What Is Difference Between Rolled Oats, Steel Cut Oats & Quick Oats?

Monsoon Harvest Team
21 Jul , 2022

Rolled Oats Vs Steel Cut Oats Vs Instant Oats

All oats forms (whether rolled oats, instant oats or steel cut oats) come from oat kernels. When the oat hulls (outer shells) are removed, they become oat groats. They all undergo processing to make it fit for easy human consumption. The main difference between the different oats types are not what oats are made of but the variations in processing. 

What Are Rolled Oats?

Rolled Oats are also known as the old fashioned oats. These are preferred for granola bars, cookies and muffins because they absorb more water and are softer than steel cut oats. Also, rolled oats can be cooked faster- typically in five to ten minutes. These go through a steaming or flattening process which makes them look like flat, oval coins. They can also be soaked and eaten a few hours later without cooking in the form of overnight oats. Rolled oats work very well in cookies, cakes and baked goods.

Rolled Oats Benefits

Rolled Oats has countless health benefits to human body that includes- reducing the level of blood sugars, alleviates the problem of constipation, helps in the body weight management, promotes growth of the good bacteria, reducing the risk of cancer.

What Are Steel Cut Oats?

Steel-cut oats are also called Irish oatmeal, these are the closest in nature to the oats groats and are chopped 2 to 3 times with a steel blade. Steel-cut oats have chewy texture and nutty flavor compared to rolled and instant oats, which are milder and have softer texture. Steel cut are least processed of all the three types. They are coarser compared to rolled oats or quick cook oats and therefore take the longest time to cook (about 20 minutes or more).

What Are Quick Oats?

The rolled oats that are flattened even more and partially pre-cooked by steaming are called quick oats. Because of this, they take even less time to cook than rolled oats and can be prepared within a few minutes. Once cooked, quick cooking oats tend to be mushier, creamier in texture and softer than rolled oats. 

Quick cooking oats can also be referred to as instant oats. However, in both cases, we are referring to oats that can be the most easily made or cooked. And by this we do not mean the instant oats or instant oatmeals available in the market pre-mixed with sugar, flavorings and milk powder. 

In most recipes, rolled oats and instant oats can be used interchangeably. In case a recipe calls for oat flour, in our experience for best results, you can opt for rolled oats and just grind this into a smooth flour with a home blender. 

Found this article insightful? Visit the Monsoon Harvest Blogs to read more engaging blog posts related to health and nutrition foods. You can also visit Monsoon Harvest to buy gluten free oats online.

FAQs About Rolled Oats Vs Quick Oats

Q1. Are rolled oats gluten free?
Ans: Yes, naturally oats are gluten free. However if processed in a facility with gluten near the oats, they could contain gluten.

Q2. What's the difference between oats and oatmeal?
Ans: Oats is the whole grain. Oatmeal is what is also referred to as porridge or cooked oats.

Q3. What is the difference between oats & rolled oats?
Ans: All oats are derivatives of oat groats. Rolled oats is one such processed form of oat groats.

Q4. Do you need to cook rolled oats?
Ans: Yes, if you intend to eat it. If you intend to bake with it the rolled oats need not be cooked. It can be used for baking or ground into oat flour.

Q5. Is quick oats the same as instant oats?
Ans: Yes, quick oats is basically the same as instant oats and refers to oats that can be prepared in under 5 minutes.

Q6. Are quick oats still healthy?
Ans: Yes, quick oats are healthy. However, like any food item, anything processed a little less is always better. So if you have the time we recommend opting for rolled oats. However if you want a creamier, mushier porridge, quick cook oats work very well.

Q7. Is instant oats good for weight loss?
Ans: Yes, all forms of oats can help with healthy lifestyle and weight loss. This is because they are whole grains which are complex carbohydrates. Even a little bit of oats keeps you full for longer, is fiber rich and regulates blood sugar levels preventing big spikes and falls.

Q8. Are instant oats healthy?
Ans: Yes, quick oats or instant oats  are healthy. However, like any food item, anything processed a little less is always better. So if you have the time we recommend opting for rolled oats. However if you want a creamier, mushier porridge, quick cook oats work very well. Please note that some of the instant oatmeals in the market may have added sugars, pre mixed flavours and milk powders and these are not as healthy as making your own oatmeals at home.

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