There are so many different oat types available that choosing one can be difficult. Oats are high in nutrition and have been associated with numerous health advantages. Eating them may help improve your health by lowering cholesterol, decreasing blood sugar, and helping with your overall body composition. In this article, we discuss the unusual and common types of oats that you need to try.
Types of Oats You Need To Try
- Steel-Cut Oats (Irish Oats)
- Oat Groats
- Scottish Oats
- Rolled Oats (Old Fashioned Oats)
- Instant Oats (Quick Oats)
- Oat Bran
- Oat Flour
- Gluten-Free Oat Products
- Oat Fiber
Oats are made from whole oat kernels, which are whole kernels without their inedible hulls. It includes all three components of the kernel: the germ, bran, and endosperm. When manufacturing processed oats, the first step would be to process the oat gran. This makes this type the most intact form available in the market. Among all types, oat groats take the longest time to cook and prepare. You need about 40 minutes to cook this and is great when added to soups, stews, and pilafs.
Steel Cut Oats
They are also usually called pinhead or Irish oats. Steel-cut oatmeal is made by cutting the whole oat groats into smaller pieces and this results in a much chewier cereal. They are mostly used for breakfast cereal and rarely in baking applications because of the extra thickness. They are an excellent source of energy because of how easily the body digests them and here's why:
- The thick grain results in a lower glycemic index which is good for effective control of blood sugar levels.
- The body breaks them down slower than rolled oats.
- Helps you to feel full for longer
- It also prevents dramatic spikes in glucose.
To prepare them, it needs 20-30 minutes to fully cook. You end up with a chewy texture with a nutty flavor.
Oats grown in Scotland are considered to be the "true" oatmeal. They're made from whole oat groat, which means they aren't steamed, rolled, or cut. They're just ground up. Oats are usually ground into a coarse meal called oatmeal. However, in the US, the thick and creamy cereal is known as porridge. Oats are cooked in just five minutes when combined with hot water.
People have been eating this hearty breakfast since ancient times before the advent of modern rolling mills. Scottish Oat Flour resembles coarsely ground flour made from corn. It has a slightly tough texture than oatmeal and is therefore perfect for making quick bread and muffins.
Rolled oat flakes are usually called old-fashioned or regular rolled oatmeal. Rolled oats are made from groat that has been steamed until they're soft enough to pass through large rolling machines without breaking. Flattening oats makes them easier to cook because they have a larger surface area. A single serving of rolled oats is quite large. It goes a long way. Oats have a mild flavor and a softer texture than steel cut oats. Oats take less than ten minutes to cook, which is significantly less compared to the cooking times needed to cook steel cut oats (about 30 minutes). Rolled oats are used in a majority of overnight oats recipes. They're chewy but not too soft.
Instant oatmeal is the thinnest and smallest kind. Instant oatmeal has been cooked so thoroughly that it really doesn't take any time at all to cook. You just need to mix some hot water into your oats. Most commercial brands add flavorings and sweeteners to their pre-packaged instant oatmeal. Manufacturers often blend the ingredients together into a fine powder.
Oats come in many different varieties that show their thickness. The final oatmeal size affects the length of the cooking times required. Quick oatmeal is rolled slightly thinner than regular oatmeal. Quick Oatmeal has been cooked so quickly that it takes less than five minutes to cook completely. Quick oats have a nice taste and have a slightly smoother consistency than rolled oats.
The outer layer of oats, just below the edible hull, is the oat bran. Because of this, the oat brans are found in whole grain oats, rolled oats, and also instant oats, which have all undergone minimal processing. Oat bran is usually removed as the oats undergo further processing which would create the other popular types such as rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats that do not have any oat bran left. Oat bran is eaten by itself as a hot or cold cereal. It’s often added to baked goods like biscuits, cakes, and muffins.
Whole-grain flours are milled grains that contain the entire grain kernel (bran, germ, endosperm). It contains all the same nutrients as wheat, so they're an excellent choice for people who want to eat healthily. Gluten-free oatmeal cookies are usually made using oats instead of wheat flour. Oat flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used for everything from cookies and muffin recipes to biscuits, bread, cakes, and even ice cream. You can grind whole grain foods at home, but it's a fairly tedious task that requires a big, heavy-duty grinder. However, it is relatively easy to imitate the original oat flour by using rolled oatmeal. Grind up some old-fashioned oatmeal in a food processor or use a high-speed blender to create oat flour. With this method, 1¼ cup of rolled oatmeal will yield about 1 cup of oatmeal flour.
