Old Fashioned Oatmeal vs. Instant Oatmeal
Oats are a species of incredibly healthy cereal and whole grain. It is an excellent source of many vitamins, fibres, and minerals if you can distinguish between old oatmeal and instant oatmeal.
In trying to find ways to manage both my hunger and my weight, I finally hit upon the idea that eating high-fibre foods might be the best thing I could try. That’s when I started reading about old-fashioned oatmeal. According to my reading, the average Canadian gets about half of the fibre in their diet. They should anyway, and fibre helps keep you feeling full. Is this a way to make oatmeal healthy again?
Comparing Old Fashioned Oatmeal vs. Instant Oatmeal
I don’t like most of the flavoured microwavable oatmeal on the market. The little packs of flavoured stuff you pop in the microwave for 30-seconds — I think they taste like flavoured mush. Too soggy. The traditional “instant oatmeal” most of us grew up eating is much more palatable. Recently, however, I’ve discovered steel-cut oats, also known as “old-fashioned oatmeal.” You may also see it as “Irish steel cut oatmeal” or “pinhead oats.” As oatmeal goes, this stuff is the cat’s meow. Healthy oatmeal has far better texture and flavour than the quick-cooking mush in a pouch.
Once hulled, oats are comprised of two parts. The bran, and the endosperm (flour). When processing oats for consumption, the endosperm is separated from the bran, and in the case of “instant” oatmeal, the endosperm is then steamed, rolled flat, and the process repeated. The greater the extent of processing, the faster the oats will cook. Naturally, more processing means less nutrition, so convenience for the consumer means that “instant oatmeal” is among the most minor healthy types of oatmeal we can buy. That’s not saying it’s terrible because compared to many alternatives, it is not. However, since I discovered you could find “steel cut oats” at places like Wal-Mart and Kroger, I’ve been playing with them in the kitchen. Steel-cut oats leave more bran intact, increasing the fibre content. From the cook’s perspective, it also lengthens the cooking time. To give you a rough comparison,