A grain I always have on hand in one form or another is whole grain oats. My favorite way to use them is in baking, but they’re always great for breakfast too. They come in several varieties, beginning with oat groats or the actual grain kernel that take the longest to cook.
Then there’s steel-cut oats or Irish oats, which are groats cut into pieces using a steel blade and then Scottish oats which are groats stone-ground instead of cut with a blade. Both of these are traditionally used for morning porridge.
Whole grain oat flour is milled from oat groats and includes all the nutritious germ, bran and endosperm. Oat flour is excellent for baking and can be substituted for a portion of the wheat flour called for in a recipe.
Next, there’s old-fashioned rolled oats, which are created when oat groats are steamed and rolled into ﬂakes. Finally, if the rolled oats are coarsely chopped, quick oats are created. These processes help the oats cook faster and are perfect for cookies and muffins.
Oats are high in fiber and are said to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. They’re protein rich and are a great energy booster. Oats are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals as well as a good source of antioxidants.
Tip: I always keep grains, including my oat flour, old-fashioned rolled oats and quick cooking rolled oats in the freezer or refrigerator to keep them fresh as long as possible. You can find the oat products in our Vitacost.com Healthy Living Shop.
I welcome you to try my Easy Real Food Recipe with old-fashioned quick cooking oats. “Pistachio Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips,” click HERE.