Although oats are a staple food, popular in many countries and cultures, they are also often thought of as… boring. And I can understand why. On its own, it can feel pretty bland indeed. However, what is great about them is how customizable they are! You can create an endless amount of recipes with oats and actually make them interesting. Still have doubts? Keep reading to find out how you can add oats to your diet and enjoy it at the same time.
What exactly are oats?
Oat is a type of cereal, in the category of whole grains. Just like leguminous plants, it is considered a staple food. Originally, it was considered to be a type of weed and was actually used as a medicinal plant. Apparently, they were first eaten in the form of porridge by the Gauls, whereas the Greeks and the Romans used it to feed livestock. It particularly became popular in Scotland, Germany, Ireland, as well as Scandinavia. It isn’t until the seventeenth century that they were introduced to the United States. There, it started to grow into a classic breakfast food by the end of the nineteenth century, with the famous brand Quaker Oats growing in popularity. According to the brand’s official website, the brand “registered as the first trademark for a breakfast cereal” in 1877.
Types of Oats
You might be surprised to hear that there are many types of oats, such as Scottish, quick, whole oat groats, etc… However, as it can get slightly confusing, let’s focus on the most popular ones.
These are the ones that take less time to cook, hence the name “instant”. Indeed, it is pre-steamed and cut into tiny little pieces, which helps the process. Once cooked, they have a rather sweet and soft texture.
Steel Cut or Irish Oats
Irish oats, also called steel-cut, are crushed into pieces using a steel blade. They take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook. Once cooked, they have more of a chewy texture.
Old-Fashioned or Rolled Oats
The last one on the list is rolled oats, also called old-fashioned. They are steamed and flattened, making their shape long, round, and flat. Most often, we use them to make pastries and porridge. This type is probably the most popular, and that can be explained by its versatility. They can be used in pretty much every recipe, from oatmeal to pancakes.
Eating oats can be very beneficial to your body and overall health. If topped with low-calorie add-ons, such as fruits, it can also help with weight management, as it makes you feel full easily. Additionally, some of the benefits include stabilization of your blood sugar levels, a decrease in cholesterol, and providing antioxidants. It is also rich in protein and fiber. Research has shown that generally, people who eat oats daily tend to have healthier lifestyles overall. An expert tip: check the nutrition facts on the back of the package you buy. For a healthy oatmeal, oats should be the only ingredients on the list.
Another benefit, that isn’t health-related, is how versatile it is! There are so many ways to eat this cereal or just incorporate it into your daily diet. Indeed, you can make many recipes with them, such as baked oats, oatmeal, overnight oats, granola, pancakes, and even smoothies! Let’s explore those different ways of eating oats and look at some easy recipes.
Easy Recipes Ideas
This recipe became very popular amongst people who are vegan or care about healthy eating. It can serve as a pretty filling breakfast or a delicious mid-day snack!
150g rolled oats
3 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of baking soda
90g of almond milk or any milk of your choice
Chocolate chips (you choose the amount!)
- Pre-heat your oven to around 190°C.
- In a blender, mix all the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips).
- Add the chocolate chips to the mix.
- Pour the mix into a baking pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Let it cool, and enjoy!
You might know Porridge as a popular Scottish dish. It is usually eaten as the first dish of the day for its various nutritional values.
3 tablespoons of rolled oats
25cl of any milk of your choice
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon of sugar
- Peel the ripe banana and cut half of it. Mash the other half of the banana with a fork.
- In a small pan, pour the milk and add the rolled oats. Keep mixing with a wooden spoon until it boils.
- As soon as the milk starts boiling, switch to low heat.
- Then, add the mashed banana and sugar.
- Mix again and leave it on the stove for around 3 minutes.
- Pour the porridge into a bowl, add the pieces of banana on top of it, and serve!
If you consider yourself an organized or busy person and do not like to spend ages in the kitchen in the morning, overnight oats are the perfect breakfast dish for you! It takes very little time or effort and will be almost ready to eat when you wake up.
30g of rolled oats
30ml of milk (any kind)
100g of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of honey
- The night before, in a bowl or any recipient of your choice, mix the rolled oats, milk, and Greek yogurt.
- Cover it and put it in the fridge to thicken and cool overnight.
- In the morning, you can either eat it as it is or add some toppings such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries, or my favorite, peanut butter.
If you want to incorporate this cereal into your diet but aren’t a big fan of them, the oat smoothie is ideal. You get all the nutrients without the taste or texture!
50g of rolled oats
25cl of milk (any kind)
2 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
250g of vanilla-flavored yogurt
1 teaspoon of honey
You can’t really go wrong with this recipe. Just put everything into a blender, and blend until smooth.
They can also be made into pancakes! Check out this recipe.
Oats recipes are increasing in popularity thanks to social media. You can read more about food trends here.