier than the traditional golden syrup sort.
I want my squares to be gluten-free… since my gut dissaproves of gluten. In which case, I opt for gluten-free oats. Most oats aren’t labelled gluten-free, so if this is a consideration for you, look at the label.
Oats are actually naturally gluten-free, but normally processed with other gluten grains or grown in fields where they are easily contaminated by other gluten grains (a rather surprising 10% contamination is allowed). Read my article here if this concerns you: Are Oats Gluten-free or Not?
Oats are surprisingly nutritious. Off the bat they offer up a good dose of…
- Manganese (essential for blood-clotting, healthy metabolism of fats & carbohydrates, blood sugar regulation)
- Phosphorus (needed for bone health and body maintanence and repair)
- Magnesium (for muscle and nerve health, strong bones and energy production)
- Copper (for making red blood cells, a healthy immune system and iron absorbtion)
- Iron (for hemoglobin production in red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the whole body – pretty essential tbh)
- Zinc (needed for DNA & protein synthesis and healing wounds)
Oats also are abundant in beta-glucan. This dissolves partially in water and forms a gel-like substance. Beta-glucan is important because it has been shown in studies to reduce LDL cholesterol, to reduce blood sugar levels, whilst also encouraging beneficial bacteria in the gut.