January is National Oatmeal Month

OatmealFor many of us, cold cereal just won't cut it when it's bone-chillingly cold outside. Fortunately oatmeal is one of the easiest and most versatile breakfast options around. We often use the word oatmeal to refer to oats as well as the hot cereal dish, so it's worth looking at the differences in the terms a little more closely.

Both rolled and steel-cut oats are made from oat grains, which are de-husked by impact, then heated and cooled to stabilize the oat groats (the seed inside the husk). The process of heating produces a pleasantly nutty flavor. Oats may be eaten uncooked (as in muesli) or may be cooked to make porridge, which we commonly refer to as simply oatmeal. Here's a look at the differences in the type of oats and oat products available:

Rolled oatsAlso called old-fashioned oats or regular oats, rolled oats are oat groats that have been steamed and flattened with large rollers into flakes. They cook in about 5 minutes on the stovetop.
Quick-cooking rolled oatsThese oats are cut into pieces and rolled thinner than regular rolled oats. They take about 1 minute to cook on the stovetop.
Instant oatsTypically precooked and dried before they're rolled, these can be rehydrated by just adding boiling water. Sweetener and flavorings are often added to commercial brands.
Steel-cut oatsAlso called Irish oats, Scotch oats or pinhead oats, steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been cut into several pieces but not rolled. Steel-cut oats may be small and broken groats from the de-husking process. They may also be flattened to produce smaller rolled oats. They're chewier than rolled oats and take about 25 minutes to cook on the stovetop.
Oat branThe outer casing of the oat grain.
Oat flourGround (fine, medium or coarse) oat groats.

Note: Old-fashioned oats usually refers to regular rolled oats and not quick-cooking rolled oats, but old-fashioned oats and quick-cooking oats can be used successfully in most recipes, though the cooking time may be longer for regular oats.

Featured Recipes

Basic Oatmeal with Regular/Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
Basic Oatmeal with Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats
Basic Oatmeal with Steel-Cut Oats

ADD SOME CRUNCH:
• pecans
• walnuts
• almonds
• cashews
• coconut
• pumpkin seeds
• graham cracker crumbs
• flax seeds
• pumpkin seeds
• chia seeds
• pistachios

ADD SWEET TEXTURE:
• blueberries
• banana slices
• peaches
• strawberries
• raspberries
• pomegranate seeds
• fresh mango
• poached pears
ADD SOMETHING CHEWY AND SWEET:
• raisins
• dried cherries
• dried cranberries
• dried apricots
• dried dates
• dried dates
• dried figs
• dried goji berries

SWIRL IN ANOTHER LAYER OF FLAVOR:
• cinnamon
• nutmeg
• vanilla
• ancho chile powder
• orange zest
• crystallized or ground ginger
• salt
• dark cocoa powder
• instant espresso powder
STIR IN OR DOLLOP ON TOP TO ADD FLAVOR:
• maple syrup
• molasses
• honey
• brown sugar
• strawberry preserves
• applesauce
• lemon curd
• pumpkin butter
• apple butter
• pumpkin purée
• peanut butter
• butter
• Greek yogurt
• chocolate syrup or chocolate chips (or both!)
• shaved dark chocolate
• puréed baby foods – apricots, apples or pears

COOK WITH OR POUR ON TOP:
• almond milk
• soy milk
• coffee
• milk or half-and-half

Looking for something a little more unique? Here are some of the more interesting oatmeal add-ins to try:

  • Sweet and Smoky Oatmeal: brown sugar, cooked and chopped smoked bacon, cream and whiskey
  • Cottage Oatmeal: cottage cheese and fresh fruit
  • Spicy Asian Peanut Oatmeal: Sriracha, peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil
  • Korean Breakfast Oatmeal: gochujang sauce, over-easy egg, chile oil and soy sauce
  • Savory Bacon-Parmesan Oatmeal: cooked and chopped smoked bacon and grated Parmesan cheese

Signature Product Focus: Kowalski's Granola

Top it with milk, sprinkle it over yogurt for breakfast or dessert, or just eat it out of hand. 100% handmade, all natural and organic, Kowalski's Granola makes a great breakfast cereal or topping for yogurt, fruit or ice cream. Look for Vanilla Almond Crunch, Blueberry Vanilla, Chewy Cranberry, Nuts & Honey and Honey Cashew in the Grocery Department.

Kowalski's Signature Granola

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