I’ve been eating a lot of oats lately. There’s something wholesome and delicious about a bowl of oats, and despite the summer heat, there are a myriad of ways to enjoy oats for breakfast or a snack, and even several ways to use oats without even eating them! But, Andrea, you say, there are so many different KINDS of oats on the market? WHICH ONE DO I CHOOSE?! Well, it depends on what you’re going to use them for. Here’s a quickie tutorial:
Groats – the whole oat that has been hulled, cleaned and toasted. Mostly found in health food stores or online. Require a long cooking time.
Steel-cut Oats/Irish Oats – groats that are cut into coarse pieces. Longer cooking time, great for crockpot recipes.
Scottish Oats – groats that are ground instead of cut. Keeps the nuttier flavor of groats or steel-cut/Irish oats, but cooks faster and has a creamier texture.
Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats – groats that are steamed and then rolled flat. Have a thick, creamy texture and cook much faster than any of the previous varieties. What your average person would think of as standard oatmeal. Great for baking and overnight oats, this is what I use as my standard for oats.
Quick-Cooking Oats – like Old-Fashioned but steamed longer and rolled thinner. Also great for baking, but they don’t maintain much texture when made as oatmeal.
Instant Oats – steamed even more and rolled even thinner than Quick-Cooking and then dehydrated. Usually comes in individual packs with added sugar, seasonings and preservatives.
Crave more information? Check out a more detailed description of each at Not Quite Amish Living.
As a Meal or Snack
I got a 32 oz. tub of old fashioned oats from Walmart for a mere $3.28. That’s 30 servings of oats or a mere 11 cents a serving! Cheap AND good for you AND delicious, with a little tweaking of course. My current favorite way to consume oats is soaking 1/2 cup old fashioned oats in 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla cashew milk, then topping it with a half ounce of raw walnuts and a half serving of grape-flavored craisins. It’s almost like homemade muesli, without all the fuss! Here are some of my other favorite ways to eat oats that aren’t just hot oatmeal:
And one I haven’t yet tried but am itching to:
Around the House
- Apparently, oatmeal can be used like baking soda or coffee grounds to deodorize your fridge or freezer! (Hmm, I wonder if sprinkling some oatmeal inside some stinky shoes overnight would help, what do you think?)
- You can clean up kitchen spills by sprinkling uncooked oatmeal and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes before sweeping it up.
- You can apply cooked, cooled oatmeal to your face to treat acne or to use as a mask, or you can grind uncooked oatmeal in a coffee grinder to make colloidal oatmeal, mix it with lukewarm water and apply to your worst acne areas.
- You can also use colloidal oatmeal mixed with baking soda as a dry shampoo. Apply to the scalp, let sit then brush out.
- Add oatmeal to your bathwater to soothe skin that’s itchy from sunburn, poison ivy or chicken pox.
- Clean cast iron pans. Using oatmeal and a little water will absorb grease and scrub off any stuck on food bits without damaging your pans.
- You can even make your own oatmeal scrub and use it all over your body for soft, smooth skin.
What’s YOUR favorite way to use oatmeal? Let me know in the comments!