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Steel-cut Oats

09 Jun 2022

When thinking of a healthy, hearty breakfast, a steaming hot bowl of oats might come to mind. They’re a fibre-rich carb that’s low in fat & high in protein, vitamins & minerals. There are several types to choose from, including rolled, steel-cut & quick-cooking oats, & they differ in their nutrient profile & processing methods.



Steel-cut oats, also called pinhead oats, coarse oatmeal or Irish oatmeal are groats (the inner kernel with the inedible hull removed) of whole oats which have been chopped into two or three pinhead-sized pieces.
They take longer to cook than instant, ground, or rolled oats, typically 15–30 minutes for porridge (or about half this time if presoaked). They can be used to make oatcakes, blended uncooked in smoothies & for other culinary purposes.



Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have gone through a steaming & flattening process.

They have a milder flavour & softer texture & take much less time to make than steel-cut oats, as they have been partially cooked.

A bowl of rolled oats takes 2–5 minutes to prepare.

Rolled oats can also be added to goods like cookies, cakes, muffins & breakfast



Quick oats or quick-cooking oats are rolled oats that go through further processing to decrease cooking time.

They’re partially cooked by steaming & then rolled even thinner than old-fashioned oats.

They cook within a few minutes & have a mild flavour & soft, mushy texture.


The chart below compares the nutritional differences between 2 ounces (56 grams) of rolled, steel-cut & quick oats :



Health benefits of steel cut oats

  • The fibre found in steel-cut oats is beneficial for digestive health, fueling the good bacteria in the intestines & promoting regular bowel movements 

  •  Steel-cut oats may have a lower glycemic index than rolled or quick oats, meaning the body digests & absorbs them more slowly, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

  • Steel-cut oats are also rich in iron & B vitamins, both of which improve energy levels.

  • Steel-cut oats contain β-glucan, a viscous, soluble fibre that slows the movement of food through the digestive tract & helps you feel fuller after eating. Foods that help people feel fuller longer may benefit people who are trying to lose weight & help them avoid overeating.

  • Another health benefit of steel-cut oats is that they have polyphenols galore. Because they can act as antioxidants. Antioxidants  help prevent cell damage, & might even give you extra protection against heart disease, colon cancer, & skin irritation.

  • Oats may have potential prebiotic properties. Prebiotics can help maintain a healthy digestive function by promoting the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract.

  • Steel-cut oats have all kinds of surprising benefits including protecting your skin! Beta-glucan is responsible for the protective function of oats.

  • Introducing oats early in your baby’s diet may reduce their risk of developing asthma, allergic rhinitis, & atopic sensitization.


Here are some ideas about how to make oats a part of your day :

  • Add raw oats to your smoothie for a fibre boost.

  • Top cooked oats with sliced avocado, peppers, black beans, salsa & eggs for a savoury twist on traditional sweet oatmeal.

  • Add raw oats to homemade bread, cookies & muffins.

  • Combine them with Greek yoghurt & cinnamon to make overnight oats in the fridge. 

  • Make homemade granola by combining them with coconut oil, cinnamon, nuts & dried fruit, then baking at a low temperature.

  • Use them in place of breadcrumbs to coat fish or chicken.

  • Incorporate oats into your favourite pancake recipe.

  • Use them in place of rice when making risotto.

  • Top cooked oats with grilled vegetables, chicken & tahini for a satisfying lunch or dinner.

  • Add them to soups to create creaminess without adding a lot of fat.

  • Mix oats with nut butter & dried fruit, form into balls & refrigerate for delicious, healthy energy bites.

  • Stuff peppers, tomatoes or zucchinis with a mix of oats, onion, egg & cheese & bake in the oven for a delicious snack



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