I was always taught by my mother to know my ingredients when it came to cooking as that would give me the success I needed in creating a great dish. What do you know about oats? When you are making at a recipe and it calls for old fashion oats and you only have instant oats do you use what you have or do you run to the market to buy what the recipe calls for? Do you understand the difference between the oats so you understand how it will impact your recipe?
There is no recipe attached to this post but I wanted to share a little bit of information about the differences of the oats and my experience of them.
Steel Cut Oats
All oats start out as oak groats and steel cut oats are whole oats that have been chopped into small pieces before steaming, they are not rolled out or toasted. When using to make oatmeal they will take longer to cook by 12-15 minutes, you can soak them in water or milk to reduce the cooking time and then use the milk or water to cook them in. I have found that for oatmeal, they taste a bit nuttier and I tend to use steel cut oats more in baking then for oatmeal because of the extra time it takes to cook for oatmeal and I would never use them in a granola recipe.
Old Fashion Oats
Old fashion or “rolled oats” are oak groats that have been steamed and then rolled under heavy rollers before they are lightly toasted (baked). The old fashion oats are more commonly used for making oatmeal as they take less time to cook, they have a flakier texture then the steel cut oats, old fashion oats are not as nutty as the steel cut oats. I use old fashion oats for oatmeal, granola bars and for baking.
The instant oats are oak goats that are steamed and rolled out just like the old fashioned oats but the instant oats are rolled out even thinner so. Instant oaks are broken down into much smaller pieces then the old fashion oats so the texture is completely different. Instant oats cook in about a minute making them a great solution for someone who is on the go and wants oatmeal and because they start off as smaller pieces, they cook up creamier. I use instant oats in my oatmeal on the go, muesli and in baking cookies.
Here is a photo of the three types of oats to give you a visual.
Again, knowing your ingredients from texture to taste can alter a recipe substantially. Using steel-cut oats in my muesli would not work as the instant oats create the creamy texture that is needed for muesli. Likewise if I used instant oats for my granola bars that would not work as I need the texture of the old fashioned oats. However, when I make oatmeal cookies, I do use a variety of all three oats as I like the texture and slight complexity it creates.
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Thank you again ~ Patty Limatola-Tanenbaum