Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Seeing as how we are "poor" now, haha, we have been eating oatmeal a lot at breakfast. It's cheaper than cold cereal, and without all those additives I feel better about serving it. So anyway, two things I've learned.

1. The difference between "regular" oats and "steel cut" oats. Here in America we have "old fashioned" and "quick" oats - these are both versions of rolled oats. Then there is also this mystery substance known as "steel cut oats." All the health nuts promote this version, but I never knew why. All the stores that sell SCO have them in cans, so you can't see them to tell there's any difference, and they cost about 6 times as much, so I never bought a can to check. Here is Huntsville, Arkansas, is a small store known as "the Pantry" that I've mentioned before. They sell bulk food, mostly in plastic bags. On the back shelf is an area dedicated to oats. Old fashioned and steel cut. They are the same price per pound, and you can tell at a glance they are not the same thing.
I bought some SCO and then looked it up online. It seems SCO are to OFO as raw sugar is to white. OFO are toasted, steamed, rolled, and cooked again. SCO are simply chopped up. So while both are officially "whole grain," SCO are much less processed. That's why the whole-food type people are so excited about them. The thing is, since they aren't pre-cooked, it takes longer to cook them at home, so I don't know if it really helps to have them less pre-processed when I have to process them. Anyone? Regardless, the cooked product is nuttier, with a more varied texture, than rolled oats. Some of us like rolled; some like cut.

2. What to do with leftover oatmeal. As we cook oats for 9 people at one time, sometimes there is a bit leftover. One day some people weren't feeling well and so ate less, leaving quite a bit in the pot. I didn't want to waste it, so I searched for leftover oatmeal. I found a recipe for cookies, and made them, but they weren't very good. The other thing I found has changed out lives. (Sounds nice and dramatic, doesn't it?)

Take leftover oatmeal and spread it on your face. Rub it in good, as you want the "juice" more than the flakes. Let it dry for about 10 minutes, and then go rinse it off. This is an awesome facial treatment that will leave your face softly glowing for a day or two. Cured Taryn's blackheads in one treatment. Makes me look pregnant. Cheap as dirt, quick and easy to do. I'm actually wondering if toddlers have such nice complexions because they get food all over their faces when eating. :-D It's a little slimy at first, but really worth it.


Ganeida said...

Yeah, Star does this ~ oatmeal & honey mix. Looks so out of this world & off the planet till she washes it off but it does help with her pimples. Oh, & it's real sticky! ☺

Wil said...

I've heard lots of women use that type of facial treatment (they just pay a LOT more for it at day spas...)

Regarding the processed/unprocessed oats. I'm sincerely convinced that a lot of this is hype from the "natural food" people to justify their higher prices. As you said, they've actually done *less* to it, so it should cost *less*. And you have to process it at home anyway...

(I'm clearly no expert; just trying to apply [un]common sense to the situation.)