Oatmeal is a warm, hearty, and nutritious breakfast for many people. There are several types of oats to choose from, including rolled, steel-cut and quick-cooking oats, and they differ in their nutrient profile and processing methods. Read further to see what type is best for you and your lifestyle.
The major types of oats we consume all start off as oat groats – oat kernels that have had the tough outer hull removed. From there, they are exposed to heat and moisture to make them more shelf stable. The oat groats are then processed to create either steel cut, rolled or quick oats.
Steel cut oats are the least processed – produced by chopping the grouts into pieces with steel blades – and most closely resemble the unprocessed oat groat. They have a chewier texture compared to rolled and quick oats. They also take longer to prepare – upwards of 30 minutes.
Rolled oats go through a steaming and flattening process that produces a softer texture compared to steel cut oats. They take less time to cook (2-5 minutes) as they have already been partially cooked. These are often used in cookies, cakes, muffins and bread.
Quick cooking oats are partially cooked by steaming and rolled flatter than the rolled oats. They cook in the shortest amount of time (1-2 minutes) and produce a mushier texture.
There are some slight variations in nutritional content between the three types of oats. Steel cut oats have a slightly higher fiber and protein content compared to their counterparts. They also have a lower glycemic index, meaning the body digests and absorbs them more slowly, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar. This makes steel cut oats a better choice for those looking to control their blood sugar.
All three types are highly nutritious and excellent sources of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Find an oatmeal you enjoy! Rather than selecting a packaged option with added sugar – consider purchasing a plan option and adding your own toppings.
Check out some of our recipes!
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Combine all ingredients into a mason jar or another small container and mix together.
Leave in refrigerator overnight to enjoy in the morning!
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut plus 2 tbsp for topping
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips plus 2 tbsp for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch pan with oil and set aside
In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, egg, vanilla, coconut milk until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture: oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix until combined. Fold in shredded coconut, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with reserved shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- 3/4 cup steel cut oats
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 small sweet potato mashed
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 banana
- 3 tbsp pecans
Pierce sweet potato with a fork 5 times and place on microwavable plate. Microwave 5-8 minutes or until soft. Rotate half way through. Remove skin and mash until smooth.
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add oats and reduce heat to medium. Cook 20-25 minutes.
When oats are just about finished, stir in sweet potato, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and flaxseed meal. Cook 5 minutes.
Top with 1/2 sliced banana and pecans