Friday, April 3, 2009

One Grain at a Time

With a pleasant nutty flavor and soft chewy texture, oats are no doubt a popular grain. Because of their high content of soluble fiber, they have been labeled "heat healthy." Soluble fiber is amazing; because it is water soluble it becomes a liquid in your body and coats bad things in your digestive tract like fats, cholesterol and toxins. This prevents your body from being able to absorb the coated item as it is pushed through your system! Another amazing benefit is the coating it puts on your stomach lining, causing sugars to absorb into your blood stream at a much slower rate.

Groats are the whole grain with only the inedible hull removed, the purest form. Steel cut, also known as pin oats, are oat groats that are evenly cut into fourths, reducing cooking time and creating a nice bowl of porriage. Nutrients are still intact, but the cutting created more surface area for oxidation/rancidity. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled and dried. This precooking and extreme increase in surface area deteriorates the integrity of the grain and destroys all enzymes and most nutrients, becoming little more than fiber. Quick oats are steel cut oat that are steamed, rolled and dried reducing the cooking time even further and taking another step down in food value. These highly processed forms will store for 25 years because the enzymes that allow for oxidation are destroyed.

Whole oats have a higher fat content than most grains so when milling into flour take care to only mill small amounts at a time (less than 6 cups) and “clean” it by running a couple cups of another grain like wheat through to prevent caking. The vitamin E in oat groats provides a natural preservative in backed goods.

About 12 cents per serving at less than $1.00 per lb.
1 lb = 2.2 cups dry = 4.5 cups cooked = 3 cups flour

To Cook:
-Whole oats- 1 cup grain to 2.5 cups water. Simmer 45 minutes or Pressure 12 minutes on high, natural release. Strain and rinse.
-Steel cut- 1 cup grain to 2 cups water. Simmer 20 minutes or Pressure 6 minutes on high, natural release.

To Store:
-Whole - 1 year in an air tight container in a cool, dry place.
-Steel cut or rolled - 6 months in an air tight container in a cool, dry place.
For long term storage freeze for 48 hours before storing.
-Flour - up to 1 week in an air tight container. Or freeze up to 1 year
-Cooked - refrigerate for up to 10 days. Or freeze up to 6 months.

To Use:
-Cooked oat groats can be cooked and rinsed for use in soups, salads and pilafs.
-Bake cooked grats into breads to add chewy-ness.-Cooked steel cut oats can be used as a breakfast cereal in place of rolled oats.
-Flour may be used in place of part or all white flour in any non yeasted recipe.

Nutritional Value per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Calories 389
Total fat 6.9 g
Dietary fiber 11 g
Protein 17 g
Carbohydrate 66 g
Vitamin E 1.09 mg 3%
Thiamin 0.763 mg 50%
Riboflavin 0.139 mg 8%
Niacin 0.961 mg 4%
Vitamin B6 0.119 mg 5%
Folate 56 mcg 14%
Pantothenic Acid 1.349 mcg 13%
Calcium 54 mg 5%
Iron 4.72 mg 26%
Magnesium 177 mg 44%
Phosphorus 523 mg 52%
Potassium 429 mg 17%
Zinc 3.97 mg 26%
Copper 0.626 mg 31%
Manganese 4.916 mg 245%


  1. Oat are vercy good. i make it a point to have it at least one a week. it is said it is good for indegention and that it is generally a good source for minerals and vitamins. has a calming effect on the stomach.


  2. Hi I am a friend of Leisel's and just stumbled across your blog! Where do you buy your grains???

  3. Mostly from The Good Apple (see side bar). Preparing Wisely stocks for Chef Brad, so they have ones that are harder to find. I sometimes will order with Grains Plus, but their selection is limited. Sprouts has quite a few of the most common.


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