Overnight Oats, a Buzzword, What’s the Difference?
Overnight oats, or overnight oatmeal, is a hot topic in Japan these days. I’ve heard of overnight oats, but what is oatmeal anyway? What difference does soaking it in water overnight make? What kind should I buy? These are a lot of questions.
In this post, I will try to answer some of these questions from Finland, the country of oatmeal.
Oats are a type of grain. In Japan, we call it as Enbaku also. It is a grain that was commonly grown in areas where wheat could not be grown, and is very common in Finland.
Oatmeal, which is processed by steaming and rolling, is more common than oats. This is the type of oatmeal that you see most often in Japan. Oatmeal is used not only as porridge, but also as an ingredient in breads and sweets, and granola. In the past, it was positioned as a substitute for wheat, but with the recent boom, it is gaining ground.
In other countries, oatmeal refers to a porridge made from oats. In Japan, not only porridge, but also rolled oats are called oatmeal.
What Kind of Oatmeal Should I Buy?
In Finland, you can find many kinds of oatmeal even in small markets. If you go to a large supermarket, you will find oatmeal all over the shelves.
here, I will focus on the pre-processed and rolled oats, like instant oats or quick oats.
According to my research at a supermarket in Finland, oatmeal can be classified into three main categories.
- The size of the grain.
- Whether it is crushed or not.
- Whether it is seasoned or not.
Oatmeal can range from small to large grains.
Depending on the size of the grains, the texture will vary. I’ll explain more later. I prefer to buy the large grains because they have a texture similar to soft rice. .
In Finland, large grain oatmeal is the one labeled “ISO”. This can be determined from the picture on the box.
Whether it is crushed or not
Oatmeal is mainly used to make porridge, especially in Finland.Therefore, many oatmeals are partially crushed beforehand to make it easier for the oatmeal to absorb water.
They are called “quick oats” or “instant oats,” but in Finland, I didn’t find any mention of them. Judging from the picture on the box.
Whether they are seasoned or not
Oatmeal all over the shelves, and more than half of it is pre-seasoned oatmeal.
With so many variations, it was hard to decide which one to try.
Some are individually wrapped, so if you are in Finland, be sure to bring some home.