Oat is a low-calorie, high-fiber grain that provides healthful antioxidant effects, protection against heart and diabetic disorders, and even --- potentially -- protection against cancers. Oats are easy to cook on their own and can be added to many baked goods, but they are also easy to find in ready-made breakfast cereals, from commonplace oat Os to more unusual options.
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More commonly known as the main ingredient of instant oatmeal packets, rolled oats are the plain, pure oat grains that are hulled after roasting. In addition to instant packets, rolled oats are available in tubs of quick-cooking, slow-cooking and Irish or steel-cut varieties. Easy cereal recipes for these types of oats are available for slow cooker, stove top and even microwave use. Rolled oat cereal may be a safe option for people who avoid gluten, because oat is a grain that does not contain this wheat protein, although cross-contamination is possible when they are grown together.
Although oats are not necessarily the most noticeable ingredient in granola-type cereals, they are included in numerous multi-grain boxed cereals, such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Kashi Oat Flakes and Blueberry Clusters, which includes ground oats in the flakes and rolled oats in the clusters, and Cascadian Farms Vanilla Almond Oat Crunch. Oats in granola cereals are often combined with nuts, berries and even yogurt clusters to form a cereal full of taste and health.
General Mills Cheerios and similar O-shaped cereals from independent grocers like Trader Joe's are easily identifiable as cereals made from oats. Conversely, the Quaker Oats company makes myriad cereals for which oat as the primary grain is less obvious. Quaker Life cereal, although shaped more like shredded wheat or Chex cereals, is made from oats, and Quaker also formulates a pancake mix for which the primary grain is oat. These unexpected sources of oat in cereal compliment the typical oat cereals like Quaker Oatmeal Squares.