oat flakes they are a true source of nutrients, but also a versatile and tasty food. Ideal for breakfast in the morning, simply dipped in fresh milk, these flakes are perfect for making energy bowls with yogurt, fresh and dried fruit, and oilseeds.
Delicious as a staple in muesli and granola, they’re the perfect base for porridge, one of the best-known Anglo-Saxon dishes made with oats, but they’re also delicious in an unusually savory way, with fresh and cooked vegetables.
Its neutral flavor pairs well with sweet and savory seasonings. Here, then, are all the secrets to discovering -and loving- oat flakes.
How to prepare oat flakes
Oat flakes come from the seeds of avena sativa or common oats. One of the most important foods in Anglo-Saxon cuisinerolled oats are gaining success and recognition due to their ductility and excellent nutritional qualities. But how are they obtained and how are they prepared?
In order to become the little breakfast flakes we know, the seeds of the plant must be processed in a specific way.
First of all, you have to remove the outer part, the so-called shell, which is practically impossible to digest. And once the shell is removed, the seeds are cleaned and processed according to the type of flake desired.
There are usually three qualities of flakes: rolled oats, steel cut oats, and quick oats.
Rolled oats, which are classic oat flakes, are obtained when the seed is crushed, steamed, dried and finally reduced to microfoils using special rollers. Flakes of this type can be large, if the grain is left whole (good for bars, muesli and porridge).
Or small, if the flakes crumble slightly after preparation (perfect for making cookies). Finally, we can have whole flakes, that is, prepared from a seed in which the bran is still present, or refined.
If they are ground, excellent emergency oats can be obtained (the real one is obtained by grinding the raw seed).
steel cut oats
But there is also steel-cut oats, the so-called steel-cut oats. In this form, the oat seed is cut into very microscopic pieces by sharp blades. Flakes of this type have a much coarser texture and are slightly chewier.
In Anglo-Saxon cuisine, it is precisely the flakes that are used to prepare the traditional porridge, since they have a longer cooking time, about 15-30 minutes.
This time is reduced by half if the oats are left to soak for a few hours.
Flakes processed only with steam and then rolled out very finely are called quick oats, or instant flakes. Its main characteristic is that, at the end of the process, they are almost shredded.
This considerably reduces the cooking time. They taste the same as classic flakes, but the consistency of flakes made with instant oats is much creamier.
Calories and nutritional values of oat flakes
Nutritious and low on the glycemic index, rolled oats have all the characteristics of oats, with some loss of nutrients due to cooking.
So there is still a good variety of minerals and vitamins, with a relatively low caloric impact for a cereal, about 367 calories per 100 grams (a serving is 30 grams). The protein quota is respectable, as is the fiber. In 100 grams of flakes we have:
- Water (g) 10.3
- Energy (kcal) 367
- Proteins (g) 8.0
- Lipids (g) 7.5
- Cholesterol (mg) 0
- Available carbohydrates (g) 66.8
- Starch (g) 60.2
- Soluble sugars (g) 0.6
- Total fiber (g) 8.3
- Soluble fiber (g) 3.30
- Insoluble fiber (g) 4.99
Among the components, phosphorus stands out, which is around 365 mg per 100 grams of product, and calcium, about 54 mg per 100 grams of oat flakes.
Neither vitamin A nor vitamin C appear, while in terms of group B vitamins, we have 0.55 milligrams for thiamine (B1) and 0.14 milligrams per 100 grams for riboflavin (B2).
Properties of oat flakes
Oat flakes are suitable for breakfast because they are capable of providing our body with all the nutrients it needs, releasing blood sugar very slowly thanks to beta-glucan.
In this way, we perceive a greater feeling of satiety and we are not subjected to glycemic spikes. This feature is appreciated by all people suffering from diabetes.
Also, the presence of antioxidants makes oats useful for protecting blood vessels and the cardiovascular system in general.
Regularly consuming a serving of flakes of this type keeps our arteries clean of bad cholesterol and helps us maintain intestinal regularity (especially if it is whole oat flakes).
Recipes with oat flakes
Oat flakes are a real wild card in the kitchen. The most immediate use is in the classic porridge, a kind of creamy oatmeal in which the flakes are cooked with water and milk (or just water), to enrich them with fresh fruit and spices. It is not a food that everyone likes, but it has important nutritional and satiating qualities. Discover here our recipe for delicious oatmeal porridge.
Porridge also has a “fresh” version. Called overnight oatmeal, it is especially popular in the United States, and it is a kind of “pudding” that is prepared by letting the flakes rest in milk overnight. It is completed in the morning with yogurt, chia seeds and fresh fruit.
You can use oats to prepare tasty energy bars, like the ones we present in this article.
And also use the flakes for salty porridge. Cook them in water following the instructions on the package and season them to your liking, with fresh and cooked vegetables or simply with tomato and basil. The taste will be amazing.
Benefits of oat flakes for the beauty of the face and hair
The great qualities of oat flakes also give excellent results in cosmetics, especially in the natural care of dry and sensitive skin or to treat unruly hair.
Instant relief face mask
- Blend three tablespoons of flakes and reduce them to a fine powder.
- Mix them with white yogurt (approximately a 125-gram boat).
- Form a kind of cream that is applied to the clean face and neck.
- Leave to act for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
If necessary, you can also add a teaspoon of honey.
Mask for dry and dull hair
Modulate the doses depending on the length of your hair. If it’s short or medium length, you’ll need two tablespoons of flakes and a cup of warm water.
- Mix them until you get a paste.
- Use the resulting paste to massage freshly shampooed hair.
- Leave to act for 30 minutes and rinse alternating with lukewarm and cold water.
How to eat oat flakes
We have already explained that each type of oat flakes must be harmonized with the chosen use. The classic large flakes are good for a quick porridge and can be chopped into oatmeal.
The small cut ones are perfect to eat directly in the yogurt or in cookies. Go for thicker ones if you want to experiment with a rustic-textured classic English porridge.
Commercial flakes must be stored in airtight containers to maintain their fragrance.
They are not difficult to prepare, so it is comfortable to enjoy them. They can be eaten raw, after a brief soak, or overnight in the case of rolled oats.
Or cooked in water and milk. Even in the latter case, it is advisable to leave them soaking overnight so that they yield more.
They will cook faster, leaving creamy and tasty.
Contraindications of oat flakes
No side effects or contraindications have been described for oats and their flaked form. However, although it does not contain gluten by nature, some celiacs or people with gluten intolerance may have difficulty digesting it.
This is probably due to cultivation in fields also used for gluten-containing cereals. To remedy this problem, make sure that the flakes purchased have been prepared in a protected and contamination-free environment. Find out more about oats and gluten here.