Since Jan­u­ary holds title to National Oat­meal Month, now is the per­fect time to exper­i­ment with this favored morn­ing grain.

Oats have long been a part of the world’s diet for hun­gry humans and their ani­mal coun­ter­parts.

The health ben­e­fits of oats are well doc­u­mented. From low­er­ing LDL lev­els (bad cho­les­terol) to weight con­trol and heart wise affects, there are many plus ups to enjoy­ing oats.

Tra­di­tional think­ing puts a bowl of hot oat­meal smack cen­ter of the break­fast table. Bright “oats ideas” quick to fol­low are oat­meal cook­ies, gra­nola, muffins and breads.

Before we leave the break­fast table and morn­ing rou­tine, it should be noted that healthy oats are right at home incor­po­rated into soups, pilafs, meat­balls, entrees and desserts.

Whether one is a Quaker Oats oat­meal eater, or a fan of Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats, there is a place at the table for all Jan­u­ary oats.

Ardent pro­po­nents have cre­ated cold oats jars that are make ahead ready. These grab and go meals are a time saver for crazy morn­ing rou­tines. These jam jar jew­els boast lay­ers of oats, fresh fruits, chopped nuts, seeds (chia or flax) honey or maple syrup, along with yogurt or almond milk. Oat Cui­sine– Food carts and trendy break­fast spots from coast to coast are rein­vent­ing clas­sic oats.

Unex­pected ingre­di­ents and cre­ative meth­ods (from brulees to frit­ters) have made oat­meal hip.

Next time break­fast is con­vened out of the house, check out the count­less glam­our bowls of oat­meal on the menu.

Glo­ri­ous top­pings fanned out on a cooked por­tion of oats (berries, cit­rus wedges, kiwi fruit, sliced bananas or dried cher­ries, dates and apri­cots), liven up the can­vas.

Know your Oats: Groats: Groats are oat ker­nels which are often used for break­fast cereal or stuff­ing. They may also be used to pre­pare home­made oat milk.

Steel-​Cut Oats: Also called Irish or Scot­tish oats, they are pro­duced with steel blades that thinly slice the oat ker­nel which helps water to pen­e­trate. They have a dense, chewy tex­ture and need to be cooked longer than other vari­eties. Slow cook­ers work well.

Old-​Fashioned Oats: These oats have been steamed and rolled to have a flat­ter shape. They are softer and cook quicker.

Quick-​Cooking Oats: These are pro­duced like the old-​fashioned oats with the excep­tion that they are cut finely before rolling.

Happy Oat­meal Month!

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