A day should be started in the healthiest way possible and what better way than to start a day with a Healthy dose of breakfast! With the growing health awareness spreading out in the current scenario, Oats and Oatmeals are ruling the breakfast tables.
While packed in an attractive cereal box it sits in our kitchen shelves boasting of outstanding health benefits, it rarely crosses our mind to understand the different types of Oats that are available in the market in the present day and their various uses. It sure pays off to get better acquainted with your healthy friend the Oat and the types of Oats that are there.
Types of oats:
Oats are majorly classified into Seven different categories. We will take a look at all of these in brief:
1. Raw Oats
These are the most raw form of oats. Oats are not edible in this form as the refining process is not yet done and the kernels/ groats are not yet separated from their hulls and stalks.
2. Whole Oat Groats
A grain kernel is generally termed as a groat while speaking in Oat terminology. These Whole Oat Groats are an outcome of the refining of the harvested oats through the process of cleaning and removal of the inedible hulls from the grains. These are the most common form of oats that are found in the health food stores. Being whole grains that they are, they take the longest to cook.
3. Steel Cut Oats
Known as Irish Oatmeals, these are groats of Oats that are cut into two or three smaller pieces using a sharp metal blade. These are easier to cook and cook faster than Whole Oat Groats as the smaller pieces easily allow water to penetrate them.
4. Scottish Oatmeal
Owing to the age old Scottish tradition of grinding oats using stones rather than cutting them using steel pieces, these stone-ground oatmeals get their name. Stone grinding the oats breaks the Oat groats to various sizes, which, according to many, results in a thicker and creamier porridge and cake than Steel Cut Oats.
5. Rolled Oats – regular (old fashioned)
Steaming the Oat groats and then rolling them into flakes allows the Oats to retain and stabilize the healthy oils contained in the groats. This process allows the Oats to stay fresh longer and also helps cook faster as the flakes offer a greater surface area. This Oats produced by this process are named as Old Fashioned Oats.
6. Rolled Oats – Instant
When these Oat Flakes are rolled out even thinner and/ or steamed for an extended time, the resultant Oats are known as instant oats. There is no loss of nutrition in the Oats, however the texture of the Oats slightly change.
7. Oat Flour
Although not directly a Oat groat this is a resultant of a fine grinding of the Oat groats that results in the creation of the Oat Flour. The Oat Flour can be used in baking or even for thickening soups.
With so many varieties available, Oats truly spoil a person for choice. But being the healthy associate that it is, trying out the different types of oats hardly results in a negative impact on the body. Of the all listed, whole oats and steel cut oats are the better options to think of. So just go out there and get spoilt for your choice of Oats and Oatmeals!