Oats – Types & Variants
|   Dec 06, 2016
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Oats – Types & Variants

Oats are the latest ‘food fad’ of today.

Everyone is talking about them. People are willing to try new & different oat recipes and nutritionists can’t stop raving about its health benefits.

Oats are known as the ‘smarter twin’ of wheat. They are gluten free, high on fiber and gets digested sooner unlike wheat.

So much being said and done, let’s understand various types & varieties in which oats are available.

(In order from raw to processed)

Raw Oat Groats

These are whole oat groats that haven’t been steamed or processed at all. These will only be good for consumption and easier to digest if they are soaked overnight to break down the starch. Raw oats are expensive but much nutritious than all the other types of oats which have been heat-treated.

Oat Groats

These are whole oats that are steamed and can be stored without going rancid.  These oats take a long time to cook and will be hard to blend if they are not soaked prior to cooking or blending. Oat groats are also highly nutritious.

Steel Cut

Steel cut oats are whole oat groats that have been steamed and then cut into pieces.  They are coarse and take a long time to cook. They are pretty hard to blend without soaking or else would need a high powered blender. This type is also high in nutrition quotient. They take about 25-30 minutes to cook.


Oatbran is produced by grinding oats with its husk still attached. It is extremely fibrous and nutritious but little difficult to digest. Soaking oat bran for a while helps in cooking it quickly.  

Rolled Oats

When the whole oat groat is steamed and then rolled flat but is still intact, it becomes rolled oats.  When cooked, these oats retain their shape and don’t become a mush like instant or quick oats as they are harder to blend. These are more nutritious than quick and instant cooking oats as they have undergone less processing. Rolled oats take approximately 6 to 7 minutes to get cooked.


Oatmeal is coarser in flour consistency than instant oatmeal. Although this is still flour-like but oatmeal hasn’t usually been heavily processed. It is usually steamed and then ground; and often it still has the bran or fibrous husk attached which is ground along the oat groat. This makes it coarse.

Instant Oats/Instant Oatmeal

Instant or ready to cook oatmeal has flour-like consistency. They are heavily processed, rolled, steamed, dehydrated and then toasted. These are quick & easy to blend in a smoothie. Unfortunately, they are the least nutritious of the lot.

Quick Cooking Oats

Porridge or quick cooking oats have had their tough bran completely removed. Then they are pre-steamed and later toasted.  They are then rolled as thin as possible without making them into a powder. Once more they are steamed, so they get cooked quickly. They look like flakes.

So now you know the oat variants and can differentiate amongst them.

Go shopping and get Quaker Oats to whip up some healthy and yummy recipes.

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