Is there such a thing as oatmeal from scratch? Honestly, growing up I just thought oatmeal grew in the perfectly shaped flakes that showed up in a box of Quaker Old-Fashioned Oatmeal. However, Quaker Mill company wasn’t created until 1877 and the process for rolling oats wasn’t developed until the 1900s. So…the oatmeal your and my great-grandparents ate was either; oat groats flaked, or oat groats chopped up!
These two ways of eating oats are the healthiest. Oat groats are the “whole oat grain”. It keeps its freshness and
maintains its fiber and nutrients until flaked or chopped. An individual oat groat contains all three parts of the gain called the endosperm, germ and bran. Steel cut oats are oat groats chopped up. They are a yummy way to eat oat groats but take a bit longer to cook, approximately 15-20 minutes or overnight in a crock-pot. Their texture, which is chunky, and taste are much different than eating “flaked” oat groats. Flaked or rolled oat groats are what most of us grew up eating and are smooth and creamy when cooked. The difference between rolled and flaked is basically the thickness of the flattened oat groats.
The health benefits of eating fresh flaked oat groats is FIRST it’s fresh!! I had no idea what a difference that would make in the flavor and texture when eating oatmeal. Fiber, however, is its main attribute. But it is also a complex carb, so it keeps you feeling full for longer, and has almost twice the protein as brown rice. Last,
it has nutrients such as zinc, iron, thiamin, selenium, and magnesium.
Oats have been around for thousands of years. Considered nothing but a weed and mostly fed to cattle. But the Romans introduced oats to Britain around 1000 B.C. and with the perfect climate, especially in Scotland, it didn’t take long for oatmeal to become something of a national dish. (Scottish oats are whole oat groats that have been stone-ground into meal, creating a texture that lies somewhere between steel-cut oats and oat flour).
I have to say, I’ve been cooking oatmeal since I was a kid. All six of my kids have grown up eating oatmeal for breakfast too. At different stages of these growing up times we ate Quaker Old-Fashioned oats, to instant
oats, to food storage oats that went stale really fast. Most all of my kids love oatmeal but the one who grew up eating stale oats at a young age. And even though Quaker Oats weren’t stale, they weren’t fresh either. So, for Christmas I asked for an oat flaker. And I’m here to tell you, we will never go back to store bought oatmeal again! My kids are hooked! The flavor, the creaminess, and the texture are phenomenal! I had no idea what I was missing after all these years. I purchase my oat groats in the bulk section at a grocery store called WinCo,
or I buy 5 gallon buckets at RainyDayFoods.com.
Here are photos of my flaker. I purchased a “Schnitzer” oat groats flaker. I did do research to choose this one, but it is the only one I’ve actually tried so I wouldn’t know if it’s better or worse than any other. But it works great for us and I like the metal parts for grinding. It’s smooth and easy to use. Grinding is done in a
1 cup of oat groats = 1 and 2/3 cup flaked oats.
1 and 1/4 cup oat groats = 2 cups flaked oats.
Below, see how to cook with flaked oat groats and some yummy healthy combinations of ways to eat oatmeal from scratch!
Oat Groats – cooking oatmeal from scratch
- Wooden Spoon
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups flaked oat groats 1 cup of oat groats = 1 2/3 cup flaked oats. 1 1/4 cup oat groats = 2 cups flaked oats.
- Bring 2 cups water and 2 cups milk to a boil on the stove on high heat, don't let burn
- Add 2 cups flaked oat groats and stir
- Turn down stove to Low or MedLow
- Set timer for 5 minutes and stir occasionally
- Place wooden spoon over pot to help reduce boiling over of cooking oat groats
- Look at consistency of cooked oats, make sure they are cooked to your liking.
- Add toppings (here are some suggestions): sliced bananas, granny smith apples pealed and diced, cut up strawberries, raisins, honey or brown sugar if you need a sweetener, seasonings like cinnamon add a special touch, milk, half n' half, or heavy whipping cream not whipped. The ideas are unlimited! Be creative and enjoy every bite!
Measurements and how to cook: 2 cups milk and 2 cups water bring to almost a boil. It looks like you’re making a frothy vanilla steamer. Then slowly add 2 cups of flaked oat groats or old-fashioned oatmeal. Turn down the stove to a Low or Med Low and cook approximately 5 minutes. Stir. Place a wooden spoon over the top of the metal pot to help keep the liquid from boiling over, if you happen to cook on Med Lo and it begins to bubble.
Five-minutes in this small pot seemed perfect. The oats were thick as I stirred. The milk looked creamy. And the oats were done being cooked but not mushy.
Now for all the goodies you can add in:
Have fun experimenting with different fruits and flavors. With no sweeteners if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake. Or even turn it savory with sautéed mushrooms, etc. Whatever floats your boat you’ll notice
a difference in this wonderful “fresh” from scratch oatmeal!
Add honey and bananas.
Add Granny Smith apple dices and cinnamon with honey, no brown sugar needed.
I love how the honey melts in the hot oatmeal and sweetens every bite. Yet, I can’t really taste the honey flavor.
My husband loves raisins, so he adds it with bananas, apples, anything! Raisins are a great sweetener too.
This oatmeal is creamy deliciousness!! You can add milk, or half ‘n half, but I love heavy whipping cream (not whipped). About 2 TBS is just perfect. It’s enough to make the whole bowl feel moist, like I poured milk over all of it. One time I had heard that a little extra fat (butter or cream) just enhances the flavors. I sure enjoy it with
cream, my father loved it with butter.
My kids of course love just a little scoop of brown sugar with and 2% milk. Not any different than all the oatmeal they have had in the past, but even they say “it’s the best oatmeal they’ve ever eaten”! That’s coming from the teen agers. Wow!
Well have fun and enjoy eating foods from the past!