Hello, hello, and welcome back, my dear students! Welcome to the last of three posts on Whole Grains! Unless, of course, you count the post on sprouted grains… but that’s more a bonus material post.
Did you do your homework and check that you’re getting the true whole grain breads??
Today we’ll look at oats – they, too, are a type of whole grain. So, without further ado, here are the different forms of oats, and what implications they have:
Oat Bran: like discussed before, this would be the bran – or outer layer – of the oat kernel. This is sometimes removed for certain forms of oats; but often left in tact for rolled and steel cut oats.
Oat Flour: finely ground oats, often mixed with standard wheat flour, used for baking.
Oat Groats: the least processed form of oats – the kernel is left in tact. This makes it a tougher texture; you may want to soak groats before using in order to soften. You have the bran, germ, and endosperm all included, with all the lovely health benefits.
Steel-Cut Oats: Oat groats that have been run through blades (of steel, of course) to make them more thinly sliced. Still a very healthy option.
Old-Fashioned/Rolled Oats: groats that have been steamed and then flattened with a roller. More processed, slightly less nutritionally potent.
Quick-Cooking Oats: groats that have not only been steamed and flattened, but also cut into smaller pieces for quicker cooking. More processing, more air exposure for increased oxidation.
Instant Oatmeal: Groats that have been cut, steamed, and rolled, and often slightly pre-cooked. More processing usually means less nutrition.
So there you have it! The various types of oat forms. While the nutrient value of each probably is similar, there’s just always a draw for me towards the least-processed form available. But all forms (except perhaps instant if they have extra sugars and colorings and funky dinosaur eggs added) will be rich in cholesterol-lowering fibers. So go dive in to a whole-grain-goodness bowl of oatmeal some time!