It's Monday once again. I love Monday. I look forward to it! Oh how odd. I bet I'm one of the few of the working who actually does, but Monday means I get to do a post on cooking with food storage here on the blog! It also means I get to play with my food and take more pictures. Case in point. Today we're talking oats. By and far, I adore oats in my Chef Tess' Oat Bread. However, there's a lot more to know about the oat. OH...I'm teaching a class tomorrow at my favorite Honeyville Farms Retail Store tomorrow at 10 AM ( | 33 South 56th Street Suite 1| Chandler, AZ 85226 Phone: (480) 785-5210 ) They have an amazing selection of oats. Seriously...look Here.
Class is Free...but come early because it's surely going to be busy! I love seeing all the shining happy faces at my classes. It makes me want to sing...um...but I promise I won't sing at the class. Well, unless you want me to sing at the class.
When I think of oats, I always think of the the crazy king of the lemurs and his nutty dance. Yup. My brain works in Disney...full color...Yes. I wear the hat.
King Julian singing "Light, fit, Oat-tastic...physically, physically, physically fit!"
I don't know why...but that's the visual I get.
Good luck getting that song out of your head
So...speaking of light fit Oat-tastic... Oats are a powerhouse of nutrition. They contain calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and potassium as well as the trace minerals like iron, zinc, copper, selenium and manganese. Nutritionally dense in phytochemicals and fiber (soluble and insoluble). They have been proven to help your heart, lower blood pressure and maintain healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics. Oats come in many forms. From the whole oat grain called an oat groat to steel cut oats, Scottish Oats, rolled oats to instant oats. Perhaps you, like many, have only ever thought of oats for breakfast. As exciting as oatmeal is...it's not the only way to use oats. In fact, after this little workshop, you may never look at oats the same way again. All these forms vary in cooking time and texture but not in nutrition. Listed below are the health benefits of eating oatmeal or any other form of oats thanks to :
- Beta Glucan
A bio-defense modifier which means it will boost your immune system.
- Vitamins and Minerals
Additional benefits of oatmeal include Iron, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin E.
Plant chemicals that have shown promise in fighting and preventing cancer. For example, the phytoestrogens (lignans) found in oats help to fight hormone related diseases like breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
Oats were once considered animal fodder by the English, but in Ireland and Scotland became highly prized for their ability to add texture and satiation to baked goods and porridge. British Quakers inspired the common name of “Quaker Oats” to the oats we eat today. They came to America in the 1600's. Most of the oats we have in America are produced in South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as well as Canada. Oats come in more than one form. Six come to mind. So, let's outline a few differences. You can see my pictures. I'm adding some word details on the actual forms
Steel Cut Oatmeal or Oats
Just to make things even more confusing, steel cut oats are also commonly called Irish Oatmeal. They’re exactly what the name says, being whole oat groats that have been steel cut into smaller pieces. This shortens the cooking time, but keeps all the nutritional value of the whole oat groats. These are much easier to find at the grocery stores than whole oat groats. Look for either steel cut oats or Irish Oatmeal. I got mine here: Steel Cut Oats. (This is how to cook them...)
(I use rolled oats in my favorite Oatmeal...Soup)
Instead of using whole oat groats, these are made from steel cut oats so are smaller pieces, and faster cooking. They digest a little quicker than regular rolled oats, but are still nutritious.
Instant Oats: These are quick oats that have one more processing step… they are pre-cooked. Because of this, all you have to do is add hot water and they’re ready to eat. Non-flavored varieties may have a bit of salt added, but are still nutritionally decent. However, the flavored varieties can have a lot of sugar and artificial flavoring, so aren’t quite as good for you as regular types of oatmeal.
(Perhaps you could save a lot of money using my recipes for