Oatmeal and Oats Storage, Cooking Tips, and Measures

Oatmeal can be used as a stretcher for meatloaf and as a soup thickener


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Like all grains, rolled oatmeal should be kept in an airtight container to discourage moisture and vermin intrusion. Store in a cool, dark cupboard up to three months or refrigerate up to 6 months. Due to its high oil content, oat bran should be refrigerated.

Oats contain a natural antioxidant which discourages rancidity, thus oat flour has a bit longer shelf life than whole wheat flour. Refrigerate and use within 3 months.

Cooking Tips

  • Rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal) and quick-cooking oatmeal are generally interchangeable in most recipes.
  • Instant oatmeal may not be used interchangeably with rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal) or quick-cooking oatmeal. Since it has already been cooked and dried, it can turn your baked goods into a gummy mess.
  • Oatmeal is commonly used in such foods as meatloaf (as an extender), breads, muffins, cookies, granola, muesli, stuffings, and pilaf, but it is most widely consumed as a hot cooked cereal (porridge).
  • Oat flour may also be used as a thickener in soups and stews.
  • Since its gluten content is very low, oat flour needs to be combined with all-purpose flour when used in leavened breads or the bread will not rise properly.
  • To make homemade oat flour, simply place rolled oats in your food processor and process to a flour consistency. Sift out any large particles.
  • Complimentary spices for oatmeal include cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and ginger.

Equivalents and Measures

  • Oat flour may be substituted for up to 1/3 of the required whole wheat flour in baked goods.
  • 1 pound old-fashioned rolled oats = 5 to 5-3/4 cups
  • 1 cup rolled oats = 1-3/4 cups cooked
  • 1 cup raw rolled oats = 3 ounces