Oatmeal is a savory breakfast recipe made by cooking oats and can be enjoyed with some toppings and ingredients. There are different types of oats used for cooking oatmeal; some are gluten free while others are not. Each type of oats has a different texture and cooks differently. Below is the description of the different types of oats used for making oatmeal.
What is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is cooked oats that are usually taken as breakfast. The oats can be rolled oats, crush oats, or steel-cut oats. It is often cooked together with some ingredients to increase the nutritional value or to improve the taste. These ingredients may include fruit toppings, seeds, or nuts. Milk and sweeteners can be added to it as well.
Types of Oats for making Oatmeal
All oats are made from oat groats; the groats are the whole kernels that still have the hull intact. When the hulls are removed and processed, you now have oats that can be used for making oatmeal.
- Rolled Oats: These are also called slow-cooked oats because the groats are partially steamed and then flattened into flakes.
- Instant Oats: This type of oats have been steamed longer compared to rolled oats in such a way that they cook quickly. They are thinner in size but have a higher glycemic index score.
- Steel-Cut Oats: These oats are larger in size and are the least processed oats. They take longer to cook but have a lower glycemic index score.
- Old fashioned rolled oats. You can use any type of oats; their time of cooking will vary.
- 7 pieces of strawberries
- 400 ml of whole milk
- 3 tablespoons of honey
How to Make Oatmeal with milk
- Place your pot on the heat and add 400 ml of whole milk into it and allow the milk to start simmering.
- Once your milk starts to simmer, pour the old fashioned rolled oats into it and stir to combine. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. It is good to stand close by and stir continuously; also do not cover the oats while it cooks because it can overflow easily.
- After 5 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of honey (or sugar if you prefer) and any flavoring; I used vanilla extract but this is optional.
- Allow it to cook until it is very soft the way you want, I usually cook for another 5 minutes.
- Once it is soft, it becomes thicker and increases in volume. It also becomes slimy; when you have this, your savory oatmeal recipe is ready. Turn off heat and serve hot in a bowl.
You can use water instead of milk for cooking the oats. The best oatmeal to water ratio 1:2; which means for every half cup of rolled oats you use, cook it with 1 cup of water or milk. You need more water because as you cook the oats, the water evaporates and the oats also become thicker. Remember covering the oats while cooking makes it overflow.
You can also add more water or milk if it seems too thick or when the water dries up and the oats are not cooked.
Preparing a Topping for your oatmeal recipe
- Into a pan, add about 4 tablespoons of water and place the pan on the heat.
- Slice about 5 strawberries into the pan and add 1 tablespoon of honey to it and stir; then cover and allow to cook for 3 minutes to become soft.
- Turn off the heat and pour the toppings on your prepared oatmeal.
- I love slicing 2 more strawberries and then adding them fresh to the oatmeal recipe. This makes a healthy and savory oatmeal recipe that you will enjoy.
Is Oatmeal good for you?
The nutritional composition of oats is very good because it contains more protein and fats compared to other types of grains. It is high in fiber and a good source of carbs together with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Whole oats are rich in antioxidants and also in some plant compounds known as polyphenols. Some antioxidants such as avenanthramides, are only found in oats and are good for lowering blood pressure.
Oats are high in beta-glucan fiber that has many health benefits; some of the health benefits of the soluble beta-glucan fiber of oats include:
- It can reduce the level of LDL and total cholesterol in the blood.
- Capable of reducing blood sugar
- It gives you are feeling of fullness, therefore you eat less and this can help with weight loss.
- Increases the growth of good bacteria in the gut and therefore maintains the gut health
Oatmeal glycemic index
The Glycemic index is simply a measure or a score of the impact any food could have on your blood sugar. The higher the number, the more it can increase your blood sugar level. Food that has a high glycemic index score is not good for people with diabetes. For oatmeal, steel-cut oats are best for people with type 2 diabetes, the reason being that it has not been processed much and has higher fiber content.
The more the oats are processed, the higher its glycemic score. Therefore, for diabetes, steel-cut oats are better than rolled oats while in turn rolled oats are better than instant oats.
Harvard Health gives oatmeal made from rolled oats a glycemic index score of 55 for one serving (40 g) compared to the glycemic index score of 79 for instant oatmeal (oatmeal porridge).
One serving (1/2 cup) of cooked oats without adding milk or any topping contains many nutrients and calories as listed below.
The table below shows the nutrition facts of whole grain old fashioned rolled oat per 40 grams (1/2 cup).
|Nutrient||Amount||% daily value|
40 grams of plain oatmeal (with no toppings or sweetener) contains 150 Calories. When sweeteners, milk, and toppings are added as in this recipe, the calories increase.
For this recipe, this is the total calories of the oatmeal with honey, milk, and strawberry toppings:
- 3 Tablespoons of Honey: 192 Calories
- 400 ml of whole milk with 3.25% fat: has 237 Calories
- 7 medium strawberries with 28 calories
The total calories for this oatmeal recipe are therefore 457. The more the toppings and addition of other ingredients, the more the calories increase. Before taking oatmeal, you should decide whether it is for weight loss or for weight gain. If you need it to lose weight, then reduce the ingredients you add to it; if this recipe was for weight loss, I would have omitted the milk and use 2 teaspoons of honey so as to reduce the caloric intake.
Does oatmeal have protein?
There are 5 grams of Protein in plain oatmeal (cooked rolled oats with water only). If you need to make high protein oatmeal, then you have to consider adding high protein foods such as protein powder made from soybeans, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, or cashew), or nuts butter such as peanut butter or almond butter.
Does oatmeal have gluten?
Pure oats are gluten-free, but during the production process for commercial rolled oats, some oats may be contaminated with gluten and therefore may not be gluten free. To make sure you are buying the right brand of oats that is gluten free, always check the container; it should be clearly labeled as “Gluten Free”. If you cannot find the label, it most likely has gluten in it.
There is no limit as to the toppings you can add to your oatmeal; it all depends on what benefit you want to get from it. You can add fruits such as slices of banana, strawberry, or mixed fruit raisins.
Nuts can be added as well such as peanuts, almonds, cashew nuts, or walnuts. Other things that can be added include seeds such as sesame seeds (beniseed), chia seeds, or flaxseeds. Also, desiccated coconut, cinnamon, or chocolate chips can also be added to your oatmeal diet to enjoy for breakfast.
Oats Allergy and Dangers
In as much as oats are good for you, some people do have allergies to oats. This is rare but it can occur. Some signs and symptoms of oats allergies include:
- Blotchy and irritated kin
- Itchy skin
- You could have rash or skin irritation on the mouth; it can also occur inside the mouth.
If you experience any of these, stop eating oats and see your Physician.
Does oat expire?
Just like any other food, oats, or oatmeal can expire. Always check the expiry date before you buy it.