Oats can be found in many cultural dishes such as Scotland’s haggis and Muesli from the Swiss. Oats have been a popular addition to many recipes and a staple food source for centuries.
Oats are an extremely versatile whole grain and can be added to many recipes, from breakfast to beverages. Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate oats:
- Oatmeal- stove-top and overnight
- An addition to fruit smoothies
- A meat extender
- A thickener in stews
- A topping for yogurt and desserts
- Non-food related uses: bath soak and face masks
You Have Options
There are many types of oats that can be found at the grocery store. The nutritional value is similar between all the varieties but the fiber will be slightly lower in the quick variety.
Oat Groats- All oat products start as groats before they’re processed. The groats contain all of the grain components; bran, germ, endosperm. This type of oat will take the longest to cook (over an hour). Pressure cookers come in handy when cooking groats.
Steel-cut Oats- In this type of oat, the oat groats have been cut into two or three pieces with a sharp metal blade. This variety takes about 15-20 minutes to cook on the stove-top.
Scottish Oats- The oat groats in Scottish Oats are stone ground rather than rolled. This creates a creamy bowl of oatmeal and will take about 10-12 minutes to cook. This is my personal favorite!
Rolled (old-fashioned) Oats- Oat groats are steamed and then rolled into flakes, for rolled oats. Rolled oats take about 5 minutes to cook on the stove-top.
Quick (instant) Oats- Oat groats have been steamed longer and rolled thinner than their old fashioned counterpart. They also tend to have more added sugar because of all the fun flavors. If you are watching out for unwanted added sugar, make sure you check the label.
Oat Flour- Finely ground oats groats. Make your own at home by pulsing oat groats, steel-cut, Scottish or rolled oats in a food processor.
Since oatmeal is my #1 preferred way to eat oats, I want to share 5 of my go-to recipes for a satisfying way to start your day, whether you have 5 minutes or 30. Check the ingredient lists to see what type of oat is recommended in each recipe. Click on each recipe name for a printable PDF.
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars- It wouldn’t be October without a little pumpkin! This recipe can be baked in the toaster oven but allow 20 min for bake time. You can be eating in 30 min.
Blueberry-Chia Overnight Oats- This is my favorite overnight oats recipe since I always have an abundance of frozen blueberries and blueberry jam. The great thing is you make it the night before, so in the morning, you just grab and go!
Savory Oats- This ultra-satisfying recipe is a twist on the usually sweet oatmeal dish. You can mix-and-match different savory ingredients such as egg, avocado, goat cheese, green onion, hot sauce, and herbs. All of those ingredients would probably end up in my bowl.
Golden Oats- This an adaptation of a smoothie recipe I usually make, but I wanted to try it in oatmeal form. You start by simmering your oats in coconut milk and turmeric so the oats take on a golden hue. You’ll have to click the link to find out more!
PB&J Oats- This is a classic combination that tastes divine swirled into a warm bowl of oats. I personally like to use Scottish oats for this one but steel-cut or rolled would also work well.
As outlined in the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling guidance, daily dietary intake levels of 3 g or more per day of beta-glucan (soluble fiber) found in oats and barley have been associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease.
Studies have shown, consuming oats positively influences insulin regulation, cholesterol reduction, and appetite control. Therefore, oats are an excellent addition to any eating plan.
The fiber found in oatmeal is good for digestive health as well, which ferments in the G.I. tract promoting a diverse gut flora. Oats are also naturally gluten-free, making them a good option for those with Celiac disease. However, check the label to ensure they were processed in a gluten-free facility.
- Tiwari U, Cummins E. Meta-analysis of the effect of β-glucan intake on blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Nutrition. 2011 Oct 1;27(10):1008-16.
- Li X, Cai X, Ma X, Jing L, Gu J, Bao L, Li J, Xu M, Zhang Z, Li Y. Short-and long-term effects of wholegrain oat intake on weight management and glucolipid metabolism in overweight type-2 diabetics: a randomized control trial. Nutrients. 2016 Sep 7;8(9):549.