With the cooler weather creeping up, there is nothing like a bowl of steamy oats with melting butter and a drizzle of raw honey, especially if it is the Quercus Spiced Raw Honey with organic cinnamon or ginger.
Years ago oats was oats, not so anymore! What’s with rolled, steel cut, quick cooking, instant, etc?
Oats is harvested and the hull removed. Then the kernel is called a groat. Oats groats are roasted, either with steam or dry heat. It removes the “raw”, floury taste, and gives it a nutty flavour.
The 4 types of oats are listed from the least processes to the most processed:
Steel cut oats is coarsely chopped into small pieces, using steel blades. It is the healthiest type of oats and require the longest cooking time, 20 to 30 minutes. It can be soaked overnight in water or milk. That would reduce the cooking time.
Rolled oats, or traditional oats, are first steamed and then passed through rollers. It makes the groats flaky. It is then dried. This is what most of us know as oats. The flakes are evenly shaped and are popular in baking, like oat-crunchies, granola bars or muffins.
Quick cook Oats is steamed for longer before it is passed through the rollers and dried. The cooking time is therefor reduced.
Instant oats is steamed the longest. The flakes are also rolled thinner. It therefor required no cooking. Only boiling water is added and then the oats is ready to eat.
Oats are naturally gluten-free and a very healthy whole grain. Oats contains more protein and fat than most grains. Oats contains a powerful fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber improves gut bacteria. It also contains an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. Avenanthramides is a group of anti-oxidants almost only found in oats. It leads to lower blood pressure and better blood flow.
Oats can improve blood sugar levels, because of the thick gel that is formed by the beta-glucan fiber. It delays the absorption of glucose into the blood stream.
Oats is very good for your skin. Finely ground oats applied topically improves eczema. It does not have that effect if it is eaten.
Oat bran (the fiber rich outer layer of the grain) often helps with constipation. Oats are sometimes contaminated by wheat (in the same factory) and then it is not gluten-free.
These are the options available to us, but if you could, space permitting, sow your own wild oats, you will benefit much more from your bowl of unprocessed, steamy, warm oats.