Having a bowl of warm freshly cooked oatmeal or oats in the morning is a great way to add beneficial nutrients and fiber to your diet. Studies have shown that eating whole grains (that contain high amounts of dietary fiber), like oats, reduces the risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It also helps with weight loss.
There are many ways to include oats in your diet if you don’t like to eat it plain. You can add it whole, or ground up into oat flour, in your cookies, muffins, scones, biscuits, breads, and to make granola.
Have you ever wondered about how rolled oats are processed and how they came about with the different kinds of oats? I recently bought steel cut oat groats (Irish or pinhead), which I had kept putting off buying because I thought it was difficult to prepare. Although it took around 30 minutes to prepare, after soaking overnight, it was worth the experience. I also wanted to add some to my oatmeal soap for its exfoliating properties.
Different types of oats:
1. Whole oat groats are harvested grains which have the inedible hulls removed, they take the longest to cook (45- 60 minutes).
2. Steel Cut oats, also known as Irish or pinhead oats, are oat groats that are cut into 2 or 3 pieces using a sharp steel blade, allowing them to cook quicker than whole oat groats (around 20-40 minutes).
3. Scottish Oats are made using stone to grind the whole groats in smaller pieces of different sizes, when cooked it is believed to make a creamier porridge than steel cut.
4. Rolled Oats or Old-Fashioned Oats are made by steaming whole oat groats, then rolling them into flakes and drying them. The flakes have a greater surface area and therefore cook a lot faster (around 10 minutes). They tend to have a chewier texture in baked goods.
5. Quick or Instant Oats are rolled oats that are pressed thinner than rolled oats. They cook even faster than rolled oats and are mushier than rolled oats. I tend to prefer rolled oats over quick oats and find that rolled oats can be used in placed of quick oats in most recipes.
For: 2 Servings
- Combine oats, water, and milk, and bring to boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 5- 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in flax seeds, banana, and maple syrup. Serve with almonds and blueberries on top.