Quick oats, also known as instant or quick-cooking oats, are processed oat grains designed to reduce cooking time and provide a convenient meal option for busy lifestyles. Created by rolling and steaming whole oat groats, quick oats offer the same nutritional benefits as traditional oats, delivering a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Their flaky texture allows them to cook faster and absorb water or milk easily, making them ideal for a quick breakfast or snack.
Perfect for home cooks and busy consumers, quick oats can be used in various recipes, from traditional oatmeal and smoothies to granola bars and cookies. Their versatility extends beyond breakfast, as they can also be utilized as a binder in meatloaf or meatball recipes. The ease of use and multitude of applications make quick oats a staple in many household pantries.
Cooking with quick oats is efficient and versatile, however, people often mistake its utilitarian nature for lack of sophistication. One common mistake is not toasting the oats before use - a quick dry toast in a hot pan provides an enhanced, nutty flavor. Another usual error is under-seasoning. Remember, oats are effectively a grain, so like rice or pasta, they require seasoning. Salt is essential even in sweet dishes, as it will accentuate the natural sweetness in the oats.
To get the most out of quick oats, think creatively about your flavors. They are a mild base that can pair well with almost anything. Try savory options like cheese and herbs for a risotto-like dish or sweet choices like maple, almond, and chia seeds for a nutritious breakfast.
A little-known tip when working with quick oats is to use them as a stand-in for breadcrumbs. You can pulse them in a blender to bring them to a crumb-like consistency. They work perfectly as the coating for fried or baked goods, as a filler for meatballs or in a veggie burgers.
Can I use quick oats in place of old fashioned oats?
Can I use quick oats in baking?
Can you make oatmeal with quick oats?
Is there a difference in nutrition between quick oats and old fashioned oats?
Can I use quick oats in my smoothie?
I don't have quick oats. Can I make them out of old fashioned oats?
Can quick oats be eaten uncooked?
What can I enhance my oatmeal made with quick oats?
Can I use quick oats to thicken soups or sauces?
Can you make granola with quick oats?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does quick oats expire?
Quick oats, whether unopened or opened, typically have a best before date printed on their packaging. This generally ranges from 1 to 2 years from the manufacturing date. However, they can often still be safe to consume past this date if they have been properly stored. This is a best-before, not a use-by date, so there is some wiggle room. They still may have diminished in quality or flavor though. If you've transferred the oats to another container and forgotten the original date, a reasonable rule of thumb would be to keep them around for up to 6 months. If you’ve stored quick oats in the freezer, they can last for about 2 years, but again, the quality and nutritional value can decrease over time.
How do you tell if quick oats is bad?
To tell if your quick oats went bad there typically are a few signs. First, is an off smell. Good oats should have a mild, somewhat nutty smell. If they smell rancid or musty, you should throw them away. Secondly, if you see any signs of insects or pest contamination like webbing or holes in the oats, you should discard them. Lastly, if there is any discoloration or mold, that is a clear sign they should not be consumed.
Tips for storing quick oats to extend shelf life
• Always store quick oats in a cool, dark, and dry place to prevent them from absorbing moisture and odours. The back of a cupboard can be a good spot.
• For long-term storage, consider freezing your oats. Be sure they're in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
• Regardless of where you store them, always keep your oats in a well-sealed container that's airtight to avoid pests and keep the oats fresh.
• If you have opened your quick oats, make sure to reseal the package after each use or transfer the contents to an airtight container.