Image sourced: https://oatslady.com/
The earliest memory I have of oats is when my mother tenderly and lovingly prepared herself a bowl of mushy goodness only to take the first spoonful and shrill because on that spoon, underneath all the creamy goodness, was a sneaky baby cockroach that had succumbed to the flame, leaving its crunchy carcass behind.
For years, I cringed at the thought of adding oats to my diet because of this memory.
Texture & Taste profile:
Varied, depending on the type. Yes, this might come as a shock to you, as it did to me, however, she’s got siblings who all happen to share the same birth date. One thing to keep in mind though, the least processed oats take longer to digest, meaning they have a lower glycemic index which basically means they are great for your overall gut health.
The break down of the sisterhood is as follows;
Oat Groats: The whole oat kernels that have been cleaned, with only the loose, inedible hulls removed. Groats contain the intact germ, endosperm, and bran.
Oat bran, which contains the most fiber in a groat, is also removed and eaten as a cereal or added to recipes to boost fiber content.
Steel-Cut or Irish: Oat groats that have been cut into two or three smaller pieces using a steel blade. The larger the size of the pieces, the longer they will take to cook; basically kind of good for you!
Scottish Oats: Oat groats that have been stone-ground into a meal, creating a porridge-like texture when cooked.
Rolled or Old-Fashioned: Oat groats that have been steamed, rolled and flattened into flakes, and then dried to remove moisture so they are shelf-stable.
Quick or Instant: Oat groats that are steamed for a longer period and rolled into thinner pieces so that they can absorb water easily and cook very quickly. Be aware that many brands of instant oats come sweetened or flavored, so be sure to check the ingredients for no added sugar.
Rolled/ Old-Fashioned Oats are my go-to whenever I need to stock up on what is slowly becoming a staple in my pantry. I specifically enjoy having them one of three ways;
overnight oats; soak a portion in your favorite milk; animal, and otherwise: add some seeds (chia/flax), and a fruit of your choice when served. I find that adding a drop of vanilla essence and a pinch of salt, cinnamon/ nutmeg create a whole new dimension to the flavor profile of the oats
I found a lady who has the most creative recipes for oats. Check out her website here: https://oatslady.com/