Remember, whole grains contain all three edible parts of the seed, whereas refined grains only contain the starchy endosperm.
Now that we understand what makes up an oat kernel, let’s talk about different types of oats (listed in order of least processed to most processed):
- Whole Oat Groats: portion that is left after the hull is removed; Contains all three parts of the seed (the bran, endosperm, and germ), which makes it a whole grain; Have a hearty, chewy texture, and nutty flavor; Take the longest to cook
- Oat Bran: outer layer of the groat, which is separated from it during processing; Is creamier than other types of oats and usually cooks much faster
- Steel Cut Oats: Made from oat groats that are cut into smaller pieces; Have a somewhat chewy, chunky texture and take longer to cook
- Old Fashioned Oats (Rolled Oats): Made from oat groats that are steamed, rolled, and flattened into flakes, then dried to remove moisture
- Instant Oats: Most processed type of oats that usually come sweetened and artificially flavored; Made from oat groats that are steamed longer and rolled into thinner pieces than rolled oats; Cook the fastest