- Rolled oats
Rolled oats are traditionally oat
groatsthat have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers. The oat, like the other cereals, has a hard, inedible outer huskthat must be removed before the grain can be eaten. After the outer husk (or chaff) has been removed from the still bran-covered oat grains, the remainder is called oat groats. Oat groats are a whole grainthat can be used as a breakfast cereal. Steel-cut oatsare oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces and retain bits of the bran layer. Since the bran layer, though nutritious, makes the grains tough to chew and contains an enzymethat can cause the oats to go rancid, raw oat groats are often further steam-treated to soften them for a quicker cooking time (modern "quick oats") and to denature the enzymes for a longer shelf life.
Rolled oats that are sold as
oatmealusually, but not always, have had the tough bran removed. They have often, but not always, been lightly baked or pressure-cooked or "processed" in some fashion. Thick-rolled oats are large whole flakes, and thin-rolled oats are smaller, fragmented flakes. Oat flakes that are simply rolled whole oats without further processing can be cooked and eaten as "old-fashioned" oatmeal, but more highly fragmented and processed rolled oats absorb water much more easily and therefore cook faster, so they are sometimes called "quick" or "instant" oatmeal. Oatmeal can be further processed into coarse powder, which, when cooked, becomes a thick broth. Finer oatmeal powder is often used as baby food. Rolled oats are also often the main ingredient in granolaand muesli.
Whole oats are an excellent source of
thiamine, iron, and dietary fiber. Fiber is helpful in reducing cholesterollevels in the bloodstream. Whole oats are also the only source of antioxidantcompounds known as avenanthramides; these are believed to have properties which help to protect the circulatory system from arteriosclerosis. Oat products also contain beta-glucan, which may help Type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar level, and might also help stimulate the immune system to fight off bacterial infections. [cite web|url=http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1465398|title=Steel-cut oats|publisher=Everything2.com]
Rolled oats are the primary form of bait for
biologists trapping terrestrial small mammals in temperate zones. They are used alone or in a mixture with peanut butterand soy sauce. A trail of dry rolled oats is set leading to the treadleof Sherman traps or moistened rolled oats is set on snap traps. In tropicalregions rolled corn is often used, but they are usually replaced by more aromatic local bait such as maniocor palm nuthusks.
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