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Know Your Oats | Yoga of Eating

Oats may help lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and aid with weight loss. In the following days, we will explore the various kinds of Oats generally available to us, their qualities, and which kind may be best for consumption.

Oat Groats

Oat Groats are the raw, freshly harvested grain from which the inedible hulls are removed. There are three parts to oat kernels: the bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran and germ both contain healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The endosperm mostly contains carbohydrates and some protein. They are very nutritious and chewy. They take the longest to cook and should be soaked for about 12 hours before cooking. In warm climates and warm seasons, they could be soaked for 8 to 10 hours.

Steel Cut Oats ( Irish Oatmeal ) :

Steel Cut Oats, also sometimes known as Irish Oatmeal is the whole oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces with a sharp metal blade. They are faster to cook than Oat Groats as when soaked, the water can be more easily absorbed in the smaller pieces. They should be soaked for about12 hours before cooking. Steel-cut oats have a more coarse, chewier texture and nuttier flavor than other kinds of oats. Steel-cut Oats take longer to prepare, with average cooking times varying 15–30 minutes.

In warmer climates, soaking time can be 8 hours.

Scottish Oatmeal :

The scots traditionally stone ground the oat groats thus creating bits of multiple sizes which could result in the porridge being creamier as compared to steel-cut. They should be soaked for more than 12 hours before cooking.

In warmer climates, soaking time can be 8 hours.

Rolled Oats – regular (old fashioned) :

Rolled Oats of Old Fashioned oats are made by steaming the Oat Groats and rolling them into flakes. This helps the oats cook faster due to the greater surface area. They are milder in flavor and have a softer texture as compared to steel-cut oats, as they have been partially cooked.

A bowl of rolled oats takes 2–5 minutes to prepare.

Rolled oats are also usually added to muffins, cookies, bread, and cakes.

Rolled Oats – quick or instant

The Quick or Instant variety of Oats is when the manufacturer rolls the oat flakes thinner, and/or steams them longer, thus creating quick oats and instant oats. The difference between Quick oats and instant, packaged oats is that Instant oats may contain ingredients like skim milk powder, sugar, and other flavorings.

Oat Bran :

Oat Bran is the outer casing (layer) of the oat kernel. It is high in insoluble fiber and is used as a hot cereal or sprinkled on cold cereal. It is also a popular ingredient in bread, casseroles, and pancakes for added fiber. Oat Bran is not considered a whole grain as it is processed and does not contain either the endosperm or the germ.

Even though each of the various kinds of Oats has gone through different levels of processing leading to different cooking timings, texture, etc modern nutritional analysis suggests they may have a similar nutritional profile.

Prana is the Ayurvedic / Yogic term which means for Life Force. From an Ayurvedic and Yogic perspective, the food that is least processed and closest to its original state i.e. either raw or freshly cooked food contains the most amount of Prana. What living beings crave most is Vitality. The more we consume foods with high Prana, the higher vitality we will have.

From the above-mentioned types of Oats, it's best that we consume steel-cut oats or Scottish Oatmeal. Do soak them for at least 12 hours before cooking them. Buying Organic and gluten-free will help as they will be healthier and easier to digest. If you live in a warm country, the soaking time could be reduced.

Kartikeya Talreja is an Ayurvedic* Nutritionist, Digestive Health and Lifestyle Coach. He consults people with diet and lifestyle changes which could deeply help with their overall well-being. He helps them transit to an Organic Whole Plant-Based Diet 🌱 ( #wpbd ) that is suitable to their unique constitution, by the seasons and the climatic conditions where they live.

Visit NOW for a free initial 15-minute consult.

*Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of traditional natural healing in the world. Also known as the sister of Yoga, it stresses deeply nutrition and lifestyle for optimal health.

Ayurveda believes that there are three bio-energies ie Vata ( Air and Ether Elements), Pitta ( Fire and Water ), and Kapha ( Earth and Water) within the body, and their balance or imbalance determines the state of good or ill health.

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