Oatmeal cookies have been made and enjoyed since the 1800’s. In the Middle Ages in England, there was a variation of the oatmeal cookie called the oatcake. During this time period, soldiers would carry these oatcakes with them into battle in case they needed an extra boost of energy during fighting, much like today’s athletes with granola bars. Although the modern day version of this oatcake is sweeter and certainly not carried into battle, it contains many of the same ingredients. Some of these ingredients include spices, nuts, and raisins. These cookies quickly became popular when they were introduced. By the early 1900’s, a recipe for these cookies was featured on containers of Quaker Oats. Oatmeal cookies are considered the healthiest of cookies due to oatmeal being high in fiber and iron. The health benefits and simplicity of this recipe creates all the more reason to celebrate this holiday by making a batch of cookies to share.
History of Oatmeal
Oatmeal has a surprisingly long and interesting history. Archaeologists have found traces of Oatmeal in Ancient Egypt, making the grain 4 millennia old. However these oats were most likely weeds and not eaten in the way they are today. The oldest cultivated plants were found in a cave in Switzerland from the Bronze Age. Oatmeal has been the subject of literature and was mentioned for the first time in writing as early as the first century A.D. Scientists believe the plant originated in Asia due to many different subspecies of oats that can be found there.
Oatmeal didn’t become popular until the 15th century in Scotland and then came to America with the expansion to the New World in the 17th century.
Scotland is the best place for Oatmeal to grow. The growing season is short and wet, making oats better suited than wheat to grow there. The Scottish prepared oatmeal by soaking it in salt water overnight and then cooking it over low heat in the morning. Today there are a variety of ways oatmeal can be cooked. It can be cooked the traditional way, making it a porridge, it can be cooked as a brose, and can be cooked as gruel. Oatmeal is an ingredient in haggis and often an ingredient in baking as seen by this holiday.
Oatmeal has a wide array of health benefits. It can lower your cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease. Oatmeal is also high in fiber, which makes you feel full after the meal is finished and can prevent you from overeating and gaining weight. Your body digests oatmeal slowly, keeping you full longer and preventing you from reaching for more food. The fiber found in oatmeal can also help the immune system and its response to infections. There was a study performed in Finland where children were introduced to eating oatmeal regularly from an early age. The study found that these children were less likely to develop persistent asthma.
With this wide variety of health benefits, oatmeal cookies are truly the healthiest cookie, so make a batch today!
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