6 Ways to Make Mighty Oats Work for You

Think oats are just for breakfast? Think again. Not only does the mighty oat power up breakfast, but it also stars in lunches, dinners, treats—and even in your bath!

A comfort food that’s also a proven superfood, mighty oats are fibre-filled whole grains. Oats may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and protect against coronary heart disease as well as some cancers. As if that’s not enough, this power-packed grain also eases constipation and helps control blood sugar.

Beyond oatmeal, oats also play a starring role in lunch and dinner entrees, snacks, and desserts! But break them out of the kitchen, and into the bathroom, where you’ll find oats can offer your skin a soothing break.

Notes on oats

Introduced to the Canadian Prairies in the mid-18th century, Canadian farms are now one of the world’s major oat suppliers, making up the majority of the worldwide annual 25 million tonnes of this important crop.

Types of oats

Groat: The least processed form of oats, groats include the cereal germ, bran, grain, and endosperm. Groats require long soaking before cooking (for about 60 minutes) to use in dishes such as soups, grain salads, and porridges.

  • Try our delicious Oat and Sweet Potato Salad, starring oat groats.

Steel-cut oats: Groats that have been sliced into smaller pieces that cook in less time than groats (about 20 minutes), steel-cut oats are slightly chewy with a nutty flavour. They can be used for anything from oatmeal to risotto.

  • You might even want to serve this Chocolate Oatmeal with Cherry Sauce for dessert!

Rolled oats: Also called old-fashioned oats, these are whole groats that have been steamed and rolled into a flake. Slow-cooking rolled oats (though faster to cook than whole groats) are used in muesli or granolas while quick-cooking (rolled into thinner flakes to speed up cooking time) are used for quick oatmeal or cookies and muffins.

  • Try this vegan entrée, Beet Chickpea Loaf with Arugula Sauce, with rolled oats in a strong supporting role.

Oat bran: Very high in insoluble fibre, oat bran is made from the outer casing or layer of the oat kernel and can be used as a hot cereal or in quick breads, casseroles, and pancakes for extra fibre.

  • Love turkey? Try our Escarole White Bean Soup with Turkey Meatballs, with a helping hand from oat bran.

Oat flour: Ground oats provide the same nutritional benefits of the whole oat and can be used for baking.

  • Who could resist our Chocolate Oat Tart, starring oat flour?

Colloidal oatmeal: Found at your local health food store, very finely ground oats, called colloidal oatmeal, are not meant for eating. They star, instead, in the bath where they work their magic by soothing itchy, inflamed skin. Look for colloidal oats as an ingredient in soothing natural skin cleansers too.

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