|From L to R: Steel Cut Oats, Rolled Oats, Quick-Cooking Oats|
photo credit: Hanna's Vegan Kitchen
|Whole oat groats are the least processed|
photo credit: Culinate
|Steel Cut: oat groats chopped into smaller pieces|
photo credit: Riverspitter
Before bed, I rinse and soak 1 cup of oats (either rolled or steel-cut). I use enough water to cover the oats by about an inch and put them in the medium pot I use to cook them, placing a lid on top. In the morning, I strain and rinse the oats. This process of soaking, straining, and rinsing, helps rinse away the phytic acid that is present in a lot of nuts, seeds, and grains and that blocks your body from absorbing the valuable minerals in such foods. Soaking also makes the oats cook faster, so if you can get in the routine of soaking your oats at night, you'll
save time and absorb more nutrients.
|Rolled: steamed & flattened oat groats|
photo credit: Purcell Mountain Farms
I add about 2 cups of fresh filtered tap water (I prefer water to milk and non-dairy milk since I like to 'save' on the calories) and a small handful of dried fruit (currants, raisins, and/or craisins), and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the oats have achieved my desired consistency (about 5 minutes for rolled oats and 10 for steel cut). The cooking time depends on the type of oats you use and is really subjective. I tend to like my oats a little soupy, especially because I take them to-go most mornings and don't eat them until I get to my desk, but how long you cook the oats for is truly up to you. When they look appetizing, turn off the heat.
|Quick: Steamed, Flattened, and Chopped or Flaked|
photo credit: finecooking.com
- 2 tb chia seeds (A great source of Omega-3s, chia seeds also help you stay fuller longer!)
- 1 tb ground flax seeds (I grind them myself and store the meal in the freezer in a pint-sized ball jar)
- 1 tb maple syrup or raw local honey
- up to a 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin
- up to a 1/2 cup of fresh/frozen/freeze dried berries
- 1 chopped banana
- shredded coconut
- 1 - 2 tb of nut or seed butter (almond and sunflower seed are my favorite)
Now that the weather is getting nicer, you can even make an oatmeal smoothie! Just skip the heat part altogether and throw the soaked oats in a blender with
some ice, sunsational or other alterna-milk, and frozen berries, and you'll have a delicious, doughy smoothie full of whole grains and fruit!
|Instant: Thinly flaked & pre-cooked|
photo credit: answerfitness.com
What are your favorite oatmeal toppings?