From Whole Oat Groats to Oat Flour, know these different oat types and its use
The species of cereal grain known as oats, also referred to as the common oat, is produced for its seed, which has the same name. Oatmeal and rolled oats are good for human consumption. They are highly adaptable, packed with nutrients, simple to prepare, convenient to store, and most importantly, delicious! In fact, they're used in a lot of the recipes! Making the choice of which type of oats to use and buy can be a little complicated if you're new to the world of oats. To help you understand the various varieties of oats, what makes each one special, when to use them, and how to prepare them, we've come to this peice.
What kind of oats are best? It entirely depends! Choose the form of oats that is most suitable for you because the time, flavor, and texture differ substantially between each variety. They are all nutritionally equivalent, with the exception of instant oats that have undergone extensive processing and oat bran.
Whole Oat Groats
This is the oat grain at its purest, most unbroken state. The bran, endosperm, and germ are all still there despite the removal of the husk. This type of oat requires the most time to cook—anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes. You may prepare oat groats in an Instant Pot, a slow cooker, or on the stovetop. Oat groats are excellent for savoury dishes like oat risotto or salads made with grains because of their texture, which is comparable to that of rice or barley. Before adding the liquid, toast the grains for the most flavor. This gives off a nutty flavour that can make food taste better.
Steel Cut Oats or Irish Oats
Oats with a steel cut are just what they sound like: steel sliced. They are created by using a steel blade to cut the entire oat groat into 2-4 pieces. Compared to whole oat groats, they have a slightly chewier texture as a result. Steel cut oats can be prepared on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot and typically take 20 to 30 minutes to cook. The use of steel cut oats for overnight oats, granola preparation, or microwave cooking is not advised. For a richer flavour, toast the steel cut oats before cooking.
Although Scottish oats are less popular than steel cut oats in the United States, they are just as tasty! They are the best oats for porridge since they are created by crushing the entire oat groat on a stone mill. They can be cooked in the microwave or on the stovetop, where they take around 10 minutes to cook.
Rolled Oats or Old-Fashioned Oats
Due to its extreme versatility, this is one of the most widely used varieties of oats. The oat groat is steamed before being flattened between steel rollers to create rolled oats. Rolled oats come in a variety of thicknesses made by various producers, but they are all same in terms of flavour and nutrients. The texture of thicker oats will be chewier.
Stovetop oatmeal, overnight oats, pancakes, baked goods, muesli, granola, granola bars, energy bites, and even smoothies can all be made with rolled oats. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to cook rolled oats on the stovetop at their best.
Compared to rolled oats, quick oats are a variation. In addition to being steamed, they are frequently rolled thinner and occasionally cut into smaller pieces to increase their surface area and reduce the amount of time they need to cook. For quick breakfasts, baked goods, overnight oats, smoothies, granola, energy bites, and pancakes, quick oats can be cooked in the microwave in 1 to 3 minutes. Remember this while selecting the kind of oat for your cooking application since quick oats typically have a mushier texture.
The most processed form of rolled oats is instant oats. They are frequently precooked, dried, then cut into smaller pieces after rolling and steaming. The quickest to prepare, instant oats simply require a brief microwave zap or soak in hot water before being ready to eat. Since processed meals frequently contain instant oats, they are occasionally packaged with extra sugars and chemicals. Look for nutrition labels that list oats as the only ingredient when buying instant oats. Old-fashioned oats will have a crunchier texture than instant oats.
A byproduct of the production of oats is oat bran. Although it is technically not a whole grain because it is the outer layer of the oat groat, it is nevertheless nutrient-rich due to its high fibre content. It can be added to cereal, served as a hot porridge on its own, or used to add fibre to baked foods. Oat bran boosts nutrients greatly, but be careful how much you use because too much can change the texture of the finished product.
All oat flour is rolled oats that have been finely ground. This implies that you can create your own oat flour as long as you have a working food processor on hand! It can be used to thicken things, however, it is not quite as effective as corn starch, potato starch, or wheat flour. It is frequently used in baked goods.
Note: You can manufacture your own baby oat cereal at home because it is also made of finely-ground oats.