Q: Before cooking steel-cut oats, I grind them for 30 seconds until they get to a flour-like consistency. Am I losing nutrition by doing this? And would I be better off nutritionally by cooking rolled oats instead?
Answer : We checked with our recipe editor, Patsy Jamieson, who replies: “When you grind the oats, you retain the fiber and phytonutrients in the oats, but the porridge will not be as beneficial for your blood sugar because the glycemic index (the measure of how quickly a carbohydrate affects blood sugar) is higher. The smaller the particle size of a grain, the higher the glycemic index. Steelcut oats have a relatively low glycemic index of 42. When you grind the oats, the glycemic index increases. I did not find a glycemic index value for oat flour (probably because it is not commonly consumed as a porridge), but for comparison purposes, the glycemic index of rolled oats is 55. Instant oatmeal has a glycemic index value of 83.”
Jamieson developed a steel-cut oatmeal porridge recipe for our January 2012 newsletter. To get around the long cooking time of steel-cut oats, she found that soaking the oats in cold water overnight reduced actual cooking time to 10-15 minutes.