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9 Reasons to Eat Oats and How to Cook Oat Groats


bowl of oatmeal
  1. Digestive and gut health

  2. Weight management

  3. Heart health

  4. Blood sugar control

  5. Lower cancer risk

  6. Immune support

  7. Prevents gastrointestinal conditions

  8. Manages blood pressure

  9. Healthy skin



What Are Oats?


Oats (Avena sativa) are cereal grains grown for their seeds. Oats have been cultivated for thousands of years, with crop evidence found on archaeological sites in modern Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Today oats are a staple food source for many people and are grown in many places around the world and in diverse environmental conditions.


What is the Calorie Density of Oats?

Plantz Matter table of calories in oats

The caloric density of oats depends on their level of processing and preparation. To find out more on this topic read What is Calorie Density? In the table below, you will notice that there isn’t much difference in the calorie range. It is best to check the packaging to be sure how many calories you might be consuming.


Next, take into consideration how you want to prepare the oats. If you want to reduce calories, it is best to prepare oats with water rather than mylk. If you are making breakfast and want fruit, consider adding berries rather than higher-calorie fruits. Berries are extremely healthy for more read 14 Brilliant Benefits of Berries.


To boost the health benefits of oats mix in some ground flax. Read 13 of Flax's Fantastic Health Benefits to find out more.

Groats


Oat groats are the least processed and most intact form of oats we eat. The kernel is kept, and the inedible outer husk is removed. Groats are considered whole grains and have the best nutritional value.


Nutty Flavor of Oat Groats in Savory Dishes


Oat groats, known for their nutty flavour and chewy texture, are perfect for savoury dishes. For a hearty dinner option, cook one cup of oat groats in four cups of water with a pinch of salt until tender. Mix the cooked oat groats with sautéed vegetables, such as mushrooms, spinach, and bell peppers, and top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. This versatile grain can be used in grain bowls, adding a nutritious and flavorful base that complements many ingredients.


How to Cook Oat Groats?

Ever wondered how to cook oat groats? You're not the only one. It usually takes 50 to 60 minutes to cook groats on a stovetop. Goats can also be cooked in a slow cooker. To cook them, rinse them to get rid of any impurities and then put them in the pot with 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of groats. Groats take the longest to cook because of their minimal processing, and they still have the bran layer and germ.


Their texture is chewy, and they taste nutty. Some people like to soak their groats before cooking them. Due to their nutty flavour and whole grain nature can be used in savoury or sweet recipes such as in soups, porridge, stews or even as a substitute for rice. Groats take the longest time for your body to digest.


Cooking Oat Groats in a Slow Cooker


Using a slow cooker to prepare oat groats is a simple method that brings out their nutty flavour and chewy texture. Start by adding one cup of oat groats to the cooker. Pour in four cups of water and a pinch of salt. Set the slow cooker to low and let it cook for about 8 hours.


This long cooking time allows the oats to absorb the water and become tender. In the morning, you'll have a delicious breakfast porridge ready to be topped with your favourite toppings like fresh fruits or nut butter.


Pressure Cooker Oat Groats


For a quicker cooking method, use a pressure cooker. Add one cup of oat groats and three cups of water to the cooker, along with a pinch of salt. Secure the lid and set the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for about 20 minutes, then allow a natural pressure release. This method significantly reduces the cooking time. The groats will still be tender, cooked oat groats perfect for savoury dishes or grain bowls.


Cooking Oat Groats on the Stove


To cook oat groats on the stove, bring four cups of waterBring four cups of water to a boil to cook oat groats on the stove. Add one cup of oat groats and a pinch of salt. Reduce the stove to medium heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the oats reach your desired texture. You can use a metal mesh strainer to drain any excess water. This basic recipe is versatile and can be adapted for sweet and savoury applications.


Storing Cooked Oat Groats


Store any leftover cooked oat groats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, place them in a freezer-friendly container or reusable ziplock bags and freeze them for up to three months. This makes it easy to have a healthy, ready-to-eat option on hand for busy mornings. Reheat with a splash of plant milk or water and enjoy with your favourite type of toppings.


Steel-Cut Oats

Plantz Matter steel cut oats

Steel-cut oats can be used in the same way as groats. Steel-cut oats (Irish oats or coarse oatmeal) are groats that a steel blade has cut two or three times. They are more processed than groats but not flattened like rolled oats.


Due to minimal processing, they take around 20 to 30 minutes to soften enough to eat. Like groats, they have their bran layer and germ. Also, like groats, their texture is chewy, and they have a nutty taste. To cook steel-cut oats, water or mylk is needed; the amount you add depends on what consistency you prefer.


