Facts on Oats:
- They are cardio-protective
- Contain the fiber beta-glucan which lowers cholesterol levels reducing cardiovascular disease risk
- Contain a unique group of antioxidants: avenanthramides which can reduce oxidation to LDL-cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, also reducing heart disease risk
- Aid in blood sugar control. The oat fiber has been show to improve glucose and insulin response after a carbohydrate rich meal. This is especially helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes.
- May aid in reducing childhood asthma risk
- Oat fiber may also enhance immune system response to bacteria
- Gluten free but can be/often are contaminated in processing
- Oats can be processed in different ways:
- Groats: unflattened kernels
- Steel Cut: thinly sliced grain
- Old-fashioned: steamed and then rolled giving a flatter shape (pictured above)
- Quick-Cooking: steamed, cut into fine pieces then rolled
- Instant Oatmeal: grains are partially cooked then rolled. Often sugar, salt and other ingredients are added
- Oat Bran: the outer layer of the grain under the hull. This is still present in steel cut and rolled oats but can also be purchased separately for use in recipes. Oat bran can be substituted for bread crumbs or wheat germ in many recipes (like this one).
- Oat flour: oats ground into a flour. Often used in baking.
To prepare hot cereal/porridge/oatmeal:
- Combine 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid (water or milk).
- Cook rolled oats for about 15 minutes and steel cut oats for about 30 minutes.
Resources for more info on oats:
I hear overnight oats are all the rage. I've never tried them. If you have, please share your favorite recipe with me!
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