advertisement



Cooking & Recipes


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Cooking With Grains: Oats

oats how to cook

Oats are sold in more forms than any other grain - even the savviest grocery shopper can get overwhelmed. All forms of oats are high in a kind of fiber called beta-glucan, which has special cholesterol-lowering properties; studies have shown that those with high cholesterol have lowered their total level by eight to 23 percent simply by consuming three grams of this soluble fiber (the amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) per day.

Focus on these four types of oats:

  • Oat groats ("whole" oats) are the most intact form, only the outermost inedible hull is removed.
  • Steel-cut oats (also known as Irish or pinhead oats) are simply oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces with steel blades, slightly decreasing their cooking time. Oat groats and steel-cut oats are the least processed; they take a long time to cook, but result in a chewy, lower-glycemic treat.
  • Rolled oats are the result when oat groats are steamed, flattened and dried. This is the form most people know. Though somewhat processed, rolled oats are still a whole grain. I don't recommend eating oats that have been processed any further than this, such as quick-cooking or instant oats - they are no longer whole, intact grains, and instant oatmeal packets often contain copious amounts of salt, sugar and other additives.
  • Oat bran - the finely ground meal of oat groats' bran layer - though not technically a whole grain, has the health benefits of one with its high fiber and low starch content; it makes a good addition to other foods, especially baked goods. Despite its short cooking time and smooth texture, it won't spike blood sugar levels, thanks to its soluble fiber.

Oats have a higher fat content than other grains, and can go rancid more easily as a result. Whether you're buying oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats or oat bran, buy in smaller quantities, and store in the refrigerator. Although oats do not actually contain gluten, they are generally grown alongside gluten grains such as wheat and barley, which is why many people with gluten intolerance cannot eat them. However, pure, uncontaminated, certified gluten-free oats (which can be ordered online or sometimes found in health food stores) can usually be tolerated by those with celiac disease. In rare cases, a protein called avenin has triggered an immune response similar to that of gluten in some people with celiac disease. Proceed with caution if gluten is an issue for you.

Cooking time: Bran, 5-7 minutes; rolled, 10 minutes; steel-cut, 20-40 minutes; groats, 45-60 minutes

Liquid per cup of grain: Bran and rolled, 2 cups; steel-cut and groats, 3 cups

How to cook oats:  With the exception of whole oat groats, oats are among the only grains that should be stirred while cooking. For oat groats, combine groats with water in a pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes until tender. For steel-cut, rolled or oat bran, combine with the appropriate amount of water in a pot and, covered, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for required time, stirring often (stir steel-cut oats less), until desired consistency is reached. Season with milk or soymilk, dried or fresh fruit, your favorite spices and a small amount of low-glycemic sweetener, if you wish. A spoonful of nut butter stirred in before eating also makes a delicious addition.

Try this recipe with oats: Tart Cherry Apple Crunch

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here