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Steel Cut vs. Rolled Oats

October 17th, 2011 | no comments

Steel cut or regular oats— which one should you choose? What’s the difference? Is one more nutritious than the other? All very good questions! The first question you should ask yourself is- how much time am I willing to dedicate to preparing my morning bowl of oatmeal? If you’re looking for a quick breakfast, than rolled oats are definitely your best choice—taking a mere 90 seconds to cook in your microwave. If you have 20 minutes to spare and prefer a chewier texture, than steel cut oats it is! Here are some other differences to note:

Processing

Steel cut oats are somewhat less processed than rolled oats. The oat groat (inner portion of the oat kernel) is cut into two or three pieces using steel discs. Rolled oats on the other hand, are produced by steaming and rolling the oat groat, resulting in a flatter shape and therefore faster cooking time.

Nutrition & Health Benefits

Both steel cut and rolled oats are considered whole grain, meaning they contain all three layers of the oat grain—the bran, endosperm and germ. Some other benefits shared by the two:

  • Good source of: manganese, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, thiamine, plant-based protein and cholesterol-lowering, blood sugar-stabilizing soluble fiber! All for just 150 calories per serving!
  • Sodium-free
  • May help lower blood pressure
  • Regulates your digestive system (thanks to the fiber)
  • Keep hunger at bay, aiding in weight management (thanks again to the fiber!)
  • As shown by Tufts University researchers, the antioxidants found in oats helps prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

Not a fan of oats? Perhaps you’re not getting adventurous enough! Try one of these oatmeal topping ideas to see if you change your mind:

  • Half cup of diced apple (with skin on for extra fiber) + 1 teaspoon brown sugar + dash of cinnamon + small handful toasted walnuts
  • One tablespoon peanut butter + 1/2 sliced banana
  • One tablespoon honey + small handful almonds + dash of ginger
  • Half cup of diced pear (with skin on for extra fiber) + two tablespoons raisins + 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup blackberries + lemon zest + two tablespoons cranberry raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried pineapple + sprinkle of shredded coconut + 8 crushed macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries + 1/4 cup blueberries + small handful pecans + 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Still not lovin’ oats for breakfast? Try it as a side dish instead! You’ll love this tasty recipe for Three Pepper Oat Pilaf!

The bottom line:
Whether steel cut or rolled, find a way to add more oats to your diet…you owe it to your body!

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