Oat - Y Goodness: Understanding The Different Kinds Of Oats
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From chilly wintry days to the warm Sunday mornings when all you want to do is snuggle in your blanket and tuck into something healthy and hearty, the one breakfast meal that has always satisfied our hunger pangs is oatmeal.

Sure, for those less accustomed to the wonders of oatmeal, you might remember it as the milky chewy breakfast you were forced to consume as a kid.

But times have changed, and more people are now discovering the versatility of oatmeal in more ways than one.

However, oats are not an easy challenge. From warm roasted flavors to creamy indulging aromas, getting that taste just right is not something your ideal cooking skills can achieve.

The Complexity of the Simple Oats

Firstly, oats aren’t just the usual kind that you get from a Quaker oats can. Oats come in different types, mainly steel-cut, rolled and instant oats. And the difference between each is simply how much the oat groat is processed. The groat process for each provides us with a distinct texture and different cooking times as well.

Steel Cut

Known as Irish or Scottish oats by many, the steel cut oats are made when the oat kernels are cut into several pieces, instead of being rolled. Because this type of oat is not mashed or broken down, it takes the longest time to cook and produces a hearty and chewy texture that retains its shape even after it’s cooked.

Along with being used for a simple porridge treat, steel cut oats can also be used for meatloaf and other savory meals to add a bit to texture.

Rolled Oats

These oats are rolled into flat and irregular discs, giving them a subtle texture, in comparison to the jagged steal cut oats. Rolled oats are first steamed as whole grains, thus making them soft and pliable. After that, they are pressed and flattened to get the nice, yet slightly rough texture.

Rolled oats cook a lot faster than the steel cut since they absorb more liquids while holding their shape alongside. And from granola bars to muffins and other baked goods, these oats can be used in many breakfast treats because of their taste. The good ol’ fashioned oats are best when bought from a reliable source though. You can always order rolled oats online from reliable companies such as Organic Merchants to get the best and healthy products for your kitchen.

Instant Oats

Ah yes, the oats from your school years! Known as quick oats, the instant oats are the most processed of the three and present a quicker cooking time with more texture. Pre-cooked, dried, rolled and pressed, these thin oats are much slimmer than that of rolled oats, which is why they can turn mushy if you cook them for a longer period of time.

So which is better?

Nutritional value is what you should base your choices on with oats, or when buying any organic grains for that matter. And that is something that each of these oats have in common. Although the processing and cooking time along with texture does vary, the nutritional profile stays the same for all kind of rolled oats.

So take a chance for the sake of your health, and start cooking some easy-to-make oat mixes and give your palette a treat it will never tire of.


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