(Bob's Red Mill 5-grain Rolled Cereal)
I never realized there were so many different kinds of oats! And actually, I never really ate oats until a couple of years ago. My brother introduced me to cooking whole oat groats in my rice cooker!! What? My rice cooker will cook more than rice? Yup. In fact, it cooks lots of things, but I haven't been adventurous enough to try....yet.
Variations on an oat:
1. Cooked whole oat groats. You can buy oat groats at specialty health food stores or online, like at Bob's Red Mill. They can be cooked in a rice cooker or on the stove. I love cooking these, then adding flaxmeal and almond milk right into the pot (or rice cooker). Then I spoon it into a bowl and add some dried fruit, chopped nuts, and a little agave and cinnamon. I think this is my favorite kind of oatmeal.
2. Steel Cut Oats. These are actually "cut" oats, as opposed to, yup, you got it, rolled! They are in much smaller pieces, but take longer to cook. I make several days' worth on the stove at once, to last several days. These are really nutty and have a great texture. I have these with dried fruit and nuts on top. I find that these don't need the added sweetener because they have such a great flavor on their own.
3. Rolled Oats or Quick Cooking Oats. Quick cooking oats are rolled thinner than the "old fashioned" rolled oats, so they take much less time to cook. My husband loves these. This is what I make him every morning! And yes, he likes it with salt. If I'm out of all other oats, I'll make these too. Easy to make in the microwave too.
4. Raw oat groats. You simply soak whole oat groats overnight in filtered water. I like to soak some almonds as well. Then, in the morning, you put them both in the food processor and process with some water (or almond milk) until the desired consistency. I throw in some dates (into the food processor) to add sweetness. Or, if you prefer, you can add the sweetener directly to your bowl. I enjoy this kind of oatmeal in the summer, on hot days, since it's served cold.
5. Raw buckwheat groats. I know, they're not technically oats, but I've seen so many people use them this way, that I thought I'd include it. I finally tried these. The buckwheat sure has a different flavor. I used this recipe. To me, the texture was really gummy. Next time I try them, I'll leave out the chia. It's basically the same idea as the raw oat groats...soaking overnight, etc.
6. Muesli. Ok, not just oats either, but another excellent breakfast! It's usually a combination of oats and other grains with nuts and dried fruits. The "original" way to eat it is soaked overnight in yoghurt. It's really excellent with non-dairy yogurt! You don't have to soak it overnight, you could just soak it for 15 minutes or so. You can also just eat it with almond milk, like this picture (taken in Switzerland this summer).
Then there's always chia pudding, like this chocolate one here:
My favorite "regular" oatmeal is Holly's. I love the cranberry almond! I also love Bear Naked's hot cereal "medley". But alas, they don't make it anymore :(
When I'm on the road, I like Starbucks oatmeal. And it even comes with packets of dried fruit and nuts...just how I like it!
By the way, Bob's Red Mill just happens to be having a sale on oats right now...go get yours! (No, they didn't ask me to do this...I just love them!)
There are so many variations of this stuff, I'm sure I missed some. How do you eat your oats? And what do you put on top?