Launching a new series of blogs for 2016 on the importance of introducing certain foods in your diet, I wanted to start with my top favourite: OATS.
DEFINITION AND TYPES:
Oats is a cereal plant cultivated chiefly in cool climates and widely used for animal feed as well as human consumption; they are, in my opinion, the most versatile grains as they come in 6 different forms:
Oat groats: as whole grainy as you can get where oats are concerned. Unadulterated. Only the inedible hull has been removed. Cooks in 50-60 minutes.
Steel cut oats: also called Irish oats or pinhead oats, these are just groats that have been cut into smaller pieces to speed cooking. Cook in 10-20 minutes.
Scottish oatmeal: another version of groats that have been broken into bits, only these are stone ground instead of being cut. Cooks in 10 minutes.
Oat bran: a high-fiber part of the oat that’s been removed and can be eaten separately. Oat bran can be prepared as its own hot cereal or simply sprinkled on your favorite bowl of breakfast to boost the nutrient content of every bite. Cooks in 2 minutes.
Old fashioned oats: groats that are steamed and then pressed flat. Increasing the surface area this way and partially cooking them helps you get breakfast to your mouth faster. Cooks in 5 minutes.
Quick oats: like old-fashioned oats, except rolled thinner and steamed longer. Cook in 1 minute.
Instant oatmeal: like quick oats, except rolled even thinner and steamed even longer. Cooks in 1 minute. (This is the only product on this list that has been processed in an additional way – it’s had stuff added to it before packaging. In the case of the “original” or plain flavor, pictured here, salt, color, vitamins and minerals have been mixed with the oat flakes. The popular flavored packets have all that, plus added sugar, which bumps up the calories.)
Oat flour: pulverized groats that can be used in baking, etc. This is still considered a whole grain because nothing was removed before the oats were ground into flour.
They are not only a WHOLE GRAIN but also naturally GLUTEN-FREE, which means that they provide high quality, stable energy and are easier to digest. If you have celiac disease, make sure to purchase the certified GF quality. Ask me where to find them in Saigon / Shanghai.
HOW TO CONSUME:
Cooked for breakfast as a porridge and topped of with fruits and nuts
Soaked overnight (only old fashioned / quick / instant) with alternative milk, fruit and nuts for a quick fresh breakfast or snack
Used to coat chicken / fish instead of bread crumbs
Used to prepare oat cookies with mashed banana and raisins (quick oats)
Used as a flour substitute in baking recipes like banana bread, cookies, scones, etc..
Added in smoothies (quick oats) to thicken them up
Do you use oats? Let us know below why do you love them too…