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 (printable recipes below).
Oats are an extremely versatile whole grain and can be added to many recipes from breakfast to beverages. Here are some of my favorite applications for oats:
- As oatmeal- stove-top and overnight
- As an addition to fruit smoothies
- As a meat extender
- As a thickener in stews
- As a topping for yogurt and desserts
- Non-food related uses: bath soak and face masks
Types of Oats
There are many types of oats that can be found at the grocery store. The nutritional value is similar between all the types but the fiber will be slightly lower in the quick variety. Quick oats tend to have more added sugar so make sure you check the label.
Oat Groats- all oat products start off as groats then they're processed. The groats contain all grain components- bran, germ, endosperm. These will take the longest to cook (over an hour).
Steel-cut oats- oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces with a sharp metal blade. This variety takes about 15-20 minutes to cook on the stovetop.
Scottish Oats- the oat groats are stone ground, rather than rolled. This creates a creamy bowl of oatmeal and will take about 10-12 minutes to cook.
Rolled (old-fashioned) Oats- oat groats that are steamed and then rolled into flakes. Rolled oats take about 5 minutes to cook on the stovetop.
Quick (instant) Oats- oat groats have been steamed longer and rolled thinner than their old fashioned counterpart.
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.
Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal- 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 and 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 normally 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 work as well.