Healthy eating adherents have introduced a number of new products to the market. Among them are exotic superfoods, unpopular vegetables and various types of healthy flour. Oat flour is especially popular: its properties are as close as possible to wheat flour, and its delicate and balanced taste does not shift the accents of familiar dishes.
Is oatmeal as beneficial as nutritionists say? who is prohibited from using the ingredient; and which is better - make oatmeal powder at home or buy at your nearest supermarket?
It is a genus of annual herbaceous plants that belong to the cereal family. Sowing oats are especially distinguished from the whole genus. It is this crop that is cultivated on an industrial scale and used as a fodder / food plant.
There are 22 varieties of oats in total. They grow in the temperate countries of the Old World. All members of the genus, except for Avena sativa or seed oats, are considered bad weeds that poison the soil and interfere with the normal development of other flora.
- What you need to know about oats
- Useful properties of cereals
- Potential harm to oats
- The chemical composition of oat flour
- How to make oat flour
- Features of the gastronomic use of flour
- How to choose oats for oatmeal
The folded leaves of the plant hang from long, chiseled stems, on which inflorescences form. The inflorescence is a miniature panicle, which consists of large, barely hanging spikelets.
2-3 flowers develop on these spikelets. They are compressed at the sides by vegetative protective scales. An ovary is formed at the apex, from which feathery stigmas extend.
The fruit of the plant is a caryopsis. It is tightly wrapped in leathery floral scales and has a longitudinal groove.
It is the caryopses that are used for industrial food purposes, processed and eaten.
Oats are classified as ancient cereals. This list also includes amaranth, quinoa and teff. How are ancient cereals different from modern ones? First of all, by the features of the structure. Ancient cultures have not undergone hybridization or genetic modification. They have come down to us almost in their original form and are no different from the same oats and amaranth that grew a thousand years ago.
Another advantage is their nutritional composition. 100 grams of whole oats contains 17 grams of protein and 11 grams of dietary fiber (for comparison, modern rice contains 3 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of dietary fiber). Oats consume more energy for assimilation, provides the body with long-term saturation and enriches with a much larger amount of beneficial vitamins / nutrients 
Oats are the best option for a nutritious breakfast
Nutritionists assure us that breakfast sets the tone for the whole day. If your morning meal is not right, it will be difficult to harmonize your metabolism throughout the day. For those who prefer carbohydrate breakfasts, it is best to pay attention to whole oats  
The protein contained in grains helps the body start the regeneration process, carbohydrates synthesize energy potential, and fat supports the vital activity of the body's cells  
Oats contain soluble fiber, the coarse part of the plant that acts as a prebiotic. The body cannot fully assimilate and process fiber. Once ingested, the substance takes on the texture of a liquid gel and is evenly distributed throughout the body. Do you really think that's good? Yes. Fiber stabilizes the intestinal microflora and suppresses inflammatory infectious processes. It creates additional protection for tissues and mucous membranes, which improves their work and minimizes the risk of infection.
Nutritionists have proven that fiber contributes to harmonious weight loss. A daily intake of 14 grams of the substance helps to pacify appetite and reduce calorie intake by 10%.
What else is fiber useful for:
- controls blood glucose levels;
- acts as a prophylactic agent for breast and bowel cancer;
- minimizes acne and heals post-acne by harmonizing the internal microflora;
- maintains long-term satiety, which prevents the body from "breaking off" on unhealthy snacks;
- regulates bowel function and saves from problems with irregular bowel movements;
- reduces the level of so-called "bad" cholesterol in the blood.
Low glycemic index
The glycemic index is the body's response to the intake of pure glucose (sugar). The higher the GI, the faster and more intense the jumps in sugar, which has an adverse effect on the body.
The GI of oats is sufficient to provide the body with an impressive energy potential and prevent sudden surges in blood glucose.
Only unrefined oat grains have a low glycemic index. Conversely, instant oatmeal or processed cereal has a high GI and minimal health benefits.
The ancient whole grain cereal has its drawbacks. They are insignificant and inferior to the benefits, but each consumer should be aware of the possible risks.
An abundance of starch
Almost all whole grains contain a high concentration of starch 
Why adjust starch concentration? Its abundance increases the release of insulin, which is fraught with a sharp increase in body fat and the development of inflammatory processes.
High calorie content
The calorie intake of ancient cereals is much higher than that of modern  corn or wheat.
Oats were originally gluten free. The causative agent of inflammatory processes appeared in it gradually during the development and cultivation of the culture. How did the infection happen? Lots of oats could be planted near fields of wheat, which contains gluten. In the course of the joint development of plants, cross-contamination took place. Moreover, gluten can be stored in the soil and transferred to subsequent crops. Co-industrial processing at the same facilities also contributes to gluten contamination.
Gluten should be avoided in patients with celiac disease and an acquired / congenital allergy to the substance. The manufacturer is obliged to notify about the presence of gluten on the packaging. To fully verify the absence / presence of the substance, check the composition on the pack.
|Calorie content||324 kcal|
|Alimentary fiber||8 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.9|
|Folic acid (B9)||0.029|
|Nicotinic acid (PP)||4.3|
|Macronutrients (in grams per 100 grams)|
|Microelements (in milligrams per 100 grams)|
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The only drawback of even the highest quality industrial oat flour is bitterness. She appears spontaneously and smears the overall picture of the dish with a completely unnecessary accent. To get rid of the bitterness, you can make your own flour. You only need 2 things to do this: a food processor (or blender) and whole grain oats.
Calculate the amount of cereal using a simple formula: after processing, you will receive only ¾ of the original volume of oats. Pour the required amount of cereal into a food processor / blender bowl and grind the contents to the required structure. The color of the resulting oat flour will resemble whole wheat flour.
What if there is no blender or food processor? You can scroll the oats through a conventional meat grinder. The main thing is to install a sharp knife, then swing the handle back and forth until the desired result is obtained. The disadvantage of this method is the size of the fractions. Oatmeal will have little resemblance to flour, so it may be difficult to prepare it further.
You can also make oatmeal by hand using a mortar and pestle, but this will take a tremendous amount of time. Another option is to grind the cereal yourself. Pour the beans into a bag, release the air from it, close it tightly and place on a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the contents of the bag until the grain collapses.
Stir the finished product thoroughly and place in a tightly closed container. Homemade oat flour can be stored for several months, avoiding contact with liquids and ultraviolet radiation.
Oatmeal contains an order of magnitude less gluten (compared to white wheat), so you need to try to "grab" it. To improve the texture of the dish, you can add more liquids or thickeners like banana or egg. Combining several types of flour , corn, whole wheat, barley and rice flour will also help. The proportions can be varied according to the circumstances, but it is best to add equal amounts of all types of flour.
The quality of the selected oats depends not only on the taste of the dishes, but also on your health. Avoid pre-made dry granola, muesli, and instant oatmeal. Such oats have undergone prolonged heat treatment, their shell is destroyed, which contains the lion's dose of the useful composition 
To find quality oats, read the ingredients. The only line that is allowed in the composition is whole grains. If stabilizers, flavors, additional sugars and preservatives are listed next to oats, the healthier option should be selected.
You also need to pay attention to the packaging. Cereal or flour should be stored in an airtight container to prevent fat from going rancid. Choose organic foods and stay healthy!