Oats, together with wheat, rye and barley, are one of the four basic types of grain.
In addition to food purposes, it is also an important fodder for farm animals, especially horses.
In recent years, oats have also penetrated the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
As a food, it is often associated with healthy eating.
What can oatmeal be used for in the kitchen?
Is oatmeal really one of the healthiest breakfasts you can have?
Discover the secrets of oats with us.
Oats are currently most commonly consumed in the form of oatmeal. In simple terms, it can be said that a flake is actually a crushed grain. Their advantage is that they retain most of the nutrients that the whole grain contains.
Production of oatmeal
The basic process of making oatmeal is very simple. It can be briefly described in four steps.
1. The first step is cleaning the oat grain from various impurities and removing the inedible husk.
2. This is followed by steaming the grain, which softens the grain.
3. The softened grain is then pressed between rollers which squish it to form oatmeal.
4. The last step is drying.
Types of flakes
Oat flakes can be found today in various variants that differ not only in appearance, for example there are fine, small flakes in which the grain is cut before pressing, but also in their nutritional values. If, for example, the germ is removed from the grain during the production process, the flakes subsequently have a longer shelf life, but lower nutritional values. There are also gluten-free flakes or organic flakes in which the oats come from organic farming.
- classic oatmeal – suitable for recipes: oat biscuits , flake cookies , oat fritters , meatballs, meatballs, oat spreads or granola
- fine oatmeal – suitable for recipes: oatmeal , flake soups , soup preserves, puddings, crumbles, stuffing, thickening, adding to dough
- gluten-free oatmeal – suitable for all recipes within the gluten-free diet
To soak or not to soak? To cook or not to cook?
Classic questions that are related to the use of oatmeal. Flakes produced today are generally considered a finished product, so they can be easily consumed without any further processing. They are most often used as part of muesli or added to yogurt.
Steaming, which the flakes go through during production, only provides partial heat treatment. If you want to get as many nutrients as possible from oatmeal, especially minerals, and at the same time you want them to be more digestible, it is advisable to soak or boil them. Why?
These processes will remove or at least reduce the amount of so-called anti-nutritional substances, such as oxalic or phytic acid. The easiest way is to cover the flakes with hot liquid, water or milk, and let them stand for a few minutes. Soaking or boiling can be omitted if you use the oatmeal in the preparation of dishes that you will heat further, for example baking.
|Properties and taste||Editing options||Possible dishes|
|Classic oatmeal||bigger, soft, not crunchy||pouring and soaking in hot water or milk, boiling, baking||oatmeal cookies, cookies, pancakes, meatballs, meatballs, puddings, spreads, oatmeal, muesli, granola|
|Fine oatmeal||small, soft, slightly crunchy||pouring and soaking in hot water or milk, boiling, baking. It cooks better than classic flakes.||oatmeal (creamier than classic flakes), flaky soups, puddings, stuffings, soup preserves, crumbs, thickening, adding to dough|
|Gluten-free oatmeal||larger and smaller, soft||pouring and soaking in hot water or milk, boiling, baking||The above recipes are gluten-free|
Flakes should be stored in a dry, dark, cool place and in a closed package or container so that air cannot reach them. Generally, they have a shelf life of approximately half a year.
What does oats contain?
Oats are a cereal very rich in various nutrients. It contains a large amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. For this reason too, today it is considered a healthy crop, which for many reasons is worth including in our diet. Of course, it also depends to a large extent on what other foods you combine it with.
Carbohydrates represent the largest share of oats in terms of nutritional values. Their advantage is that they are slowly absorbed, which is why oat dishes keep us full for several hours. Compared to other cereals, oats stand out for their higher fat content, which has a balanced ratio of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Among the minerals, it stands out above all for its high content of phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It also contains a large amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Nutritional values in oats
The nutritional value of the grain is given in its raw state. The values change to some extent due to various processing.
|Energy||379 calories||337 calories||354 calories||338 calories|
|Water||10.8 g||11.1 g||9.44 g||10.6 g|
|Carbohydrates||67.7 g||70.6 g||73.5 g||75.9 g|
|Proteins||13.2 g||14.5 g||12.5 g||10.3 g|
|Fats||6.52 g||2.13 g||2.3 g||1.63 g|
|Fiber||10.1 g||11.1 g||17.3 g||15.1 g|
Vitamins and minerals
|Vitamin B1||0.45 mg||0.566 mg||0.646 mg||0.316 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.155 mg||0.184 mg||0.258 mg||0.251 mg|
|Vitamin B3||1.12 mg||6.38 mg||4.6 mg||4.27 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg||0.259 mg||0.318 mg||0.294 mg|
|Potassium||362 mg||403 mg||452 mg||510 mg|
|Phosphorus||410 mg||364 mg||264 mg||332 mg|
|Magnesium||138 mg||130 mg||133 mg||110 mg|
|Calcium||52 mg||22 mg||33 mg||24 mg|
|Zinc||3.64 mg||3.68 mg||2.77 mg||2.65 mg|
|Iron||4.25 mg||3.77 mg||3.6 mg||2.65 mg|
Are oats gluten free?
