An oat is an oat? Right?
Sure…maybe according to those over-processed breakfast bar labels! Let's start with what oats are.
Oats are a cereal grain grown well in cooler climates as they can tolerate more rain than other grains. Their purpose is primarily livestock feed but are also used in skincare, and a tasty option for human consumption (think porridge and overnight oats!). Given their widespread availability across supermarkets, many believe that oats are all the same...
Ready to be blown away by the actual number of oats out there?
WHOLE OAT GROATS are the oats whole grain minus the hulls (longest cooking time). They are the least processed ones you can find.
STEEL CUT OATS are groats split into 2 or 3 pieces with a very sharp blade, and cook slightly quicker than the above to leave a relatively chewy texture. they boast a low Glycaemic Index.
ROLLED OATS are groats that are steamed and rolled into flakes. These stay fresh longer and cook quicker than steel-cut oats due to the larger surface area.
QUICK/INSTANT OATS are cut into pieces, rolled thin, and steamed for a while. They are pretty processed and lack texture compared to rolled or steel-cut oats, but will cook faster (hence their name!).
SCOTTISH OATMEAL is stone-ground and broken into tiny bits.
OAT FLOUR: Groats are finely ground into a whole grain flour. This can be used in baking or for thickening soups and such.
OAT BRAN is the outer layer of the oat grain, just under the hull (part of rolled oats & steel-cut).
WHAT MAKES OATS A SUPERFOOD?
Oats are whole grains containing all three layers of edible grain (bran, endosperm & germ)
This means that Oats are high in soluble fibre (beta-glucan) which absorbs liquid (e.g. milk/mylk or water) and passes through our bodies without being absorbed, helping to maintain the condition of our digestive system. Soluble fiber not only increases feelings of fullness, but also attaches to cholesterol particles and whisks them out of the body, helping to reduce overall cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
Oats are a source of protein, and contain much higher levels than most other grains. The major protein in oats (80% of the total content!) is called avenalin, and isn’t found in any other grain but is similar to legume proteins.
This enables them to contribute to muscle mass growth and maintenance with approximately 12 percent of the energy from oats being protein!
Antioxidant all rounder:
Oats are high in unique antioxidants called avenanthramides that have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects, as well as potentially supporting lower blood pressure levels by increasing the levels of nitric oxide - a gas molecule that helps to dilate blood vessels and promote strong blood flow.
It’s not just about WHAT oat but also what you DO to the oat!
When you think of oats, you might think of a hearty traditional bowl of hot porridge with a dollop of jam. Whilst cooking oats is an incredibly common use of oats, many forget or don’t realise the joys of soaking.
Soaking your oats is just like cooking them, but without the damaging effect of the heat. This way, our oat bowls retain all the goodness and their naturally low Glycemic Index.
What's more, soaking also “activates” the grains, which helps your body utilise the nutrients much more efficiently while making them easier to digest (and even creamier!)
To create the most wholesome and fibre-packed breakfast, we not only soak rather than cook our oats, but we combine the gluten-free oats with buckwheat, millet and puffed amaranth.
Can’t you just taste the crunchy yet creamy goodness already!
Yep us too. That’s why we launched two NEW oat bowl flavours earlier this year, Mango Glow and Carroat Cake! Have you had the chance to try them? No? Well now's the time to push the oat out (sorry we had to..) Head over to our oat bowl page now to check out the range of flavours we offer - whether you’re a chocoholic or a berry lover, we have the oaty goodness ready for you.