Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Whole Grains 103 - Oats

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! Sorry for the delay (I'm sure you were all just so rivetted to your chairs about this...)

So, 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 it means:

Oat Bran: like discussed before, this would be the bran - or outter 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: finley 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.

Steel-Cut Oats: Oat groats that have been run through blades (of steel, of course) to make them more thinly sliced.

Old-Fashioned/Rolled Oats: groats that have been steamed and then flattened with a roller.

Quick-Cooking Oats: groats that have not only been steamed and flattened, but also cut into smaller pieces for quicker cooking.

Instant Oatmeal: Groats that have been cut, steamed, and rolled, and often slightly pre-cooked.

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!


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