Top Pick Of The Week

January 20, 2009

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Steel Cut Oatmeal

Steel cut oatmeal is crunchy, flavorful and good for you. Photo by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Steel cut oats enhanced with egg whites and ground flax seed.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The egg whites add protein to the oatmeal, and ground flax seed adds omega 3s, fiber and more nutritional benefits. The oatmeal can be used in all recipes that require oatmeal—from cookies to meatloaf—and can be ground into powder for health drinks, too.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Oatmeal is healthy, delicious comfort food...and Earth Born Plus is better for you!

Earth Born Steel Cut Oats Plus: Healthy Food Tastes Great!

(Next Week: Chocolate Cake)

CAPSULE REPORT: Some people love their morning bowl of oatmeal, while others would rather be digging into bacon and eggs or a jumbo croissant. We like those foods as much as the next person, but don’t need an R.D., M.D. or M.O.M. to tell us why a bowl of oatmeal a day keeps the doctor away. And we’re not the only ones: Just as we were going to press with this review, we received notice from Jamba Juice that they are now serving steel cut oatmeal nationwide. If that makes steel cut oats hot, trust us, our Top Pick Of The Week is even hotter.

If you don’t like oatmeal because it’s mushy and bland, steel cut oats have texture, crunch and more oaty flavor. If you don’t cook steel cut oats more often because they take too long, these cook up in just 20 minutes. And if you eat oatmeal for the whole grain benefits, here you’ve hit the trifecta: Earthborn Products’ Steel Cut Oats Plus With Egg Whites & Flax Seed. There’s more protein from the egg whites, a wealth of benefits from the flax seeds (which also contribute a delightful nutty flavor) and all of the benefits of the whole grain oatmeal itself—benefits which are vastly diminished in those instant oatmeal packets. Earth Born’s plain-looking, great-tasting enhanced oats make such a good case that they may make fans out of those who haven’t had a spoonful of oatmeal since they were first seduced by a fulsome Cinnabon.

Take the first step on the pathway to a healthier breakfast by reading the full review below.
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


Breakfast Beyond Oatmeal

Beyond Breakfast Beyond Oatmeal Easy Breakfast & Brunch
Beyond Oatmeal - 101 Breakfast Recipes, by Carlene Duda. Don’t want cereal? This book is full of French toast, waffles, muffins, sweet breads and sticky buns. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Big Book of Breakfast: Serious Comfort Food for Any Time of the Day, by Maryana Vollstedtant. More than 280 recipes from corned beef hash to frittatas and stratas. Click here for more information or to purchase. Easy Breakfast & Brunch: Simple Recipes for Morning Treats, by Susannah Blake. Simple yet creative ideas to make the morning meal more than the same old, same old. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Earth Born Steel Cut Oats Plus: Healthy Food Tastes Great!


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Introduction To Basic Types Of Oatmeal

Before you can dig in to Earth Born Steel Cut Oats, a bit of an oatmeal primer is in order. The oat husks you see in the photo at right contain the grains, which are removed at harvest and toasted, creating the whole oat kernels known as groats. These toasted oats retain much of the nutritional value of the raw grain.

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats (shown in the photo at right) are what most Americans think of as oatmeal; Quaker Oats’ Old Fashioned Oats have been breakfast fare for generations. Groats are flattened under giant rollers (hence the name, rolled oats). The quick-cooking Instant Oats are rolled much thinner, then precooked and dehydrated so they can be mixed in a cup or bowl with hot water. Quick Oats are thicker and thus chewier than instant oats, but not as thick as regular rolled oats. They cook in one minute.

The thinner that oats are rolled, the more surface area they have, the quicker they cook. The more oats are processed, the more of the nutritional value is lost. And, alas, texture and flavor is lost as well, creating a blander, mushier product.

Steel-Cut Oats


Rolled Oats

The most familiar form of oats are rolled oats, where the groats are rolled flat. Photo by Kelly Cline | IST.

Steel cut oats, also called cut oats, Irish or Scottish oats, and coarse-cut oats, are groats that have been cut into very small pieces, not rolled into flakes. Cooking time is considerably longer than for rolled oats—30 minutes—but the cooked oatmeal has a nice texture to it—it’s more al dente than rolled oats. The luxurious texture and longer cooking time imparts more flavor as well. Oatmeal imported from Ireland and Scotland tends to be steel-cut oats.

Continue To Page 2: Health Benefits Of Oatmeal

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