Who doesn't like Oats? Even people who don't like healthy food end up having oats daily for breakfast! Not only is it packed in nutrients like fiber, proteins, and healthy carbs. It is also low in calories compared to your regular breakfast options like cereals with overly sweetened milk!
So it's no wonder that Oats have taken the breakfast world by storm and now they are found in almost every kitchen's pantry. But are you aware that not every oat is the same?
That's right! There are different types of oats, and all of them have different nutritional values and even differ in taste! But if you are now feeling confused as to which one is the best oats, then let us tell you that there's actually no best type of oats!
Every Oats has its advantages and disadvantages, and it's up to you to choose which one suits your needs and requirements the best!
So how do we know which oats are the best for you?
Well, leave that job to us as we'll guide you through the top three types of Oats that you can get in the market: (1) Instant oats; (2) steel-cut oats; (3) rolled oats.
Just stick with us until the end and you know which oats to choose for your breakfast, lunch, and even dinner!
But first, what is Oats exactly?
Oats are basically seeds from the plant of the same name which are edible for humans and livestock alike. These gluten-free seeds are nutrient-rich with balanced values of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and a low amount of calories and fat!
They are also rich in fiber which promotes good digestion and gastronomic health. And if that's not enough, Oats also have antioxidants that help decrease blood pressure!
Last but not the least, if you're looking to lose weight and get in shape, there is no better diet food than a healthy bowl of oats for breakfast every day!
What does an Oat seed consist of?
This question might seem innocent to you but it is actually the key to understanding the different types of Oats that are out there.
You see, there are different ways of processing an Oat seed, and it is from here that different types of Oats come into existence.
But first, a Oat seed basically consists of:
- The kernel, that is the innermost part.
- The hull or husk, which is the outer covering of the kernel and is not edible for humans. But it is good for livestock and can be used as feed for them!
And now that you are well-read on what Oats are, let's now look at the types of oats available!
This kind of oats is probably familiar to everyone. It's the easiest and quickest way to eat oats, thanks to its large absorbing capacity.
This means that if you cook instant Oats, it will absorb water (or whatever liquid you are cooking it in) faster! This is because not only is the husk removed from the oat seeds, but the kernels are also rolled up and flattened into very thin flakes. Or alternatively, instead of being smashed into thin flakes, they are steamed longer in their making process.
The baseline is that your Instant Oats will absorb water quickly which will give you a much faster cooking time. This is especially a benefit to people who are in a rush during their mornings and just need a quick and healthy breakfast.
College students will also find Instant Oats to be a way healthier and still affordable option to eat instead of their way more unhealthy Instant Ramen. But does this quick and easy cooking comes with disadvantages?
We are afraid, yes. But it's not so drastic that you should give up on Instant Oats. It's just that if you compare instant Oats with other varieties, they are little less value for nutrition.
Since they are smashed into thin flakes, their fiber value among other nutrients decreases. And like all commercially manufactured products, instant Oats can contain artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and chemical preservatives.
But this doesn't mean they are unhealthy like other instant foods (We are looking at you, instant ramen!).
Instant Oats will still be a vastly better option than any of them if you choose so. We suggest you go for unsweetened and organic instant Oats to make it even more healthy for you!
Try these amazing recipes with Instant Oats
- Mango Banana Smoothie with Oats
- Oats Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Vegan | GF) (just 4 ingredients)!
- White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
- Healthy Oatmeal Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips & Raisins
- Chewy Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Healthy Double Chocolate Walnut Oatmeal Cookies - Eggless, Sugar-Free, Flourless Cookies
- Eggless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Chai Spiced Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
- No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars (Gluten-Free) | (No Condensed Milk)
Steel cut Oats
Steel cuts oats or Irish oats as they are known in many places, are probably the simplest and healthiest oats out they. They get their name thanks to its making process, which consists of Oat kernels being cut up in smaller sizes with the help of a sharp steel blade. Since the kernels are not being smashed into flakes and steamrolled, Steel-cut Oats are more likely to retain their fiber content among other nutrients.
Just keep in mind that Steel cut oats do not absorb water as fast, which leads to a longer cooking time.
But we say that the result makes it very worth it, as you'll get a very creamy and smooth textured Oat dish which makes for a perfect porridge or Oat risotto!
And if you are a fan of natural flavors, then the nutty flavor of steel-cut oats will be perfect for you!
Try my Instant pot Steel Cut Oats
Now, these oats have been worked to the extreme to get that distinct roll-like appearance. We are not kidding either, as in the making of Rolled oats, the kernels are first steamed, then rolled, then smashed and flattened into flakes and finally dried.
Although there's one difference between rolled oats and instant ones, in that you can get thicker flakes in rolled oats compared to the very thin flakes of Instant Oats.
Rolled oats take mediocre time to cook since they are steamed and flattened into flakes. But they are still not thin enough to be on instant Oats level. So expect 5-20 minutes of cooking time on a stove. Rolled oats are also delicious when it comes to taste, having a mild flavor with a chewy texture and creamy consistency. They are ideal for making porridge, muffins, cookies, and even pancakes! Have you tried these recipes yet?
- Keto Quinoa Zucchini Muffins - (No Flour, No Sugar, No Oats)
- Cherry Crumble with Oats Almond Butter Streusel
- Healthy Oats Chocolate Banana Bread
- VEGAN GRANOLA CUPS
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins (Vegan | GF)
- Almond Flour Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars (Gluten-Free | Vegan)
- Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars with Dark Chocolate Chunks
- White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
- Healthy No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
- Oats Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Jammy Raspberry Crumble Bars
If you are looking for oats that are healthier than your regular instant Oats but are also fast enough to cook in your rushed mornings, then you should definitely consider rolled oats as your option!
So what Oats is the best for me?
Breaking it down into simple words, we can categorize these three popular oat varieties for three kinds of people whose requirements they meet. Check out if you are one of them!
- If you are one of the regular working/studying folks who just want a quick bite to eat that is relatively healthy, go for the instant Oats!
- If you are looking for rustic taste for your fancy taste buds or are looking to eat very healthy, go for steel cut oats!
- If you want best of both worlds, that is both quick and healthy, then rolled oats are your go to oats!
Whichever Oats you choose, you show know that you are still eating healthy compared to any other food option you formerly had.
Yes, while objectively a plate of fried bacon and eggs might sound more appealing, have you ever considered a plate of freshly made tomato oats risotto that has parmesan cheese grated on top? Or a bowl of oats porridge that had fresh fruits and berries chopped up atop it?
Oats can be both healthy and tasty at the same time. There are plenty of yummy and innovative recipes out there for you to check out and experiment with! And now that you finally know what oats is the best for you, you can truly start on your happy oat journey!