In recent years steel-cut oats have increased in popularity as people have begun to seek out less processed forms of their pantry staples. Steel-cut oats offer more dietary fibre than rolled or quick oats; they take longer to digest, supporting better digestion and blood sugar management.


Versatile Uses of Steel-Cut Oats


While steel-cut oats are a popular choice for a warm breakfast porridge, they can also be used in different recipes. To prepare, add one cup of steel-cut oats to four cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer until the oats reach a creamy consistency. For a savoury twist, stir in a spoonful of peanut butter and a handful of chopped fresh fruits for a satisfying breakfast. Or, use the cooked steel-cut oats as a base for a savoury oat groats dish. You can combine them with roasted vegetables and a dash of lemon juice for a refreshing, nutritious meal.



Rolled Oats


Plantz Matter rolled oats

Rolled oats (old-fashioned oats) are one of the most commonly available forms of oats. To get the oats to flatten out, they are steamed and rolled. They are then dried to remove any moisture before being packaged.


The higher level of processing makes them quicker to cook and digest than steel-cut oats. Surprisingly even with this level of processing, they keep much of their nutritional value.


Rolled oats are much softer and don’t need to be cooked to be eaten. Many people enjoy them for breakfast straight out of the package with some mylk. Others like to make overnight oats and soften them by allowing them to absorb moisture from added water or mylk. Rolled oats can also be used in baking, for example, muesli bars or ANZAC biscuits.


Instant Oats


Plantz Matter instant oats

Instant oats (quick oats) are processed and used to make porridge. They take the shortest time to cook and are the fastest to digest.


Their texture is usually gooey if cooked with enough liquid, but it ranges depending on how much liquid has been added and if it has been stirred while cooking. It is easy to end up with lumpy porridge when you first learn to cook porridge.


Instant oats are made by steaming oats and then rolling them, similar to rolled oats, until they are thin flakes. The more significant processing means they are basically pre-cooked and soft, allowing them to absorb liquid more quickly than the other types of oats, which is why their cooking time is so low.


Instant oats are popular because of their convenience. They are both quick and easy to prepare. Manufacturers have capitalised further on this by packaging them in individual serving sizes that are easily transportable. While not as healthy as the other oat options, they are still a healthy choice. You do need to be wary of additives such as sugar. Be sure to read the packaging before buying instant oats.


Oat Flour


Plantz Matter oat flour

Oat flour is the most processed oat product discussed in this blog post. Oat flour is made by grinding oat groats until it forms a fine powder. Oat flour is used as a gluten-free alternative to wheat-based flour. It is versatile and has a sweet, nutty flavour.


Although oats are gluten-free, individuals must be careful of cross-contamination with wheat products during processing. Opt for products that specifically have gluten-free on their packaging.



What’s in Oats That Benefits Your Health?

Fibre: Oats are a good source of fibre. Oats contain a soluble gel-like fibre called beta-glucan when mixed with liquid. The fibre in oats is beneficial because it:

  • Promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation.

  • Helps maintain a healthy weight by promoting a feeling of fullness

  • Supports heart health by reducing cholesterol levels

  • Regulates blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

  • Enhances gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria

  • Reduces the risk of colorectal cancer

  • Supports overall immune function

  • Helps prevent haemorrhoids and diverticular disease

  • Aids in the management of healthy blood pressure levels

  • Supports healthy skin and reduces the risk of skin conditions like acne

inforgraphic table fibre in oats / fibre in oats

Protein: This one might surprise you, but oats contain a decent amount of healthy protein, providing essential amino acids for muscle growth, repair, and assisting in bodily processes.


infographic table protein in oats

Minerals: manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and folate. These minerals are beneficial because they:

  • Support bone health

  • Play a role in energy production

  • Support enzyme activation and metabolic processes

  • Help regulate blood sugar levels

  • Support brain function and cognitive processes

  • Assist in wound healing and maintaining healthy skin

  • Support red blood cell production and oxygen transport

  • Play a role in connective tissue formation

  • Contribute to antioxidant defence and protection against free radicals

  • Essential for DNA synthesis and cell division


Vitamins: Vitamins B1 and B5 help with the production and balance of the following:

Infographic table of vitamins in oats

Antioxidants:

Infographic table of antioxidants in oats

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are quick, simple and make for great meal prep. Here is High Carb Hannah making one of her favourite combinations.

Summary


Oats are healthy and delicious. They have numerous health benefits and are versatile, cheap, and convenient. Try incorporating oats into your daily routine; you will be nourished, satisfied, and supporting your overall well-being. To read more about what is good for you read Is the Daily Dozen App a Game-Changer? Our Review.


I hope you found this informative. If you did, please save and share. Thank you for reading.




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