Oat flakes are oats which have been specially treated so that they will cook quickly. This food is extremely versatile, and it can be found in a range of recipes and an assortment of places as a result. It can be a very healthy and useful addition to the human diet, thanks to its high nutritional value. Oat flakes can make the addition of fiber to the diet very easy, thanks to their quick cooking time.
Oats are the seeds of a grass, Avena sativa, which has been cultivated for thousands of years. They are extremely high in fiber, especially when eaten whole, and they contain a number of other useful vitamins and minerals. One of the traditional uses of oats is in oatmeal, a dish made by cooking oats with water, milk, or another liquid to soften them, and oats are also used in baking and mixed-grain cereals.
When oat flakes are made, whole oats are steamed to soften them and then they are rolled out to flatten them. The flattened oats are then flaked into small pieces of material which will cook very quickly while retaining the nutritional value of whole oats. One of the big disadvantages to whole oats is that they can take a long time to cook; flakes cut down on the cooking time, turning the healthy oat into a convenience food.
Some people like to use oat flakes as a breakfast cereal, heating them and mixing them with an assortment of ingredients. They can also be added to baked goods like scones, muffins, cookies, and bread, creating additional texture and adding to the nutritional value of these foods. Some people also mix them in with granola, muesli, and other cold breakfast cereal mixes. Oat flakes can also be added to pancakes. Technically, oat flakes can be eaten straight out of the box, although they may not be very exciting in this form.