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Fresh milled oats from The Grainery allow Fresh Thyme Farmers Market customers to grind their own fresh oatmeal.

Oats can be found in many cultural dishes such as Scotland’s haggis and Muesli from the Swiss. Oats have been a popular addition to many recipes and a staple food source for centuries.

Oats are an extremely versatile whole grain and can be added to many recipes from breakfast to beverages. Here are some ways to eat more oats:

  • Oatmeal
  • Addition to fruit smoothies
  • Meat extender
  • Thickener in stews
  • Topping for yogurt and desserts
  • Non-food related uses: bath soak and face masks

Types of Oats

There are many types of oats that can be found at the grocery store. The nutritional value is similar between all the types but the fiber will be slightly lower in the quick variety. According to the FDA, daily dietary intake levels of 3 g or more per day of beta-glucan (soluble fiber) found in oats and barley have been associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease.

Oat groats: All oat products start off as groats then they’re processed. These will take the longest to cook (over an hour).

Steel-cut oats: Oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces with a sharp metal blade. This variety takes about 15-20 minutes to cook on the stovetop.

Scottish oats: The oat groats are stone ground, rather than rolled. This creates a creamy bowl of oatmeal and will take about 10-12 minutes to cook.

Rolled (old-fashioned) oats: Oat groats that are steamed and then rolled into flakes. Rolled oats take about 5 minutes to cook.

Quick (instant) oats: Oat groats have been steamed longer and rolled thinner than their old fashioned counterpart.

Oat flour: Finely ground oats groats. Make your own at home by pulsing oat groats, steel-cut, Scottish or rolled oats in a food processor.

Golden Oatmeal Recipe

This oatmeal recipe is ultra-creamy, vibrant and oh-so-satisfying. The sweet and savory ingredients join in an exotic marriage that will tantalize your taste buds. This is a heart healthy recipe. For a crunch, top with chopped nuts or swap the creamy peanut butter for crunchy.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk of choice

½ cup rolled oats

1 small banana, mashed

1 tbsp peanut butter (or almond)

2 dates, pitted and chopped

½-1 tsp ground turmeric

Ground cinnamon to garnish

Instructions:

1. In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a low boil over medium-high heat.

2. Add the oats and turmeric and whisk to incorporate.

3. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. While the oats are cooking, mix mashed banana in a small bowl with the peanut butter

5. Add the cooked oatmeal and stir well.

6. Top with the chopped dates and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts for the full recipe (based on low-fat milk): calories: 695, fat: 21 g, protein: 24 g, carbohydrates: 102 g, fiber: 13.3 g, sodium: 171 mg, vitamin D: 100 IU, calcium: 360 mg, iron: 4.6 mg, potassium: 1,388 mg

For more recipes and breakfast ideas, visit my nutrition and wellness blog at: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/eb327

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Kristin Bogdonas is the Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness, at University of Illinois Extension in Milan.

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