real food abcs - oats

January 22, 2014

real food abcs - oats

O for Oats

Oats are a fabulous gluten free real food that can be used in so many simple homemade recipes. I think most realize that oats are a healthy, real food. But everyone might not include them in their diet; especially if they are like me and do not like oatmeal.

I wish I did. I like the idea of a nice hot breakfast that you can customize and add so many different ingredients to. Oatmeal seems so easy and versatile. But I just do not like it. I think it is the texture. The nice thing about oats is that there are a lot of different types and you can do a lot with them.

Types of oats

Groats - the whole kernel without the outer shell

Steel cut - groats are cut into 2-3 pieces with steel
These type of oats take longer to cook, are less processed, and have a nuttier, heartier texture.

Scottish Oats - groats are stone ground

Rolled Oats (old fashioned) - groats are steamed and rolled into flakes

Quick Oats - groats are steamed for longer and rolled thinner than regular rolled oats

Oat Facts

  • oats are naturally gluten free -  although they could be contaminated due to processing or cross-contamination from growing
  • oats may help insulin sensitivity (source)
  • January is oatmeal month (which I had no idea when I decided to write this post)
  • oats may reduce asthma risk in children (source)
  • after oatmeal, oats are most used for oatmeal cookies
  • oats contain beta-glucans which may help the immune system (source)

So, if you are like me and have resisted oats because of not liking oatmeal I have some alternatives for you.

Uses for Oats

  • Homemade granola 
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • oatmeal muffins
  • Add to meatloaf, meatballs, burgers to thicken
  • Grind up in a food processor to create oat flour
  • chili - add to thicken
  • use as a coating for chicken or fish

My favorite oat recipes:

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