October 29 is National Oatmeal Day

Grab yourself a bowl of oatmeal and fill yourself up with a belly full of soluble fiber because today, October 29, is National Oatmeal Day.

Oatmeal has long been a favorite breakfast dish and is meal that is not only a quick hunger fix, but is also full of wonderful health benefits.

Oats provide a good source of fiber and are a great way to lower one's blood cholesterol. Oatmeal is also recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as a food that may reduce the risk of heart disease in combination with a normal low-fat eating regimen.

If you think that oatmeal is a popular dish in the United States, you will be surprised to learn that it has a number of long traditions in other countries.

In Scotland, oatmeal has been a popular grain option for many years because oats are easier to grow than wheat particularly in light of the area's short wet growing seasons.

Traditionally, the Scots grind the oats into a coarse powder, separating it into different batches depending on the coarseness. The ground oats are then used in dishes such as porridge, brose, gruel, skirlie and haggis, as well as a number of other popular applications.

In Switzerland, oatmeal is used in a popular cold breakfast dish called Muesli, where the oats are combined with milk, honey and other spices, refrigerated overnight and eaten the next day with nuts and fruits added to the dish.

In the United States, Vermont has the biggest connection to oats and oatmeal due to the large number of Scottish settlers that came to the state. Today, Vermont is the leading state in per capita consumption of oatmeal.

Whether you like your oats in a cookie, a smoothie or in a plain old batch of oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, give thanks to oatmeal on its national day.

Oatmeal cookie recipe

Here is a popular oatmeal cookie recipe that comes from the Food Network's Paula Deen.

Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 1 or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.