It’s probably sittin’ the the back of every pantry, but you probably have no idea what potential is there! When it comes to a quick and healthy breakfast, nothing beats a bowl of hot oatmeal. Not only is it a good source of vitamins and minerals, but it’s also high in soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus it’s gluten free! It’ll also fill you up to get you through until lunch. Here’s the caveman’s guide to oatmeal!
Types Of Oatmeal
The hot cereal can be intimidating. There’s so many options! What are the differences and which is best? (hint it’s not the instant flavored kind)
Old fashioned oats – This is the type of oatmeal you’re probably most familiar with. To make this type of oat, oat groats are steam heated and then flattened to create an oat flake. The thickness of the flake can vary, with the thinner flakes producing a softer, creamier bowl of oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats are usually the least expensive type of oatmeal and can often be bought in bulk at health food co-ops and natural food stores.
Quick cooking oats – To make quick cooking oats, old fashioned oats are pressed into even thinner flakes and cut into small pieces to allow them to cook quicker. As a result preparation time is usually shorter and the finished product a bit softer than the old fashioned oats. Some people say old fashioned oats are healthier because they have a lower glycemic index which means they don’t affect blood sugar levels as much as quick cooking oats.
Steel-cut oats – To make steel-cut oats, oat groats are chopped into tiny pieces. Steel-cut oats have a hard, rather course, texture which requires a longer cooking time and yields a slightly chewier product. The advantage to steel-cut oats is their glycemic index which is lower than even old fashioned oats. This gives certain health advantages if you’re diabetic or trying to lose weight. Some people prefer the chewier texture of steel-cut oats, although they’re more expensive and harder to find than other types of oatmeal. They can usually be found at most natural food markets.
Instant oatmeal – Yes, those little packets of instant oatmeal and quick and convenient, but they’re often loaded with sugar and salt. It’s tempting to buy them because of their ease of preparation. Plus, they often have added flavoring which makes the taste more appealing. Keep in mind you can add your own flavoring to old fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal using fruit, yogurt, nuts, maple syrup, flavor extracts, and even peanut butter which is a healthier and less expensive option.
-Source:”Four Types of Oatmeal You Need to Know About” by Kristie Leong M.D.
Ways To Use Oatmeal
- Use oat flour instead of bleached white flour for a fiber boost! Just use your food processor.
- Make your own granola
- Bulk up your smoothie with some oatmeal
- Use oatmeal as a substitute for breadcrumbs when cooking to coat chicken and fish
- Add a cup of oatmeal to your bath to sooth and soften skin.
- Oatmeal also makes a great face mask! Combine 1/2 cup hot — not boiling — water and 1/3 cup oatmeal. After the water and oatmeal have settled for two or three minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 2 table-spoons honey, and 1 small egg white. Apply a thin layer of the mixture to your face, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water.
- Make your own dry shampoo. Put 1 cup oatmeal in the blender and grind it into a fine powder. Add 1 cup baking soda, and mix well. Use it on days you don’t have time to wash your hair or for deodorizing your bath-hating dog.
Great Oatmeal Recipes
Want more Recipes? Check out these great links!
What’s your favorite way to use oatmeal? Let me know in the comments!