Gluten free versus normal oats
All pure oats are gluten free ie they can be tested with the ELISA test to be tested to be <20ppm. However, in reality, oats are usually grown after a previous crop of wheat or barley as these are more profitable to the average UK cereal farmer. Unfortunately the previous crop wheat or barley grows through into the oats and the farmer harvests the crop as one. Furthermore, the combine harvester, grain trailer and store would be contaminated from harvesting a previous glutinous crop in another field. Porridge made from normal oats can make a coeliac seriously ill.
Husked oats are as oats are grown in the field. They have an outer protective jacket. These are used for human consumption.
Naked oats have been bred with no outer husk. They are higher in oil and are favoured by poultry.
Dehulled or de-husked oats have had their outer husk removed to be used for human consumption. Also known as an oat groat.
All dehulled oats need to be heated/steamed to be used for human consumption. These are also known as stabilised oat groats. If not stabilised, oats will develop a rancid taste. If this happens the oats can only fit for animal feed.
The whole stabilised oat groat is rolled into a flake which makes a thick porridge.
Steel cut/pinhead oats
These are when the oat groats are cut into 2-3 pieces. Some people say they produce a thicker textured porridge.
The steel cut/pinhead oats have been rolled and produce small flakes. They cook quicker and produce a finer, smoother porridge, popular with children.
The stabilised groats are milled, using a grinder, into a wholemeal oat flour. This makes a thicker porridge texture.
Making porridge for one person
On a warm hob, in a saucepan, add a half a cup of oats and one cup of water or milk. Stir continuously until the oats gently boils and thickens.
Jazz up your porridge by adding fresh fruit eg sliced bananas, tinned satsumas, fresh blueberries or oat granola.