HG Salutes: A Mystery Ingredient! (Ooooh... Open & See!)

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Today's honoree is the main component in one of the oldest cereals on earth. And though some people might call them outdated, we're all about these vintage grains. Hungry Girl salutes you, OLD-FASHIONED OATS!

  What Are They?

Old-Fashioned Oats

PER SERVING (1/2 cup, dry, average): 149 calories, 3g fat, 0mg sodium, 26.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

"Oats, known scientifically as Avena sativa, are a hardy cereal grain able to withstand poor soil conditions in which other crops are unable to thrive. Oats gain part of their distinctive flavor from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Although oats are then hulled, this process does not strip away their bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of their fiber and nutrients. . . [Old-fashioned oats] have a flatter shape [than other oats] that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled."

This description, courtesy of, is informative yet tells you nothing about WHY we so dearly adore non-instant oats. Keep reading, and you'll get a pretty good idea...

  Why Do We Love Them?

Heart Healthy
- As you've probably heard in multitudes of cereal commercials, oats are good at lowering cholesterol levels, and high-fiber foods like oats could reduce the risk of heart disease for chewers. We enjoy our hearts, so this is good news!

Full of Fiber and MORE! - In addition to being packed with fiber, oats are an excellent source of manganese, which can actually help your body make the most of other key nutrients. Plus, they have good amounts of selenium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), magnesium, and protein -- which can mean healthy bones, improved circulation, increased energy, and support for your immune system. YAY, nutrition!

Versatile & Sneaky! - We enjoy putting oats in places they wouldn't ordinarily go: pancakes, Danishes, and more... Just see the recipes featured below! Not only can they add a nice subtle texture, but they can also up the fiber count of whatever you're consuming. Oats are like fiber ninjas!

Super-Satiating Superstars! - Eat something loaded with oats, and you'll likely feel full for a good long time. Plus, those suckers can soak up a whole lotta liquid -- one only needs to look at our famous Growing Oatmeal for proof -- and foods with high water content lead to maximum satisfaction. Hooray!


There's not much that DOESN'T go with oats -- they work in almost any situation -- but these items are friends to the finish.

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze - These two ingredients cooked up with some water make one LARGE bowl of oatmeal! The Breeze (our favorite milk swap) brings an extra-creamy punch and more flavor to your oats. Plus, our unconventional cooking method maximizes your grains.

Hot Beverage Accessories - Quirky and unexpected? Sure. But why shouldn't hot cereal share a closet... er, pantry... with steamy drinks? Think powdered creamer (our favorite is sugar-free French vanilla), hot cocoa mix (25-calorie packets), and no-calorie sweetener (Truvia's our latest love!).

Fruit - Freshly cut, thawed from frozen, packed in juice (and drained)... Any of these would make a nice addition to a bowl of oatmeal. And won't you feel super-healthy eating a bowl of fruit and oats?

The Refrigerator - Don't make that face! Chilled oatmeal is really good as long as you make and serve it right -- like in our amazingly delicious oatmeal parfaits, layered up with lots of good things! Speaking of oatmeal parfaits...

  HG's Oat-of-This-World Recipe Roundup!

From parfaits to cookies to pizza crusts, our oats know no bounds...

Berry 'Nana Oatmeal Parfait, Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Parfait, and Cinn-a-nilla Apple Oatmeal Parfait - Did you know that parfait is French for "perfect"? TRY THESE!

Grab 'n Go Breakfast Cookies - Oatmeal cookies studded with fruit that are completely acceptable to eat for breakfast... or any time of day!

Slow-Cooker Cinna-Apples 'n Oats - Oatmeal that you make in the slow cooker? You're not dreaming; it's true! Stop pinching yourself -- you'll bruise!

Loaded 'n Oated Spinach & Mushroom Girlfredo Pizza - A single-serving pizza that's packed with fiber and cheesy goodness!

Banana-choco-rama Oatmeal Parfait, Peaches 'n Cream Oatmeal Parfait, and Magical Maui Oatmeal Parfait - Our most recent round of oatmeal parfaits. Yum!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Softies - What's a softie? Make these and see for yourself!

Loaded 'n Oated Pepperoni Pizza - Pepperoni and oats?! Prepare to be wowed...

Oatmeal Raisin Softies - Oatmeal and raisins go together like pork chops and applesauce!


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March is National Nutrition Month. Now that you know how nutritious oats are, go chew them!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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