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July 30, 2016

Erick’s Rolled Oats

by Anne Paddock

Oats may seem like a simple food and they are but there are a few things the consumer should know about organic and conventional oats. Grown primarily on large farms in the midwest and midwestern Canada, oats are either steel-cut (where the groats have been cut into 2-3 pieces), rolled, or instant with the difference being how much the groat is processed.

Most groats are roasted at a low temperature which gives steel-cut oats a toasty flavor but also deactivates the enzyme that causes the oats to go rancid, making them more shelf stable but without a creamy texture. That’s why most commercially processed (organic and non-organic) steel cut oats have a long shelf life (just look at that “use by” date on that canister of steel-cut oats).

Almost all (organic and non-organic) rolled oats have been steamed to inactivate the enzyme (and extend the shelf life) and then dried, which typically allows a shorter cooking time but can rob them of the natural fresh flavor of raw rolled oats. Instant oats are processed even more requiring virtually no cooking time but leaving little flavor or texture for that first meal of the day.

The focus of this post is on oats that are rolled but that have not been steamed. There are a few small and medium-sized organic farmers that are not steaming the oats before they are rolled because they want to provide consumers with a more natural and better tasting oat, and the ultimate oatmeal experience. These oats have a shorter shelf life (6-12 months), require more cooking time (about 40 minutes) but the trade-off is in the flavor and texture: super creamy, rich, thick nutty oatmeal.Erick's_Oatmeal

One of those organic farmers is Cayuga Pure Organics based out of Brooktondale, New York – a small town about 5 miles south of Ithaca.

Erick's_Rolled_OatsCayuga Pure Organics grows organic, non-GMO oats and collaborates with other local organic farmers to bring you Erick’s Rolled Oats which are stored, cleaned, rolled, and packaged on Cayuga’s farm in upstate New York.  So, if you want pure, organic oats grown by farmers who care about what they grow, eat, and the environment (no steaming saves tons of CO2 emissions over time), then Erick’s Rolled Oats should be your choice.

Below are certified organic oats waiting to be rolled at Cayuga Pure Organics:Cayuga_Pure_Organics_Oats

The oats are then rolled and moved through a cleaner:Erick"s_Rolled_Oats

Fragrant, fresh, and full of that whole grain nutty oat flavor that we oaties – people with a strong devotion to oatmeal – are always searching for is how I would describe Erick’s Rolled Oats.

To prepare oatmeal for 2-4 people, place 3 cups of water and 1 cup of Erick’s Rolled Oats in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove the lid every 10 minutes, stir and then replace the lid. The oats will look snowy, fluffy, and full, with most of the water absorbed (the oats continue to thicken after removed from the heat). Spoon the oatmeal into bowls and drizzle with maple syrup or top with fruit, nuts, or granola and enjoy what is possibly the creamiest most flavorful bowl of oatmeal you and your family have ever had.Erick's_Oatmeal

Store the unused oats in a cool, dry place (I store mine in the refrigerator).

Available in a 2 pound bag for $6.99 at Whole Foods Markets in the New York region, Greenstar Natural Foods Market in Ithaca, Wegman’s and many coops, farmer’s markets,  and restaurants (click here and here  and here for a complete list). Also contact Cayuga Pure Organics ( directly for more information on purchasing their amazingly, delicious, and nutritious freshly rolled raw oats.

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