Although oats themselves do not contain gluten, they contain the protein avenin instead. However, it can be contaminated with gluten during its processing. For this reason, celiacs are advised to give preference to oat products that are labeled as gluten-free.
Why eat oats?
Oats and oat products are generally considered a suitable part of a healthy diet, as their consumption brings a number of positives to our body. What effects on our health do we mean?
- Cardiovascular disease – oats have been proven to reduce the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol. This is mainly due to the soluble fiber called betaglucan. A series of antioxidants known as avenanthramides are found exclusively in oats. Avenanthramides provide protection against coronary heart disease, colon cancer and also help regulate blood pressure.
- Diabetes – in addition to soluble fiber helping to lower cholesterol levels, it also helps stabilize blood glucose levels. Oat products are also suitable for diabetics.
- Digestive system – insoluble fiber greatly benefits the digestive system, especially the intestines, helping to ensure their movement. Eating oats is an effective prevention against constipation.
- Weight control – eating oats helps you feel fuller for longer, and is thus one of the foods that are recommended for people on weight loss diets.
How to cook oats
If you want to get the most out of oats, prepare meals with whole oats, not just rolled oats. Choose hulled oats that do not need to be hulled. Before actual preparation, these oats must be soaked in water for at least 12 hours. Then drain the water and rinse the oats.
Then, according to the amount of oats, add double the amount of water and bring the oats to a boil. Season with salt and cook gently, approximately 45-60 minutes. You can use whole oats prepared in this way as a side dish, or you can make dumplings or gnocchi from it.
It is precisely oatmeal that has the most uses in today’s kitchen and that can be used to prepare a variety of dishes. But in many cases you can also use oats, oat flour or semolina.
Most often, oatmeal for breakfast is prepared in the form of oatmeal. All kinds of flakes can be used to prepare it, fine ones will make the porridge creamier. You can cook the flakes in water, milk or vegetable milk, or in a combination of them. In that case, a ratio of 2:1, two parts water and one part milk or vegetable milk, is most often used. When it comes to plant-based milk, oat, coconut or soy milk is most often used.
If you let your imagination run wild, you will find that oatmeal can be prepared in many different sweet and savory variations. Sweetness is combined with fresh and dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, maple syrup or honey. Its salty taste goes well with cheese, egg, mushrooms and vegetables.
In addition to porridge, you can also enjoy granola, also known as baked muesli, for breakfast. The preparation process is very simple. Simply mix oatmeal with assorted seeds, shredded coconut, nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, maple syrup, and a fat such as coconut oil. Mix the mixture and put it in an oven preheated to 180°C for about 15 minutes.
You can prepare a very tasty snack in a glass from oatmeal for your children to school or for yourself to work. The preparation is very simple, it only takes a few minutes. Just pour a handful of oatmeal into a sealable glass, then add nuts and seeds and cover everything with yogurt. You can decorate the yogurt with fruit at the end. If you want the flakes to be as soft as possible when eaten, prepare the snack already in the evening and put it in a jar in the fridge overnight.
Oatmeal can be used to make a variety of pastries, especially oatmeal cookies, but you can also use them to make cakes. In addition to being ground up and added to the dough, they are a great way to make a crumb special. The simplest version can be prepared by mixing blended oatmeal, sliced almonds and coconut oil.
You can make Christmas healthier with the help of oatmeal cookies , which can be prepared in many baked and unbaked versions. Last but not least, instead of classic pancakes, you can offer your visit oatmeal pancakes , they taste great especially with banana, blueberries and apples.
Lunch or dinner
Lovers of soups know that oatmeal is great for thickening various soups, in addition, it also makes the soup much heartier, for example, handfuls of soups , in which oatmeal is perfectly combined with various types of legumes. In addition to soups, fine oatmeal can also be used as a thickener in various pancakes, dumplings, meatballs, meatballs and dumplings.
