Oats, debaffled!

Quick oats, packet oats, steel cut oats, rolled oats… what do they all mean?

When you remove all the hidden info squirreled away behind the fancy packaging, essentially these names are telling you how heavily processed your oats have been. True story.

Steel Cut Oats: Oats in their most unprocessed form are called Steel Cut Oats. They’re the inner portion of the oat kernel (groat) and are absolutely wonderful for you. I highly recommend incorporating them into your diet.

The downside: You can’t eat them uncooked as they’re as hard as rocks and take a while to prepare. So, they’re PERFECT for porridge, but not for muesli.

Rolled Oats: Rolled oats are, typically, steamed and rolled making them a great option for breakfast muesli that isn’t rammed with sugar or cooked at extremely high temperatures. That said, however, you can also get 100% Raw Organic Rolled Oats that are even better if you’re looking for more ways to incorporate raw food into your diet.

Quick Oats: Next down the processing chain are Quick Oats. These guys have been rolled into smaller (less nutrient rich) morsels for added convenience, but in my opinion, I’d stick to the regular or raw rolled oats rather than opting for the quick fix.

Packet Porridge: Those deceiving little flavoured packets of porridge sitting in the cereal aisle are filled with sugar and so heavily processed that you’re not actually getting any of the goodness of the oat whatsoever. My advice? Leave them where they belong… on the shelf.

More fun things about oats…

1. They are a superfood! And hey, I’m a sucker for a buzzword.
2. Studies have shown oats have magical powers, especially when reducing the rate of cholesterol. Aha. They act as a broom in your arteries and sweep out the cholesterol, leaving your heart, and your belly, very very happy.
3. They’re an immunity booster.
4. They’re packed with antioxidants that promote excellent cardiovascular health.
5. They miraculously stabalise blood sugar levels, making them a great breakfast choice for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
6. They’ve been listed as one of the Top 300 Foods To Buy Organic as they’re known to be sprayed with a number of pesticides. Worth spending the extra cash on if you can.

Who ever knew one little grain could be so damn good.

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx



  1. memybestandi · November 30, 2011

    I am such an oat addict. I can’t start my day without them- even Sundays. be it homemade bircher or porridge with blueberries.

    We recently swapped from Woolies own brand rolled oats to Macro organic – there is a $3 something difference in price BUT I was amazed that the texture is totally different after cooking. Makes me wonder what they do to the cheap ones?? I thought rolled was rolled, whats the difference!

    One thing you didn’t mention is unstabilised oats- now what the heck are they? My new Macro ones are just that but I dont know what Im paying my extra $3 for!!

    • Julia · January 5, 2012

      It’s a good thing to “stabilise” your oats by soaking them overnight. It will rid them of phytates and enzyme inhibitors and make oats more digestible and easier for the system.
      All grain should be treated this way. Legumes as well.

  2. Kylie · November 30, 2011

    thank you! I was a bit confused about all the different oat varieties, and this has totes cleared it all up for me!
    kylie x

  3. Ingrid · November 30, 2011

    I love oats, they are such a great source of nutrients. Organic oats taste so good, I like them in bread, porridge & youghurt. Nothing tastes better than a banana smoothie with oats, youghurt, a dash of honey and lots of cinnamon. Yum!

  4. Yaz Turker · November 30, 2011

    Oh, good one! Unstabalised oats mean they haven’t been subjected to steam – so they’re totally raw. That’s a definite plus. Yxx

  5. www.thesahaspace.com · December 5, 2011

    Nice post Yas… really good to read in one hit all about oats. I would also say that even raw oats need to be properly prepared. Soaked the night before to activate, otherwise we struggle to get the goodness that these little beauties possess.


  6. Lizzy · December 7, 2011

    This is so useful! It’s so hard to know the difference between oats. This winter I actually soaked my steel cut oats the night before and made porridge with them for breakfast. It really helped with digestion! Love your blog so much Yaz, keep the posts coming!

  7. Robyn Liddicoat · December 3, 2012

    No instructions on packet ie one cup of oats how much water or oats ???

  8. Anonymous · March 22, 2014

    We love rolled oats and I usually buy the Lowan brand. This time I bought Woolies Macro organic unstabilised rolled oats with terrible results. We found them nasty and inedible and actually made us feel sick. Perhaps if I had soaked them overnight it would have improved them. I noticed when cooking them in a saucepan that they smelled strange more like quinoa, (I actually like quinoa) but thought they would be ok. Not so, maybe just a bad batch. I will be returning them and buying Lowan oats again. I wont let this experience put me off rolled oats though, just the Macro ones LOL. I certainly didn’t come here to be negative about oats but am curious if anyone else has had an issue with this particular brand oats. Cheers

    • Anonymous · July 21, 2015

      Yes. Dreadful. Smells of bleach when cooking.

  9. Leoni · March 22, 2014

    Oh sorry I didn’t mean to leave my comment as anonymous.

  10. D · May 11, 2016

    Definitely not a fan of the Macro unstabilised variety (I got them by mistake…2 packets…!) – a very floury taste which even rinsing, soaking then rinsing again before cooking didn’t seem to improve. I will be sticking to the wholegrain rolled oats – also in Macro / or through Honest to Goodness bulk. Steel cut oats are great – I have done in the slow cooker with apple and cinnamon – a lovely smell to awake to on a freezing cold morning when the fire has gone out!

  11. Anonymous · August 24, 2016

    Ditto re Woolies Macro organic unstabilised rolled oats. Pleased to read it wasn’t just me. I also found them nasty and inedible and actually made me feel sick too. I was just going to soak and feed them to chooks (poor chookies). Thanks for the prompt. ..I’ll return them too. xxxg

  12. Anonymous · September 16, 2017

    Unstabilised oats go off. Store in a cool dark place, like an old fashioned larder. There should be a max of 3 months from mill to mouth, even if properly handled. I simply don’t believe many places handle unstabilised oats properly.

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