“Instant” Oatmeal Truth: Quaker Oats Aren’t Healthy

Think about it – do you eat a healthy, wholesome breakfast?

If your answer is “Yes of course, I eat Quaker”, you might want to rethink that…

Marketed as “wholesome”, “heart healthy” and making “smart choices easy”, the Quaker Oats company has its heart rooted in cholesterol which is finely masked with a happy ‘hearty’ Quaker in his field of corn and oats.

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Breakfast Foods You Thought Were Healthy That Aren’t

Granola

Granola has its rooted entrenched in healthy ideals. Since its beginnings in the late 19th century, Granola was designed to be a wholegrain product which was a healthy alternative to eggs, bacon and cheese for breakfast. At the time of introduction, it was called Granula and then registered by Kellogg’s as ‘Granola’ when they started to produce their own range.

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Top tips on choosing a healthy breakfast cereal

Don’t be persuaded by ‘low-calorie’, ‘fitness’ or ‘healthy’ looking cereals

Chances are the marketing companies know their new product wouldn’t sell any other way. That’s why they’ll have added loads of fake vitamins, reduced the amount of things that add calories like starch, and then added a few keywords to its cereal box. The box is also probably accompanied by an advert of a healthy looking woman eating it every morning and looking JUST FABULOUS.

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Are Bran Flakes healthy?

This might only apply to those with IBS-D, but bran is a great source of fibre if you want to get the metabolism started first thing in the morning. It’s also mighty tasty and can be given a whole host of toppings to make it, you know, not boring.

But being on the look-out is crucial if you want a great breakfast experience. Which is getting tougher and tougher as competitors fight tooth and nail for the battle of the bran – it is after all cheap as chips (all it is is grain husk separated from flour after milling) – and, along with the added health benefits, bran is big business at the moment.

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IBS questions: Are Rice Krispies healthy?

You might think all grains are bad grains if you’re an IBS sufferer.

You may be flummoxed by the high wheat and sugar content on some of your favourite brands (think Kellogg’s Frosties!) and immediately run a country mile. But it is possible to find a health, low-sugar cereal for those mornings where a quick get-up-and-go is in dire need.

So we chose some of our favourites for you guys with IBS… let me know if any of these are already staples in your home 🙂 I’ve had to do it in installments as there’s too many to choose from! First off – Rice Krispies (my favourite!)..

Related: Top Tips For Choosing a Healthy Breakfast Cereal

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Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes: Low-Sugar Chocolate Mug Cake

What do you know that takes 3 minutes and is mess-free, healthy and great for any time of the day?

Not much probably.

Oh, and did I forget the mention – ohhhhh so chocolatey!!

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You might have seen a horde of ‘Chocolate Mug Cake’ recipes dotted around the webosphere, but most are either loaded with unhelpful wheat flour, tonnes of sugar or – if truth be told – they just plainly DO. NOT. WORK. What I mean by this is they either explode in the microwave, or come out too runny.

What you want from a mug cake is something of a mousse-y consistency and just enough sweetness to not make you crave more… and I think I found it with this healthy chocolate mug cake recipe from Creek Line House.

It’s so easy – all you have to do is a mash a ripe banana.

Add an egg.

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Throw in two tablespoons of cocoa powder.

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½ a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Instead of apple sauce (which is laden with sugar, and is basically just as calorific as jam) I added a tablespoon of date sugar. This is special stuff – and I recommend buying some ASAP despite it being pretty pricey – as you’ll get loads of use out of it, and it’s really worth the price tag.

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Date sugar is so crazy amazing because it’s not actually sugar, it’s an extract from dehydrated dates and makes for a great sugar alternative. Dates are also one of the best fruits for IBS relief due to their high fibre content, which can help relieve symptoms of IBS-C. If you also find you suffer with chronic bloating, date sugar can help curb this due to its high magnesium content, making it the perfect anti-inflammatory remedy.

(Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay for the date sugar, you can make your own – just follow this amazing recipe).

I also found I didn’t need to add the honey because the date sugar had already made it super sweet  🙂

Mix it all together and microwave in the same mug for around 2-3 minutes (for a consistency along the lines of chocolate mousse), or 3-4 minutes (for something more like creamy chocolate cake).

NOW DIG IN! You deserve a guilt-free treat, done the IBS way!

You can find out more information here:

http://naturalsociety.com/health-benefits-of-dates-7-reasons-eat-date-fruit/

http://creeklinehouse.com/2014/03/amazing-metabolism-boosting-chocolate.html

Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I had a great experience with a healthy cookie recipe this week – so much so it would be rude not to share it with all of you lot!

