Friday, February 17, 2012

What Kind of Oats Should I Buy?

There are many different ways you can buy oats - oat groats, steel cut oats, rolled oats, old fashioned  rolled oats, quick oats, instant oats, irish oats, and scottish oats. We have been having oats a couple of times a week since learning the correct way to prepare them. I have been buying organic old fashioned rolled oats and I was going to update my amazon subscribe and save account when I decided to research which oats are the least processed and healthiest to purchase. I will explain the differences below:

Oat groats are the the hulled oat grain. This is the most unprocessed version that you can get at the health food store. Oat groats look like brown rice. I have never cooked with oat groats.

Steel cut oats or Irish oats are oat groats that have been cut into three or four pieces with steel blades. This is the most nutritious version of oats that people are used to eating because it still contains the oat bran and it is NOT steamed before it gets to the consumer. These oats are also more chewier when cooked.

Scottish oats are oat groats that are ground up to make a porridge creamy style of oatmeal.

Rolled oats are made by steaming the oat groats and then using a roller to flatten them, hence the name "rolled" oats. Old fashioned rolled oats are thicker because they are made with the whole oat groats. Quick cooking rolled oats are made using steel cut oats.

Instant oats are quick cooking rolled oats that have been steamed longer and are rolled more thinly. These are the least nutritious of all oats because the steaming cooks the oats which reduces the nutritional value.

I am currently using old fashioned rolled oats but I plan on switching back to steel cut oats after learning the differences. I don't like how the rolled oats are steamed before they get to me, the consumer. I do prepare my oats the correct way by soaking them for 12-24 hours in water and sour milk which reduces the phytic acid making the oats more digestable. I then proceed to cook them by making baked oatmeal or soaked oat breakfast bread.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! My friends and I were literally talking about this at a playdate this morning. We weren't sure about the difference between steel cut oats, quick cooking oat, etc.