Oats are a humble grain. For a very long time I never really enjoyed oats, only because my primary interaction with them was tearing open a little white packet with what looked to be a powdery, lumpy mixture. And after pouring some boiling water over them, they turned into a gluey glob of pastiness. No amount of brown sugar or milk seemed to convince me that this was a breakfast of champions. Since that time many moons ago, I've been introduced to oats that are much more appealing. I love the steel cut oats that are chewy and nutty and can be used in both savory and sweet applications. Old fashioned rolled oats can be turned into muffins, cookies, granola or my favorite way to enjoy them is actually raw over yogurt with some fresh berries! Whatever way you enjoy them they truly are a great way to start the day. They are high in fiber, protein, iron and magnesium. Studies have shown that they can lower bad cholesterol, they can also help boost the nutrition level of those on a gluten free diet, allowing them to achieve their recommended daily intake of fiber, the list goes on and on. So if your breakfast needs a little changing up, try some oats! -s
Here is the oat 411:
Oats begin their lives as groats, before they’re cut, rolled, or steamed. How the groats are processed is what determines their different tastes, textures, and cooking times.
Steel cut oats: Groats are chopped with steel blades. They are cooked very slowly, up to 40 minutes in a pot or slow cooker. Their texture is thick and chewy. To boost up the flavor they can be toasted in a pan with a knob of butter, this brings out their nuttiness (so amazing!)
Old fashioned rolled oats: whole grain groats are toasted, hulled, steamed, and flattened to cook evenly and more quickly. They can be cooked in as little as 5 minutes on the stovetop. They’re creamy and ready to eat. Due to processing they do loose some of their sweet, nutty flavor of groats. These are wonderful for baking into cookies and bars and other baked goods, adding a delicious chewy texture.
Quick cooking oats: they are made in the basically same way as the rolled oats, but these are roughly cut beforehand. These cook in literally a minute, these oats are built for convenience. Stir them into boiling water on the stovetop. These are a wonderful addition in your favorite pancake recipe.
Instant oats: these oats are cut even more finely and flattened even more thinly than quick-cooking oats, and they’re pre-cooked. They are basically pulverized. These are cooked with the addition of boiling water and are ready in as the name implies, an instant.
Here is one of my favorite breakfast ideas with oats: California Yogurt Bowl