Enjoy some oaty goodness
Oats are a whole grain staple in just about every nutritious eating plan, whether your goal is a great physique, optimal fitness or vibrant health.
Oat groats – the least processed option – take longer to cook, which is why steel-cut or rolled oats are popular options.
Steel-cut oats are basically chopped up (using a steel blade) oat groats. If you steam and roll steel-cut oats, you get rolled oats.
While pure oats are a naturally gluten-free whole grain, processing and packaging facilities may handle various other foodstuffs, some of which may contain wheat. As such, not all oat products are gluten-free due to possible cross-contamination. So always read the product label when buying oats!
Oats are a good source of important antioxidants called avenanthramides and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols.
A bowl of oats will also provide various vitamins and minerals, like manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate and vitamins B1 and B5.
And they’re a great complex carb source, which digests more slowly. You’ll also get some plant protein and a beneficial form of soluble fibre known as beta-glucan, which can aid digestion, improve gut health and help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Soluble fibre is also very satiating, which could help keep you feeling full for longer after breakfast.
While most people prefer oats as a hearty breakfast, often mixed in with some cinnamon, nuts or nut butter, granola, fresh berries and a protein powder of choice, these grains are also extremely versatile.
We can incorporate them into various baking recipes like muffins, bars and cookies, or add them to smoothies, either raw or cooked, to thicken the texture and boost the fibre content.
You can also chop up your preferred oats and use them as a substitute for bread crumbs in various recipes.
Oats are categorised as a wet grain, which means they are cooked with water. The ideal ratio is one part oats to two parts liquid.
To cook oats to perfection, simply bring your oats to a slow boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and allow to simmer until the oats are tender.
Depending on your preferred product, it is often best to pre-soak your oats. This can be useful for oat groats or steel-cut oats. Soaking softens the grain and makes it easier to cook. It can also change the texture profile of your breakfast – soaked oats are often fluffier and creamier than oats cooked from dry.
Per serving (½ cup cooked steel-cut oats or 1 cup rolled oats)