Category Archives: Oatmeal

Oatmeal: 8 Types and The Differences

oats
As most people know by now, eating oatmeal is very healthy and heart protecting because it provides fiber and lowers cholesterol. What they may not know is the type to eat for the most nutrition! Some forms of oatmeal may not even be good for us. This is because since oat grains can undergo various stages of processing, some forms of oatmeal can therefore not be as nutritious. Becoming aware of how oatmeal is made or milled can help us make a better choice, which can make a real difference to our health.

The star phytonutrient in oatmeal is Beta-Glucan, well known to reduce the risk of heart disease and control blood sugar in diabetics. It is also known to boost the immune system. Just one bowl each day can reduce high LDL levels, the bad cholesterol, by 8-23%.

To get the most of oatmeal’s nutritional benefits, we should choose oats that are the least processed since cooking and processing will destroy some of Beta-Glucan’s effectiveness.  Here is a list of 8 types of oatmeal in the order of least processed to most and how their formed:

1. GROATS– This is oatmeal as whole as you can get! Only the inedible hull is removed. They take the longest to cook, 50-60 minutes, and are best if soaked before using but you get the most nutrition so its definitely worth the time!

2. STEEL CUT OATS– This type of oatmeal is basically groats cut with steel blades into small pieces, which reduces its cooking time to 10-20 minutes. Their also known as Irish or pinhead oats. This type of oat also packs the most nutrition and has a chewier texture.

3. SCOTTISH OATMEAL– This oatmeal is basically the groats broken into bits. They are stone ground instead of cut and cooks in about 10 minutes. Stone grounding is a form of processing so they may not be as nutritious as groats and steel cut.

4. OAT FLOUR– Oat flour is still a whole grain because nothing is removed. Its basically just pulverized groats that can be used in recipes. Keep in mind oat flour is gluten free so it won’t behave like wheat and rise if used alone. It should be mixed with other flours if used for breads and baking.

5. OAT BRAN– This is the high-fibered part of the oat. The bran is normally discarded during the milling process but in this case, the bran is kept and sold separately for those who want the fiber. Its commonly used as an additive in breads, muffins, and cereals and adds a distinctive flavor. It can go rancid so it needs to be kept in a cool and dry place.

6. OLD FASHIONED or ROLLED OATS– This oatmeal is basically groats that are steamed and pressed flat. It can cook in 5 minutes. Rolled oats are often thought of as more nutritious but as you can see they are heated which is processing. They can be thick or thin and can be used to make old fashioned oatmeal, cookies, or granola. Thinner rolled oats can be used in baby food.

7. QUICK OATS– These oats are made by taking oat grains and breaking them into pieces before rolling them out. Rolled or old fashioned oats on the other hand, are just rolled out and not cut. The cutting reduces their size to ensure the oats cook very quickly. They are rolled much thinner then steamed and will only take 1-2 minutes to cook.

8. INSTANT OATMEAL– This form of oatmeal is the most processed. Its cooked and steamed much longer and then rolled the thinnest possible. This way you only need add hot water to “instantly” cook and plump them up. This type usually has stuff added in such as sugar, salt, and artificial flavors because its sold as convenience food.

Keep in mind that quick and instant oatmeal usually have their oat bran removed, which is the high fibered part of the grain. Much of the oat’s fiber and nutrients are contained within the bran, so removing it diminishes its nutritional value.

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Sources
How Oats are Processed – Buzzle.com
Types of Oatmeal – You Tube

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Coconut Fig Oatmeal Cookies

Coconut Fig Oatmeal

I really love these cookies! They are simple, easy to make, and loaded with heart healthy ingredients and fiber! Most cookies you find at the store are full of sugar which can be addicting. This homemade batch of goodness ended up with the kind of texture that go perfect with a glass of milk, vegan milk that is. My toddler devoured 3 and drank 2 whole glasses of cashew milk along with them! I’ll know better next time to double the recipe for a bigger batch because 10 cookies just wasn’t enough!

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas
  • 10 dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup oatmeal, rolled or quick oats style
  • 1/2 cup shredded & dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. First, in a mixing bowl smash the bananas and stir them into a creamy consistency.
  3. Next, add and stir in the vanilla, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and molasses.
  4. Now stir in the flour and oatmeal until completely blended.
  5. Last but not least, stir in 1/4th cup of the shredded coconut and the chopped figs. The shredded coconut gives the batter a texture that holds everything together and prevents it from being runny
  6. Spoon drops of cookie batter onto a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil and with a fork, press down and form the cookies. Use the remaining shredded coconut to sprinkle tops of cookies before baking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown. Makes about 10 cookies.

Coconut Fig Oatmeal4

We were out of real vanilla extract so we were stuck using the imitation. By all means, use the pure vanilla extract to avoid any artificial flavorings and chemicals. Besides, twice as much imitation vanilla flavoring is usually required to match the strength of pure vanilla so you get your moneys worth.

Coconut Fig Oatmeal5

I rarely use added sugar in my baking but for a batch of cookies, I’ve started using Madhava’s unrefined coconut sugar. As you can see, I’m very conservative using it, especially with a diabetic in the family. I only used 2 tablespoons in this recipe. Nutrition TIP: If you find yourself needing to add more sugar to satisfy your taste buds, work on gradually reducing it from your diet. Unlike all refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, organic coconut sugar actually contains some nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

Coconut Fig Oatmeal2

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer

Oatmeal Banana Split

Banana Split Oatmeal

For breakfast this morning, my husband decided to create a new way of eating oatmeal and it was great! Can you really have a “banana split” for breakfast? Sure you can, especially when all the ingredients are healthy and vegan!  If you ever wanted to jazz up your breakfast or if you struggle with kids who don’t want or like oatmeal, this recipe will be a big help in making it FUN. All ingredients are healthy so you don’t have to worry about adding refined sugars or even chocolate with this fiber packed breakfast! Carob has no caffeine and has more nutrients than those sugar filled chocolate syrups kids are so attracted to. Best of all, with this fig and date carob sauce they won’t even know the difference! The more nutrients we put on our kids’ plate, the more behaved our kids will be and who couldn’t use that?!

Carob Sauce

I love this carob sauce! It basically just figs, dates, carob powder, almond milk, and vanilla!

Figgy Carob Sauce

  • 3 dates, pitted and organic
  • 3 figs, dried for sweetness
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or maple syrup if you don’t eat honey. Personally, I still use honey for its superior antibacterial properties and because of the fact that bees are not high on the food chain!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place the dates, figs, almond milk, and carob powder in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Filter the sauce from the blender into a small saucepan to prevent any pieces of figs and dates from getting through. This step will also help make this recipe a kid-friendly one!
  3. Next, stir in the honey and vanilla and bring the sauce to medium heat for just a few minutes. Don’t overheat or overcook the sauce. Remove from heat after 3 minutes.

Oatmeal Spice

Oatmeal Spice

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • pinch of salt
  • Bring the water to boil with the pinch of salt.
  • Add the rolled oats and stir for one minute.
  • After 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and add in the spices.
  • Cover the oatmeal until the water is absorbed.

To make an oatmeal banana split, simply serve the freshly made oatmeal into a bowl. Split a banana and place it along side into the bowl. Then pour some figgy carob sauce on top and sprinkle dried organic shredded coconut on top. You can also top with fresh fruit and nuts such as strawberries and walnuts to really give it that “banana split” flavor!

by Lupita Ronquillo, holistic nutrition writer