Oats are one of the highly satiating grains with multiple benefits for heart health and good metabolism. Oats are Tridoshic, meaning they balance all three Dosha based on how they are prepared and processed.
Oats are almost superior to other grains such as wheat, rice, barley, and buckwheat. Some varieties of oats contain higher amount of healthy fatty acids, prebiotics, proteins, and amino acid profile.
You can make oatmeal a staple for your breakfast by adding different ingredients based on the season and your choice. They are easy to prepare and store and delicious to consume. In this post, you will get to know the basics on making a selection of oats and also tips on how to prepare them.
Type of Oats based on level of processing
Oats are available in a variety of forms, based on how they are processed. The following list shows the types of oats in order of least to most processing.
Although the nutritional content between steel-cut and instant oats is relatively similar, their effects on blood sugar are not.
The least processed oats, like groats or steel-cut, generally take longer to digest so they have a lower glycemic index than rolled or instant oats.
Hard to cook Oats – Low GI – Healthier
- Oat Groats: The whole oat kernels that have been cleaned, with only the loose, inedible hulls removed. Groats contain the intact germ, endosperm, and bran. These are basically like wheat berries or brown rice.
- Oat bran contains the most fiber in a groat, is also removed and eaten as a cereal or added to recipes to boost fiber content.
- Steel-Cut or Irish: This is similar to wheat porridge. Basically, the oat groats are cut into small pieces using a steel blade, hence the name. The larger the size of the pieces, the longer they will take to cook. They are very coarse and usually require either a lot of time in a pressure cooker, oven or pot. And because they are minimally processed, they are also the healthiest types of oats to eat.
- Scottish Oats: Oat groats that have been stone-ground into a meal, creating a porridge-like texture when cooked.
Previously Cooked Oats – Easy to Cook – Higher GI
- Rolled or Old-Fashioned: Oat groats that have been steamed, rolled and flattened into flakes, and then dried to remove moisture so they have a longer shelf-life. They have highly creamy texture and lie somewhere
- Quick Oats: Oat groats that are partially cooked and then rolled pretty thin. They cook faster than old fashioned oats, but the texture is softer.
- Instant Oats are steamed for a longer period such that they are completely cooked before hand. They are then rolled and cut into thinner pieces so that they can absorb water easily and cook very quickly. They can be consumed in dried form (limited quantity) as well by those struggling with high Kapha. Be aware that many brands of instant oats come sweetened or flavored, so be sure to check the ingredients for no added sugar.
Tips for cooking steel cut oats
- Add milk to the boiling water. The recipe calls for 3 cups of water for every cup of oats. However, you can add between 1/4 and 1 cup of milk to make it more creamy. Add it after the oats are cooked and mix thoroughly.
- Don’t walk away from the oats while cooking them. Sometimes, oats can foam up when you’re cooking on the stove top. If that happens, just remove from the heat for a few seconds until it settles down.
- Make the oatmeal softer by lengthening the cooking time. My suggested cooking time is 15 minutes which comes out perfectly. But you can add an extra 5-10 minutes with a little extra water or milk, as needed, to get even more tender oatmeal.
- Add coconut oil or butter for a more creamy texture. You can use 1 tablespoon of fat for every 1 cup of steel cut oats. Stir it lightly during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Toast the oats before adding the liquid. To bring out more of the nutty texture of the oats, you can toast them with some coconut oil or butter before adding the liquid. They taste so good like this!
- Turn the heat down once you’ve added the oats to the water. If you keep the heat on high the bottom will burn quickly and it will be a nightmare to clean up! Turn the stove top down to a low or medium-low heat.
- Add little salt to them while cooking. The salt helps to bring out the natural nuttiness and toasty flavors of the oats.
Are oats gluten-free?
Pure oats are gluten-free but most commercial brands are processed in facilities that also produce gluten-containing wheat, rye, and barley. Cross-contamination can also occur if oats are grown too close to wheat crops.
Oatmeal Recipe for all Dosha
Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast for all Dosha. I have shared tips and suggestions on what to add for balancing different Dosha. Do experiment with different recipes and fix up your breakfast peacefully for all week days or weekends.
- You can replace seeds with flax seeds (roasted and ground). This would be great for Kapha and Vata.
- Apple, Pear, and Berries go well for both Pitta and Kapha. Choose sweet berries for Pitta.
- Make different variations of oatmeal by experimenting with fruits and veggies (for savoury oatmeal).
- Some great veggies for oatmeal are squash, carrots, beets, and yam. These are all balancing for Vata, so open up your creativity channels 🙂
- Do not add milk when adding fruits.
Oatmeal for Breakfast
- 1 cup Rolled Oats If cooking steel cut oats, then cooking time will be longer and more water (3 times) would be needed.
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup Fresh Milk
- 1 tbsp Ghee or Coconut Oil
- 1½ tsp Spice Mix Add spices per your Dosha and preference
- 1 pinch Rock Salt
- 1 tbsp Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tbsp Raisins Kapha can remove raisins or used overnight soaked raisins
- 1 Medium Apple or Pear
- Cut the apple or pear into small (½ inch) cubes. Keep aside.
- Add ghee to pan and then roast the oats a little.
- Now add in water and cut fruit.
- Bring the oats and water to a boil.
- Add in salt and spices. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 15 minutes while lightly stirring in between.
- Now add milk and cook for another few seconds till it mixes well. (optional)
- Serve in bowl with nuts, seeds, and raisins.