Oats–Farm Cooking Staple Lowers Cholesterol

Author: Meera, November 23, 2013

Steel-cut (Irish) and stone-ground (Scottish) oatmeal has a place on my pantry shelf alongside a container of quick oats. Steel cut means the groats (oat grains) get cut by a steel blade after they have been hulled. The groats of stone-ground oats are cut even smaller than the steel-cut and ground. See http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/types-of-oats


In rolled oats, the groats are further flattened into flakes. But whether you eat steel-cut oatmeal that takes up to a half hour or more to cook or rolled oats that cook in minutes, you can take comfort in the fact that you are doing something good for your body.


Studies have shown that oatmeal can lower cholesterol, and lower cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease. Steel-cut oats taste about the same as quick oats and nutritionally, the two two are also similar. See http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/CL00002e


Growing up n a farm, oatmeal made its way to our table on a regular basis. The women in our family also used oatmeal to create sweet treats–cookies and old fashioned deserts. Their crumbles, crisps, and betties incorporated oats in a pastry type topping laid over fruit and baked.


A crumble topping that adds oatmeal and nuts to the flour is known interchangeably as crumble or crisp. Betty is the name applied if the fruit used is an apple variety prepared with sugar, spices, and bread crumbs. The term dates to Colonial America. Sugar sweetens the crumble and butter makes it hang together in a pastry with a crumbly texture.


Here’s an example of how oatmeal might be used in a fruit crumble, crisp, or betty recipe. After sprinkling the topping onto the fruit, the dessert is baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes.


Ingredients for fruit filling:

6 cups cherries, apples, pears, mixed berries, or other fruit

1 cup sugar (or more, if the fruit is very tart)

1 teaspoon lemon juice (keeps the fruit from turning brown)

1 teaspoon cornstarch (use more if the fruit is very juicy and requires a thickening agent)

1 teaspoon spice such as nutmeg, ginger, or cinnamon, depending on the fruit used



Mix fruit and ingredients together and pour into a baking dish.



Ingredients for the crumble/crisp topping:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup oats (optional)

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon spice (like cinnamon or ginger, depending on the type of fruit used)

1/2 cup butter (8 Tablespoons)



Mix together the dry ingredients and cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the fruit and bake for 30-35 minutes.









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