Sometimes, I go on a tear and research and experiment with one thing. I have been looking at oatmeal – what the different kinds are and when to use them, what the nutritional value is and what people are doing about eating more oats.
Plus, I just like to look at recipes and think about trying them and probably modifying them to suit my particular tastes and needs and those of my family. Whether it is eliminating processed oils, enhancing the flavor with spices and herbs, toning down or upping the heat or switching this for that, it is, for me, a fun and positive way to expand my horizons and knowledge.
So, without further ado……
|Steel Cut Oats
|Old Fashioned (Rolled) Oats
|Also called Irish or Scotch oats, these are cut, not rolled. They look like chopped-up rice, take the longest to cook, and have a slightly chewy consistency.
|Sometimes called rolled oats, these look like flat little ovals. When processing these oats, the kernels are steamed first, and then rolled to flatten them. They take longer to cook than quick oats but are quicker than steel-cut oats.
|Also called instant oats, these oats are precooked, dried, and then rolled. They cook in a few minutes when added to hot water and have a mushy texture.
Want to know how they compare nutritionally? Then keep reading……
|Typical Serving Size
|Steel Cut Oats 1/4 cup dry
|Rolled Oats 1/2 cup dry
|Quick Oats 1/2 cup dry
As you can see from the above tables, all three types of oatmeal are very similar nutritionally. There has been some controversy about whether oatmeal, which has an average medium Glycemic Index of 55 is a suitable food option for people with high blood sugar as well as for those wishing to control or lose weight. Simply put, the Glycemic Index of any given food measures, after eating, the rise in blood sugar over a period of 2-3 hours. Health practitioners often mistakenly recommend against eating foods with medium to high GI. On page 180 of his new book, The Starch Solution, Dr. John McDougall has this to say about that:
Your blood sugar is supposed to rise after you eat. It is a good thing, not the sign of a problem. Why do we eat in the first place? Aside from the pure pleasure of it, we eat to get the energy needed to carry out our daily activities.
In addition, the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) recommends:
five or more servings of grains each day. This may include 1⁄2 cup of hot cereal, 1 ounce of dry cereal, or one slice of bread. Each serving contains roughly 3 grams of protein.
So don’t sweat it. Enjoy your whole grains daily.
Oatmeal can be used in a myriad of wonderful, winning ways – breakfast (or even supper) food, a binder for soft mixtures like veggie paté and lentil loaves and burgers, as well as in desserts, such as cookies, tea breads and fruit crisps.
I can remember having porridge (oatmeal) as a child and thinking that it was pretty good. I liked it with brown sugar and raisins – no cow’s milk. I absolutely detested the taste and texture of cow’s milk and I would avoid it with everything that I had. Never mind that my brothers (bless their hearts) told me that my toes would turn black and fall off if I didn’t drink it. Even they, as young boys, believed the industry marketing surrounding the now disproven health benefits of drinking the milk of other species of animals. Anyway, I am here to tell you that my toes definitely did not turn black and fall off; and I never ever did learn to enjoy cow’s milk. Thank goodness for that, for both me and the cows.
I always have steel cut oats and rolled oats in my food cupboard. I like to use the steel cut for making porridge and the rolled for baking. So, when I first started trying out some of the great new recipes out there for baked oatmeal in a muffin cup, I used quick oats. The result was very tasty and the texture light; but it seemed like such a pain to have to keep three types of oats in my cupboard, so I switched over to using rolled oats. The resulting texture is a bit chewier, but amazing all the same. Texture aside, baked oatmeal is so portable if one is flying oat (I mean out – LOL!) the door without time for a sit down breakfast. The choice my friends is up to you.
If you would like to try your hand at baked oatmeal, here is a recipe that I enjoy. I love the taste of gingerbread and I love the idea that these beauties can be made ahead and frozen.
Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal (Click here for recipe)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup goji berries
2 T coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 T blackstrap molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 T almond milk
But, I am not done yet expounding on glorious oats and all the new recipes out there. What about Overnight Steel Cut Oats? Overnight Oats are basically raw oatmeal with a liquid, some sweetener, extras like nuts, fruit, spices, seeds, and flavorings put in a mason jar or other glass container and left in the fridge overnight for a yummy breakfast the next morning.
Overnight Chia Steel Cut Oats (click here for recipe)
1 cup steel-cut oats
1 cup hemp milk or non-dairy milk of your choice
2 Tbs. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger or 1 Tbs. crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch black pepper
1 Tbs. maple syrup, optional
1 Tbs. shredded coconut, optional
1 Tbs. chopped pistachios, optional
NOTA BENE: Try this recipe because it is so delicious, but I would make these adjustments if I were you:
****DECREASE BOTH THE OATS AND CHIA SEEDS BY HALF. IT IS TOO THICK AND DRY OTHERWISE.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
They are tasty, nutritious, versatile, quick to prepare, and energy filled victuals designed for vitality.
May all beings be happy and free.