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The term “raw” is loosely used in the oat world, so be sure to purchase them from a reputable resource. If this concerns you, I recommend that you contact the manufacturer and pin them down to a specific yes/no answer on the question of heat-processing.
There are so many things to consider when it comes to food choices. Is is raw? Is it organic? Is it gluten-free? The priority list will be different for each of you according to your own health issues/needs and personal convictions.
I am not here to debate which route is right or which is wrong, that is for you to decide. I am here on my own personal journey, constantly in research mode, learning what I can and making the best choices for myself. I hope that the information I give helps to wet your whistle and start you on your own path of research.
Raw Oat Resources: to name a few
Blue Mountain Organics has found a way to bring us truly raw rolled oats. They take raw whole oats that have been never been steamed or exposed to high temperatures, then the whole oat is passed through a slow-speed rolling mill, which they hand crank to ensure that they will not get heated. This keeps them delicious and full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
100% Organic Fresh rolled oats. These oats are cold-rolled in small batches using special equipment to retain nutrients and flavor. You can make great raw oat cookies, especially pleasing in colder weather and as a holiday treat. Very suitable to serve to cooked foodists. This is a gluten-free product, however, cross-contamination may occur during harvesting and transportation.
Whole oats have a hard outer hull that must be removed before it’s ready for human consumption. Removing this hard outer hull is not trivial, so if you want whole oats to eat, purchase them already hulled. The oat hulls are a source of the chemical solvent furfural. Hulled oats are known as ‘groats’.
Oat groats are the whole oat grain, with only the hard unpalatable outer hull removed, but with the kernel’s outer bran layer left in tact. They are long and thin with a smooth shiny surface and look like brown rice. They can be eaten at this stage, but are typically processed into one of the forms below. Oat sprouts – oat groats are very easy to sprout! Sprouting increases the nutritive value.
Rolled oats are made by steaming groats and flattening them with a roller. These come in two distinct varieties. The first variety is sometimes called old-fashioned, or jumbo. These are made by first steaming the whole groat for a few minutes, thus partially cooking it, then passing it between rollers to flatten it out. The second variety is sometimes called quick-cooking rolled oats. These are made by putting steel-cut oats through the same process.
Resource: Eat More Oats