It is made by grinding the inedible outer husk or hull of the oat grain. The outer layer of the grain consists of non-digestible carbohydrates or insoluble fibers. Oats contain very few calories, so including oats in a healthy diet is an excellent way to increase your daily dietary fiber intake. Oats are used for their nutritional value, but they're also used for their industrial applications.
Gluten-Free Oat Products
You can find gluten, a type of protein, in many ingredients like wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, but not pure oats. Some brands offer gluten-free oat products that have been certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFEO). This is a great option for those following a gluten-free diet.
If you're allergic to wheat, barley, rye, or any other grains containing these proteins, then it's best not to eat them because they may be contaminated by pollen or dust particles.
Health Benefits of Oats
Oats have many nutritional benefits. Whole grains are rich sources of protein and contain lots of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
They're also gluten-free, so if you have celiac disease or an allergy to gluten, these are a good option. Oat products are not inherently free from wheat contamination; however, they can be made safe for people who have the celiac disease by choosing oat products that are certified to be free from wheat. Here are some of the many benefits of oat:
- Lowers both “bad” LDL and total cholesterol, which may help keep your heart healthy.
- Help in weight loss and stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Helps slow digestion which results in an increased sense of fullness and a more gradual spike in blood sugar.
Which Type of Oatmeal Should You Choose?
Quick and regular oatmeal are both good choices for breakfast. However, if you want something that has more fiber and is lower on the glycemic scale, go for steel-cut oatmeal instead.
They're all high in nutrients and contain plenty of plant-derived protein, fiber, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and selenium.
You need to pick out oatmeal that works for you.
Preference and Lifestyle: Find an Oatmeal That You Enjoy!
It's important to consider your own personal preference when choosing which kind of oatmeal to buy. Some people enjoy the chewiness and nuttiness of steel-cut oatmeal, but others don't care for them at all. Quick oats have a milder flavor than steel-cut oats, but they're just as easy to prepare.
Steel-capped oats are the least processed so they take the longest to cook, which may be a problem for some people. Quick oatmeal can be made quickly on the stovetop but takes about 5 minutes to prepare. However, making traditional oatmeal requires an hour or so of cooking time.
You can cook steel-cuts oatmeal ahead of time by putting them into a slow cooker, or cooking them in a pan of boiling water for an hour. Quick and regular oatmeal can be used in baking and adding them to smoothies increases their fiber contents.
Make Sure to Avoid Oatmeals That Have High Sugar Content
Regardless of which kind of oatmeal you buy, it's always best if you choose plain, unsweetened oats. Many packaged oatmeals have loads of added sugars, making them an unhealthy option for breakfast. Excess amounts of refined sugars can negatively affect your overall well-being and cause a variety of conditions, including heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
Because of this, it's best to top unsweetened oatmeal with your own toppings and flavorings so that you don't end up adding too much extra sugar. A delicious combination of fresh strawberries and healthy fat, such as unsweetened coconut and chopped walnuts, would be perfect for breakfast. All rolled, whole grain oatmeal provides a wide range of nutrients. Regardless of which kind you pick, be sure to go for unsweetened ones to avoid extra sugar.
How to Add Oats To Your Diet
Oats are a flexible breakfast food that can be eaten any time of day and used in both sweet and savory recipes. You can eat oatmeal in many different ways. They're usually eaten for their nutritional value, but they can also be used as a healthy carb option at lunch and dinner too.
Here are some ideas for incorporating oatmeal into your daily menu:
- Adding raw oatmeal to your smoothies gives them a nice creamy texture and adds some extra fiber.
- Top your oatmeal with sliced avocado, bell pepper, black bean, salsa, and eggs for an extra kick!
- Add raw oats to your baked goods.
- Add Greek yogurt and cinnamon to oatmeal for an easy breakfast option.
- Make granola bars! Combine them with coconut oil, ground cinnamon, nuts, and dried fruits, then bake at a low temperature to create homemade granola.
- You can use them instead of breadcrumbs to cover fish or chicken.
- Add oats to your favorite pancake recipes.
- Use them instead of rice when making risotto.
- For an easy, healthy meal, top-cooked oatmeal with grilled veggies, poultry, and tahini sauce.
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