I was desperate for an oatmeal raisin cookie 1) because oatmeal and raisin is an all time favourite cookie mix of mine (yes I did eat about a third of the cookie dough whilst I was making this batch) and 2) because none of the ingredients upset my IBS if I use the best alternatives to the regular recipe.

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The oatmeal raisin cookie recipe I used was from Sally’s Baking Addiction because I was adamant I needed a chewy cookie. Not one that was essentially a glorified biscuit. Too many past experiences of pretending I intended to produce shortbread were at the root of this.

So I found this recipe, the photos looked good, and the ingredients looked non-threatening. So I gave it a go – and made it the IBS way. These were her ingredients and method – take a look at my modifications and try it for yourself for a wholesome, healthy cookie!

Ingredients

  • (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • (200g) light or dark brown sugar (As this is a high sugar snack, I used Sukrin’s brown sugar alternative. Tastes just the same and made with Stevia instead).
  • (50g) granulated sugar I used an extra 50g of brown sugar rather than the small amount of white sugar to give it extra moisture.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (yes, Tablespoon!) 
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses I didn’t use molasses as they’re incredibly difficult to come by in the UK, so I just used a tablespoon of The Ginger People’s syrup instead.

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  • (190g) all-purpose flour. This isn’t too much flour, but if you struggle with gluten, try Sukrin’s almond flour instead. The nutty taste really compliments all the spices in the mix.
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. I also added a teaspoon of Mixed Spice. Be careful not to add too many spices to this recipe, though, as you don’t want to take the taste away from the plump raisins.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • (240g) old-fashioned rolled oats. I preferred to use half of the total oats (120g) using Delicious Alchemy’s rice porridge oats for this recipe. The rice flakes give a much lighter cookie that can help curb any gluten problems. Of course, if gluten is a huge trigger food for you, feel free to replace the whole 240g of oats with the rice flake porridge. Just be sure to add slightly more flour to the mix so that the cookies don’t spread too rapidly in the oven.
  • (140g) raisins. I think I realised only too late that I didn’t have enough raisin distribution going on with my cookies (I like lots of raisins in my oatmeal raisin cookies, so there’s one juicy raisin per bite, preferably). So I added another 100g of raisins so I knew for sure they were packed to the brim. 
  • (64g) chopped toasted walnuts (optional) I added a handful of chopped almonds instead as they’re known for being a particularly IBS-friendly nut (they stimulate the healthy bacteria in your gut upon absorption and help ease digestive difficulties).

Bake me! (adapted from the original recipe)

  • Cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, syrup, and mix until well combined. (She’s right about how much vanilla essence you need. If you feel like vanilla essence might cause flare-ups given their high sugar and glucose content, you may need to steer clear of this recipe).
  • In a separate bowl, toss the flour, bicarbondate soda, spices and salt together.
  • Add to the wet ingredients and mix.

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  • Before you pop the raisins in, soak them in boiling water for 15 minutes prior. This plumps up the raisins incredibly well, making them extra juicy when you bite into them. Once this is done you can beat in the oats, raisins, and almonds to the mix. At this point you might think the dough looks too thick and sticky due to the high amount of oats going in. This does seem like a lot of oats at first when you put it all in in one go, but trust me, you need this amount to give that wholesome taste, as well as holding the cookie together when it bakes.
  • Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator to stiffen the dough ready for baking.
  • Preheat oven to 280C degrees. Grease two baking trays, ensuring there will be plenty of space for all of your dough.
  • Roll balls of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  • Before you put them into the oven, sprinkle a teaspoon of brown Stevia over the top of each cookie so that they have that grainy taste that oatmeal raisin cookies should have.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until very lightly browned on the sides. I cannot emphasise that enough – you need to keep a close eye on this and only bake in the middle of the oven. Any overbaking ruins the chewiness. When you take them out they should look somewhat underbaked.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to “set” on the baking sheet during this time.
  • Cover cookies and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies and rolled cookie dough freeze well, up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute– do not thaw.

Are smoothies good for IBS?

It’s easy to believe anything that goes down the hatch well is promoting your digestion. Your body has less groundwork to do, the bowel isn’t as under strain, etc. etc.

And, whilst this all may be somewhat true, whether this is a good thing for IBS sufferers is debateable.

I enquired about this with multiple sources and received mixed responses. Some of the good and bad points I’ve outlined below and, depending on the kind of IBS sufferer you are and what your trigger-foods are, the pros and cons might mean different things for different people.

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