- En Español
- About us
- Sign In
- For Members
Lorna Sass, in her book Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way sings the praises of oatmeal:
“Although it’s likely that most Americans never get beyond oatmeal and oatmeal cookies, with their mild ﬂavor, delicate sweetness and pleasing texture, oats can easily play a much larger role in everyday meals. When cooked they are equally chewy and creamy, a felicitous combinaton. The bran layer is so soft that it calls no attention to itself, making oats a welcome component of dessert puddings as well as savory dishes. All forms of oats – from whole to rolled to ﬂour – are considered whole grain, which means they contain the same proportion of bran, germ, and endosperm as the oat kernel.”
“The soluble ﬁber in oats that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol is the very ingredient that gives body, smooth texture, and a beautiful sheen to soups. In pilafs, oats add a chewy heartiiness that is at home with sweet vegetabels such as scarrots and beets. In the dessert category, rolled oats are ideal of crisp toppings, chewy bottom crusts, and superlative cookies, and oat ﬂour creates delightful scones and light muﬃns.”
Baking with Oats
You can substitute oats for up to ⅓ of the ﬂour in many recipes. You can also grind rolled oats in a blender or food processor to create oat ﬂour.
According to the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book,
“Oats have a comforting, nutty, slightly sweet ﬂavor that most people ﬁnd appearling; rolled oats are chewy without being hard. Oats are neutral enough to pair well with savory and sweet; they’re often used as a meat extender. Oat ﬂour is a good thickener for soups, gravies, and stews. … Oats and oat ﬂour are often added to make dough more moist, or to give a nice nubby texture to the ﬁnished product. Oats make a wonderful addition to yeast breads, both for their moisture retention and their ﬂavor; they can make up to one third of the volume of the ﬂour in a loaf before they begin to weight it down too much.”
Cooking Oatmeal for Breakfast
Speciﬁcs vary according to the diﬀerent forms of oats:
Generally, you bring water to a boil, add oats, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until oats are to your taste. Some people like their oats very tender, while others like a bit of bite remaining. Some prefer more liquid in their porridge, while others like it stiﬀer and dryer. If you like your oats on the creamier side, start by putting the oats in cold water, then bring to a boil.
Here are some starting guidelines for diﬀerent kinds of oats. Experiment, and adjust them to your own taste.
|Oat Groats||4 cups||1 cup||60 minutes|
|Steel-cut Oats||4 cups||1 cup||30 minutes|
|Rolled Oats||2 cups||1 cup||10 minutes|
If you prefer the taste and texture of steel-cut oats but ﬁnd yourself short of time, there are plenty of ways to shortcut the cooking time. You can cook a few days’ worth at a time, then just warm up the leftovers. You can bring the water to a boil the night before, throw in the oats, and leave them covered on the stove, and you’ll ﬁnd it takes only about 10 minutes to ﬁnish them oﬀ in the morning. Or, you can boil them for a few minutes then head out to the gym for your morning workout. Your oats will be warm and waiting for you when you return. We even know friends who use a slow cooker for 8 hours while they sleep, so they can wake up to freshly-made steel-cut oats.
In theory you can microwave oats. We’ve never done it without having the whole dish erupt like a volcano all over the microwave. We’re told that the solution is a really big bowl, and half-power on most microwaves, but we tend to just use the shortcuts above, instead. If you have a successful approach for microwaving oats, email us and we’ll post it here.