A must try recipe for either breakfast or dessert. The combination of textures and flavors is surprisingly delicious. Oats, barley, avocado and apples were carefully chosen to provide a good amount of beta-glucan and plant sterols which may lower cholesterol.
My sister asked me to develop a dessert that could lower cholesterol. Just one or two servings of the dessert will not do the trick, but a balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, low in sugar and regular exercise might help.
High levels of the LDL (low-density-lipoprotein) cholesterol can block and narrow your arteries causing cardiovascular diseases. For this dessert I chose ingredients that are rich in nutrients/compounds that have proven efficacy in reducing the LDL cholesterol such as beta-glucan and plant sterols.
You can buy processed products with plant sterols such as yogurt, vegetable and fruit juices, mayonnaise among others. But don’t go overboard with the plant sterols; they can prevent the absorption of important nutrients such as iron and zinc. Aim for a maximum amount of 3g a day.
You should also consume 3g of beta-glucan a day to help lower your cholesterol. One cup of cooked barley (pearl barley) contains 2.5g of beta-glucan fiber. As a matter of fact a serving of barley contains 3 times more beta-glucan than the same serving of oats.
Here is a delicious way to help keep that cholesterol in check:
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30 mins | Total: 45 mins
1 cup of cooked barley (click here for directions how to cook the barley)
1 cup of oat flour (using a coffee grinder, blender or food processor grind the oats until they become a flour)
1 tsp of cinnamon divided
½ cup of dates (about 10 dates)
1 ½ tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 cup of avocado (about 1 ½ small avocado)
½ cup of plain yogurt
3 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tsp of agar powder
½ cup of oat milk
½ tsp of lemon juice
2 medium gala apples
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 8×8-inch (20x20cm) square baking dish with parchment paper.
Using a food processor, process the oat flour, the dates, ½ tsp of cinnamon, chia seeds and coconut oil until well combined and with a consistency of wet sand. Add the cooked barley and mix well.
Using your hands or a small bowl press the mixture in the prepared baking dish forming an even layer.Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly light brown. Let it cool.
Remove the seeds of the two apples, keep the skin. Using a mandolin cut slices ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick. In a medium bowl add the sliced apples and ½ tsp of cinnamon, stir carefully to coat well all the slices with cinnamon. Arrange the apples in one single layer in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven 350ºF (180ºC). Let it cool.
In a small saucepan dissolve the agar powder with the oat milk. Always stirring, boil it for 2 minutes until it thickens.
Using a blender or an immersion mixer, blend the avocado, yogurt, maple syrup and lemon juice. Add the prepared agar and blend well. Pour the avocado mixture over the barley and oats crust. Top it with the baked sliced apples. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve and enjoy!
Note: this dessert is better to be consumed within one day. Due to oxidation the avocado will brown, the flavor will not be affected, it is safe to eat.