Quick oats are oats which have been processed to greatly decrease the total cooking time required in their preparation. They are not the same as instant oats, oats which have been precooked, so that all they require is a quick heating. There are a number of ways to use quick oats, ranging from breads to breakfast cereal, and many markets carry quick oats, both packaged and in bulk. Like other grains, quick oats should be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct light so that they do not go bad before they are used.
Oats are sold in many different forms, from the wholegrain known as groats, to steel cut or Scotch oats, to ground oats known as oatmeal. Oats are milled into flour to make bread but their most common form is rolled oats. Stabilised oats are the most common form of rolled oats: they are steamed to destroy enzymes.
Raw oats contain lipolytic enzymes, which break down the fat in the grain to free fatty acids, which in turn changes its flavor to rancid. In order to avoid this, cleaned groats are subjected to heating by dry heat radiators in a kiln. After heating to a temperature of 215 degree Fahrenheit, the steam produced by the heat inactivate the lipolytic enzymes. This process is unavoidable, because after dehulling, the flavor of groats will change to rancid within four days, unless stabilized by the above said process. This treatment also gives a nutty flavour to the oats.
Whole oats (groats) and coarse rolled oats
Domesticated oats are considered a relatively new grain, a secondary crop which was probably derived from the weed of primary cereal grains like wheat or barley. Once thought of as animal fodder, but traditionally a staple in many Scottish dishes from oatcakes to haggis, oats are now a popular health food.
Oats are high in energy and are renowned for their ability to help lower cholesterol levels. They contain more soluble fibre and protein than any other grain. The protein is of a very high quality, similar to that in soy beans. Interestingly the major protein in oats is not associated with gluten intolerances or Coeliac disease and for this reason ‘pure oats’ (grown in low wheat producing areas) are very controversially said to be safe for a gluten free diet.
Oats are a dynamic grain, however they are most commonly associated with porridge- rightly so, because they produce a beautifully creamy bowl! Groats, steel cut oats, rolled oats and oatmeal can all be used but as a rule of thumb the best porridge comes from the larger, least processed grain.
Flour Oat flour and oatmeal are used with other flours or by themselves to bake breads and other hearty items such as oatcakes, pancakes and muffins. Oat flour is not widely available in retail outlets, but a raggy oat flour can be made at home by blitzing unstabilised oats in a food processor.
Rolled Rolled oats are often used to make porridge, and are also the main ingredient in soaked Bircher muesli. They make a perfect granola or crumble topping when baked.
Other derivatives Oat milk is available as an impressively creamy and sweet alternative to dairy and soy milks. -- Pureharvest Organic oat Milk is available in 1lt UHT cartons
Oats come in a variety of styles, differentiated by how they are processed at the mill. Pureharvest Quick Oats are rolled down to 24 micron compared to our regular oats which are rolled down to 32 micron. Quick oats are produced by taking oat grains, cracking them into pieces, and then rolling them out. This is in contrast with regular rolled or old fashioned oats, which are simply rolled out, but not cut. The cutting and rolling reduces the size of the pieces, ensuring that the oats cook very quickly when they are combined with warm water, milk, juice, or other cooking media.
One classic use of quick oats is in breakfast cereal. Oats are popular as a breakfast cereal because they are high in protein and other valuable nutrients, making them an excellent start to the day, especially when combined with fresh fruit and other nutritious toppings. However, oatmeal can be a pain to make, since traditional old fashioned oats require 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time. Quick oats reduce cooking time, allowing people to spend less time on breakfast, but they are more nutritious than instant oats, another quick-cooking alternative to old fashioned oats.
Quick oats can also be used like old fashioned oats in baking. Oats are sometimes added to breads, muffins, cookies, and other baked goods to up the fibre content and to create an interesting texture. The oats make the food more chewy, and add a nutty flavour which some people find enjoyable. Quick oats may also be sprinkled as a topping on various baked goods. Unlike old fashioned oats, quick oats will cook all the way through in dishes with a short cooking time, including pancakes and waffles.
A serving of quick oats offers lots of dietary fibre and protein, and regular consumption of oats also appears to lower cholesterol, making quick oats a heart healthy food. Quick oats can also be packed as a quick snack for the office, or included in the packing for backpacking and camping trips, since quick oats offer the nutritional value of oats without the long cooking time.