Monday, September 6, 2010

Oats On The Mind

Two types of oats this is.

1/4 cup thick rolled oats + 1/4 cup almond milk + 1/4 cup water = OATS.

While I waited for the thick rolled oats to cook I put a pot of groats on as well.

1 cup groats + 3 cups water + 50 minutes on the stove = breakfast for the week.

I like to mix in groats with less dense types of oats such as steel cut or thick rolled- they add a nice chewiness. They taste just as good all by themsleves but they aren't creamy like the crappy instant oatmeal I loved when I was little.

As my oats boiled I snapped some pics of my indoor garden. I love morning light!


Now if you think I love oats too much think again. Oats are just an excuse for me to eat TOPPINGS! Look at all the ones I had today- banana, raisins, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, and a touch of honey. Other toppings I like? Cinnamon, nutmeg, peanut butter, craisins, dark chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries...the list can go on forever. I'm going to try making pumpkin oats sometime soon (inspired by KERF).

The finished bowl, I swear there are oats underneath there!

I think the inside of banana peels are so cool! I had to draw one once in a still life...ever since then the texture has intrigued me.

Want to start enjoying oats? The options are limitless and the varieties of oats are confusing at first. So what are the different types of oats?

Oat Groats – These are the least processed oats. It is the whole oat grain, with the outer husk removed, then toasted. These take the longest to cook about 50 minutes. Groats also have a longer cooking time- about 50 minutes. I prepare mine for the week and then reheat them in the microwave in the morning! It really is just as easy as pouring milk over sugary cereal in the morning.

Steel Cut Oats or Scottish Oats or Irish Oats- Simply groats that have been cut into a couple pieces. Cooking time around 30 minutes.

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – Old Fashioned rolled outs are steamed groats that are rolled thin. Because this steaming process takes out nutrients it is best to look for thick old fashioned rolled oats. The Quaker variety of Old Fashioned Rolled oats are the standard, instead of buying the Quaker variety (in all that packaging) head over to the bulk bins (with your reusable container) and but some thick rolled oats. Thick rolled oats are a little heartier than Quakers rolled oats but in order to sustain Minnesota’s harsh winters I need a hearty breakfast!

Quick-cooking rolled oats – These are made by flattening pre-cut groats, over and over again. This means these oats are very processed due to the steam from the oat roller. This makes their cooking time very short- about 5 minutes.

Instant Oats – Take a look at the ingredients list, you’ll probably find 5 different sources of sugar and words you don’t recognize. These are overly processed and full of sugar. Stay away!

So what are the best oats to eat? Those that take 30 minutes or longer to cook. Try Groats, Steel Cut Oats, or Thick Rolled Oats and see which you prefer. Don't for get the toppings!

Want more info on the health benefits of oats? Head on over to World's Healthiest Foods to read all about how amazing oats are. Here's a tidbit from World's Healthiest Foods Oats page for you to consider...

"populations eating diets high in fiber-rich whole grains consistently have lower risk for colon cancer, yet short-term clinical trials that have focused on fiber alone in lowering colon cancer risk, often to the point of giving subjects isolated fiber supplements, yield inconsistent results. The explanation is most likely that these studies have not taken into account the interactive effects of all the nutrients in whole grains-not just their fiber, but also their many phytonutrients."

Just more proof that foods with added fiber, such as cereals, fiber one bars, or those fiber drinks aren't giving you all the benefits of fiber. You can't eat a high fructose corn syrup granola bar and think it's going to be as healthy as fruits, veggies, or whole grains.

After enjoying my oats and cup of tea my groats were allll done.

Yes yes I've got oats on the mind.

I scooped them into a tupperware (after eating a couple bites of course) and stashed them away for those rushed early morning breakfasts before class. Always thinking ahead :) I hope you are enjoying your labor day! I sure am. I had another cup of tea to savor my last day of summer...

And now I'm off to go hiking with the boyfriend. No rest for the active. Just how I like it :)

What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

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