Oats 101

Oats 101

Oh, mares eat oats and doe’s eat oats…and Canadians eat (and grow) a ton of oats, too. In fact, Canada is the world’s largest exporter of this cold-weather crop that’s seeing a surge in popularity. 

How to store

Like any grain, store oats in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 18 months.

Different oats for different folks

Rolled oats: The rounded flakes most people know, these oats are steamed then flattened with a roller into shape. Quick-cooking oats are rolled a little thinner, and instant oats thinner still.

 Steel-cut or Irish oats: Chopped with a steel burr mill, these oats take about 30 minutes to cook as they’re not pre-steamed like the rolled variety.

 Scottish oats: Rare to find, these oats have been ground by a mill, similar to cornmeal.  

 Oat bran: The outer layer (or casing) of the oat groat, oat bran is absent from rolled oats but intact in the steel-cut variety. It’s also sold separately to make high-fibre cereals and baked goods.

Don’t miss oat!

Soak rolled oats overnight in milk of your choice in a 1:1 ratio. Add in nut butters, chia seeds, fruits, honey, whatever you fancy. Shake and enjoy the next morning.

 Rolled oats can be ground into a flour with a food processor. Try it in cookies, pancakes or baked goods by replacing some of the regular flour with oat flour. Bonus points for oat flour pizza crust!

 Oat milk is the lait du jour for lattés and smoothies. Use a 4:1 ratio of water to oats. Rinse and drain oats before blending with water and a little salt, then strain with a fine mesh. Taste and add maple syrup, if needed.

 Basic oatmeal can be savoury, too: Try steel-cut oats topped with grated cheddar, wilted greens and a fried egg.

 I have so many more ways to enjoy this versatile Canadian grain:

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