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Thursday, February 4, 2010

d.i.y. and f.y.i.

Recently we scored a huge bag of raw almonds from Sam's Club.  I was especially excited about this, since Kroger only carries tiny little bottles of almonds and they're expensive.  But I found I didn't enjoy the raw almonds as much as roasted.  So yesterday I roasted my own!  I was a little nervous since our oven tends to be a little picky and doesn't always cook even.  I spread the almonds over a cookie sheet and put them in at 425 for about 12 minutes.  I turned them halfway through because the back of our oven cooks faster than the front.  All done!
These were amazing!  I thought I liked roasted almonds but I absolutely ADORE fresh roasted almonds!  These tasted so good and so much better than the store-bought.  AH!  I'm very excited about them, obviously.

We had a delicious white pizza for dinner last night.  Wheat parmesan scone crust, olive oil/onion/garlic/herb sauce, broccoli, shrimp, and mozzarella.  Yum!
So, back to my favorite topic (which are currently cooking on the stove): oats!  You may be wondering (as I definitely did) what the difference is between steel-cut, old fashioned, quick, and instant oats.  The answers (source):

Steel-cut (sometimes called Irish Oats): The oat grain intact is called an oat groat.  Steel-cut oats are oat groats sliced by (you guessed it) steel blades.  Oat groats are very nutritious but take a long time to cook.  Steel-cut have all the same nutrition as the groat, but cook much faster.  They are often a little bit chewier and take longer to break down and digest.

Old Fashioned: Oat groats are steamed and then "rolled" into a flake (I'm not really sure how rolling them turns into flakes...).  Old-fashioned oats cook faster and have a more mushy or gelatinous texture.  These digest quicker than steel cut or oat groats, so they  might not tide you over quite as long.

Quick: These oats are steel-cut oats that are cut more, steamed, rolled, and made into smaller flakes.  They cook fast - under 3 minutes - but are digested faster since they are already thinner and smaller.  Compared to old-fashioned, quick oats are not quite as dense or chewy.

Instant: Instant oats are steel-cut oats that are cut very thin and steamed, then pre-cooked.  Instant oats are in the paper packages, often flavored.  They cook really fast (just add hot water).  In essence, they are similar to quick oats but cook faster.  And if they're packaged and flavored they're often full of sugar.

Hope that helps!  My pb/apple/cinnamon steel-cut oats:
Do you eat oats?  What kind is your favorite?  Do you like plain or do you add your own flavorings?

3 comments:

  1. I do enjoy a bowl of steel-cut oats. I haven't made one in a while; I find I get bored really easily eating the same thing all the time - like, I really have to force myself to eat leftovers. But all your your enthusiastic posts about oats and your various toppings have me thinking I should get out my tin of McCann's Irish Oatmeal and try it again. When I do make them, I like to add raisins, honey, and a little milk or cream. You know what would be awesome? If you could post a list of your fave topping combinations. That would be awesome. :)

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  2. love the new blog! :-) very cute. as for me, i too really like oatmeal--maybe not QUITE as much as you, but i do like them. I eat old-fashioned oats, cooked in half milk and half water, and I like best to add whole walnuts and cinnamon. :-)

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  3. I love oatmeal and have recently discovered baked oatmeal...love it! You can find a good recipe for it here--http://thewholekitchen.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/baked-oatmeal-with-tart-cherries/
    I use honey for at least half of the sugar, light olive oil for at least half of the butter, and raisins instead of dried cherries. Oh and a big handful of walnuts! Served warm in a bowl with a little drizzle of real maple syrup and dollop of milk...yum!

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