Oats without a doubt are one of the healthiest grains available. Other than being gluten-free, they are high in fibre and are nutrient dense. They are therapeutic in nature and can work well in the management of various diseases such as obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis and even hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). It is great for people who have constipation, also since it is high in antioxidants it can work wonderfully well for the skin. There are various forms of oats present in the market and can be included in the diet as per suitability.
Following is a list of various types of oats present in the market:
- Oat Groats: These are oat kernels, they are the most fibrous and take the longest to cook. They have a sweet and nutty flavour and can be used to replace rice.
- Steel Cut Oats: These are cut into two or three pieces with a sharp metal blade. Since they are smaller, water absorbs easily into them and are quicker to cook than oat groats. They are best suited for stews and soups.
- Scottish Oatmeal: These are processed by the traditional way i.e, through stone grinding which can cause variation in sizes. It is great to prepare creamy porridge.
- Rolled Oats: These are traditional oats that are prepared by steaming oat groats and then rolling into flakes. Since they are rolled out the oil remains intact making them stay fresh for longer. Also, they cook very quickly. They are best suited for granola bars, cookies, muffins as they tend to retain their shape for longer while cooking.
- Instant Oats: This category is prepared by further flattening and thinning out oat flakes making them the easiest and the quickest to cook but they have a mushy texture when cooked.
- Oat Flour: It is basically powdered form and can be used to prepare rotis and pancakes. It can also be used for baking and as a thickening agent.
With such a varied range of oats available in the market, it becomes easier to find a type that fits your taste, requirement and schedule without compromising on its health benefits. There are various recipes available which include creative ways to include these in your daily diet, making them not just restricted to being just a breakfast cereal.
So take your pick and enjoy the benefit of oats!