The use of flakes to prepare risotto is very original, just replace the rice with flakes and the result is a delicious creamy dish. In addition, you can also prepare very tasty spreads from oatmeal.
In addition to oatmeal, oats are also used to make a number of other products that can be used in the kitchen in many different ways. In addition, oats are also part of a number of breakfast cereals, and various forms of instant oatmeal and drinks are also popular due to their ease and speed of use.
Oatmeal is probably the first oat product that comes to mind for all of us. The possibilities of their use are countless.
Oatmeal is a great baking aid. It is mostly used in combination with wheat flours. It not only gives the dough a different taste, but also elasticity and reduces the gluten content in the final dish. It can be added to both sweet and savory doughs, it is often added to the dough when baking bread. It can also be used to thicken soups or sauces, in meatballs or flatbreads. Last but not least, it can be easily made at home by grinding oatmeal.
Oatmeal is finer than oat flour. It can be used, for example, in the preparation of porridge, dumplings, gnocchi, to thicken soups and sauces.
Oat bran is a by-product of oat processing, it mainly contains parts of the husks. They can be used in the preparation of pastries or for thickening. Bran induces a quick feeling of satiety and, due to the high fiber content, has a beneficial effect on the digestive system.
Oat groats are essentially unshelled grains. They can be used to prepare a whole range of recipes for buckwheat dishes , they are suitable for salad, soup and they also taste great baked. Or you can easily serve them as a side dish, for example instead of rice.
Oat milk is one of the most popular plant-based alternatives to milk . The production process is very simple. Just soak the oatmeal in water, mix and then filter. It is made by soaking oatmeal in water, mixing and filtering the resulting liquid. Due to the ease of production, oat milk can also be prepared at home. You can use milk to prepare various desserts and it also tastes great in coffee, whether hot or iced.
|Instant oatmeal 100 g|| Oat milk|
|Energy||379 calories||71 kcal||68 kcal||50 calories|
|Water||10.8 g||83.6 g||84 g||–|
|Carbohydrates||67.7 g||12 g||11.7 g||6.67 g|
|Proteins||13.2 g||2.54 g||2.37 g||1.25 g|
|Fats||6.52 g||1.52 g||1.36 g||2.08 g|
|Fiber||10.1 g||1.7 g||1.7 g||0.8 g|
Oats in cosmetics
Due to their beneficial effects on the skin, oat extracts are nowadays part of a whole range of cosmetic products, especially creams, make-up removers and body lotions. Oats have proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin. Thus, it has a beneficial effect on various skin irritations, soothes sensitive skin, relieves rashes and eczema, also helps with problems with acne or psoriasis, last but not least, it hydrates the skin and contributes to maintaining a youthful appearance.
Oatmeal, flour and bran can be used to prepare a variety of homemade skin masks, and you can also use them to exfoliate your skin. Oat baths and compresses also have a beneficial effect on the skin, but also on the muscles and nerves.
Where oats are grown and other interesting facts
Oats, like other cereals, belong to the very large family of ryegrass plants. The most widespread type of oat today is sown or fluffed oat. Originally from Asia, it reached Europe as a weed around three thousand years ago thanks to traders from China and Mongolia. However, it began to be cultivated in Europe only later, thanks mainly to the Slavs, who took advantage of the fact that oats thrive in colder regions.
For many centuries until the end of the Middle Ages, oats were the most commonly cultivated cereal. It was an important food and fodder for horses. In addition to fluffed oats, there are also unhusked oats, which are sometimes nicknamed “European rice” due to their use.
Oats are grown as an annual herb, growing up to 150 cm tall. Oats, unlike wheat, rye or barley, do not form grains in classic ears. It suits areas that have enough winter moisture in winter, which is absorbed in the soil in spring, at the time of sowing.
The largest producer of oats is the European Union, followed by Russia and Canada. As far as the European Union is concerned, the most oats are grown in Poland, followed by Finland and Spain. In the Czech Republic, most oats are grown in the highlands and foothills.
Interestingly, oats also appear in several of the first songs that young children learn, for example The dog jumped over the oats or Ovčáci, čtveráci.
Dog jumped over the oats over Green meadow.
A hunter followed him, a cock on his hat.
Our dog, what are you doing, why are you always so cheerful?
I would tell you, I don’t know myself, hop and jump further.
Sheepdogs, quadrupeds, you have grazed our cap and the lentil.
That’s a lie like a tower, it wasn’t a cap or a lentil it was oats.