Oatmeal has it’s own month, who knew?  More Oatmeal is eaten in January than any other month and why not?  It tastes great, it’s great for you and it really warms you up to start your day.  Did you know there are different kinds of oatmeal?


Instant Oatmeal:

  This the kind that comes in those little packets.  Very nice for when you are in a hurry but are usually high in sodium and sugar.  It’s made by flattening the oat groat (that’s the kernel) very thin, cooking it, and then drying it out so you just need to add hot water and eat.  This pretty much destroys any nutritional content. That’s why instant oatmeal is usually fortified, that’s also why salt and sugar are added to help with the taste.  Nice when you are on the go but if you can avoid it, do.


Quick Cooking Oats:

Similar to Instant Oats but they haven’t been pre-cooked.  The groat has been  flattened but not quite as thin as the instant variety.  If you’ve ever bought oatmeal that promised a 3 minute cook time, this is what you got.

Bob's Red Mill Rolled Oats 3-9-12Old Fashioned Oatmeal:

This is the most common type of oatmeal.  It has been steamed, pressed and rolled but not cut.  It takes about 5 minutes to cook and keeps most of the natural nutrient quality of the oat.  It also has a lower glycemic index than the previous 2 varieties so it doesn’t cause a sharp spike in blood sugar.  When Dian and I were researching her diabetes, one of the things we found is that it wasn’t so much the elevated blood sugar that damaged her internal organs, it was that sharp spike that happened right after she ate so finding ways to blunt that spike was very important for us.


Steel Cut Oats (Sometimes known as Irish Oats):

This is where instead of steaming or flattening, the oat groat is hulled and then cut. (with steel)  It’s a much coarser grain and takes longer to cook, in fact most people let it cook in a crockpot overnight.  (More on that in another post)  This is the healthiest type of oatmeal (Now sold at Walmart!) as all the vitamins and nutrients stay right where they are supposed to.  It also has the lowest glycemic index of any oatmeal type.

Now you know more about oatmeal than you ever have before!

Thanks to The Coupon Snob for the Quick Oats pic