On 9 November 2017, in the context of the World diabetes day, POGA and the Mexican federation of diabetes jointly co-organised a workshop and cooking training to promote the benefit of oats as part of a healthy diet for people suffering from diabetes. The event was hosted by the culinary school Colegio Superior de Gastronomia, the first gastronomic university in Latin America, and attracted 40 attendants including many young people affiliated to the Mexican federation of diabetes, media reporters and radio speakers.
This initiative followed a series of activities that POGA has carried out in Mexico in the previous months such as the website – avenacanada.com - where Mexican visitors can find information on all the nutritional properties of oats, the Facebook page with more than 170,000 followers and the two recipes contests for which Mexicans enthusiastically created more than 180 new recipes based on oats and local ingredients.
In the very first part of the event, POGA and the expert of the Mexican federation of diabetes provided basic information on oats and diabetes. Including whole grains in the diet, like oats, is an important step for a healthy life. Oats are gluten free and a valuable source of carbohydrates, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. Oats are especially ideal for people suffering from diabetes as they have a very low glycaemic food that does not cause spikes in blood sugar, and improve glucose regulation and insulin.
Participants formed mini groups and began to prepare 4 oat recipes under the wise guide of María Teresa Guadalupe Rosas Espinola, a well-known chef in Mexico. The recipes included suggestions for lunch and dinner including dessert and a beverage.
For the lunch the recipe chosen was Meatballs, a fantastic combination of oats, beef meat, tomato sauce and hot pepper which added Mexican spice to the dish. For the dinner a lighter option was prepared. A Salad with Oat Granola brings together the sweetness of oats, honey and seed of pumpkin and sunflowers with the aromatic taste of thyme. People with diabetes have difficulties choosing a suitable dessert as this is the part of the meal trickier for them given the high sugar content. The chocolate oats candies with mousse of mango provide diabetics with a healthier option, while still satisfying their sweet tooth.
Oats can also be served as a refreshing and nutritious drink as the oats milk that reinterpreted the classical Mexican horchata drink. The results of the hard work of the attendees was amazing and many of them were astonished by the fact that recipes so simple and easy to prepare could taste so great.
After the cooking training, the attendees had the opportunity to try further recipes such as Savory Muffins with Cheese and Jalapeno, Oat-encrusted Chicken Breasts, Baked Chicken Fingers, Oat "risotto" with chorizo, and the Coco, chia seed, and oat "truffles". The nutritionists of the Mexican federation of diabetes gave short explanations of 10 main benefits of oats. From digestion, heart health, insomnia, skin care and many more, oats seem to have a solution for everything your health could need.
At the end of the day all the people present were happy to learn more about the fantastic properties of oats and so many new ways to prepare them without renouncing at the tastiness of the Mexican cuisine.