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Varieties of Oats

The modern oat draws its ancestry from the wild red oat, a plant originating in Asia. Oats gain part of their distinctive flavor from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Different types of processing are then used to produce the various types of oat products, which are generally used to make breakfast cereals, baked goods and stuffing.

Oat groats: Un-flattened kernels that are good for using as a breakfast cereal or for stuffing.

Steel-cut oats: Featuring a dense and chewy texture they are produced by running the grain through steel blades which thinly slices them.

Old-fashioned oats: Have a flatter shape that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled.

Quick-cooking oats: Processed like old-fashioned oats except they are cut finely before rolling.

Instant oatmeal: Produced by partially cooking the grains and then rolling them very thin. Oftentimes, sugar, salt and other ingredients are added to make the finished product.

Oat bran: The outer layer of the grain that resides under the hull. While oat bran is found in rolled oats and steel-cut oats, it may also be purchased as a separate product that can be added to recipes or cooked to make a hot cereal.

Oat flour: used in baking, it is oftentimes combined with wheat or other gluten-containing flours when making leavened bread.


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This page was updated on: 2004-10-14 16:11:28

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