How to Make Overnight Oats Does It Need to be Heated?

In the previous post, I explained what oatmeal is and what types are available.
What Is Oatmeal? Types of Oatmeal Sold in Finland
Oatmeal is getting a lot of attention as a healthy food. What is oatmeal anyway? What kinds are there?

In this article, I will look at how to make overnight oats and whether they need to be heated or not.

How to Cook Oatmeal

There are three ways to cook oatmeal.

  • Heat it in the microwave with water.
  • Heat it in a pot with water.
  • Letting it absorb water overnight (overnight oats).

If you look up overnight oats, you will find that most people eat the water-absorbed oatmeal as it is.
Here’s a question. When you make porridge, you heat it. Is it okay to not heat overnight oats?

Overnight Oats WITH or WITHOUT Heating?

From what I’ve read on the internet, many recipes call for overnight oats to be eaten without heating.
However, I recommend heating them for the best taste and nutrition.

For the taste

First of all, water-absorbed oatmeal is powdery and not very tasty.
Even if you use large grain oatmeal, you will find finely ground oatmeal in the mix. Therefore, just absorbing the water will inevitably leave a powdery texture.

This powdery texture can be removed by heating. After heating in the microwave for a few minutes, the powdery part becomes like paste and becomes more sticky.

For the nurtrition

For nutritional reasons, I eat it after heating it.

More than 50% of the edible part of oatmeal is starch. Starch can be classified into two types: α-starch and β-starch. For more information.
Type of Japanese Rice and Science of Starch
There are two main types of rice used for rice flour. I researched the types and the properties of each starch.

Oatmeal that requires little cooking time and is ready to eat, such as instant oats, is often preheated and processed so that the starch does not revert to β-starch. If the oatmeal says that it does not need to be heated, it is definitely an α-starch included one.

However, if not, I recommend heating it. If you just put the oatmeal in water, the starch will remain β-starch.
The α-starch can be digested by our body. When we chew rice, it feels sweet because the digestive enzymes in our saliva break the α-starch. On the other hand, β-starch cannot be digested by our body because there is no digestive enzyme, and it does not taste good.

How to distinguish

If you are not sure which is which, there is a simple way to tell. Put a little bit of uncooked oatmeal in your mouth, chew it well, and wait. If it becomes slightly sweet, it means that the alpha starch has been broken down by saliva. In this case, it can be eaten without heating.

In these two products, both of them became slightly sweet in my mouth, so I think they contain α-starch and can be eaten without heating. However, I prefer to heat them because all the recipes on the box are with heating, and more importantly, they are powdery and not tasty without heating.

Overnight Oats vs. Microwave Cooked Oatmeal


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