Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Are you looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast classic? It should fill you up, be suitable for dieting and give you enough energy before sports? Then you should try oatmeal as a breakfast or snack, because athletes swear by oatmeal as an energy booster and healthy alternative to cornflakes.

In our oatmeal test 2021 we show you how to prepare oatmeal and spice it up with delicious toppings. We also give you an overview of the respective advantages of large-sheet, small-sheet and melted oat flakes to help you decide what to buy. We also provide you with tips and tricks about oatmeal that are especially interesting for vegans and people with gluten or lactose intolerance. Of course, we also explain how to make oatmeal and why it plays an important role in bodybuilding.




Summary

  • Oatmeal is the breakfast classic par excellence. Easy to prepare and easy to store in a fresh-keeping tin, they are above all very versatile and a real energy package.
  • Before buying, you should not only pay attention to the package size and price, but also to the ingredients. This is especially important for people with allergies.
  • Oat flakes are very good before sports, but also for diets. They are easy to make yourself with a flake crusher and are even healthier.

The Best Oatmeal: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying oat flakes

Are oat flakes healthy?

Oats are considered one of the healthiest cereals. It is low in gluten, but at the same time richer in nutrients than other grains. The high biotin content is good for skin and hair, as well as the nervous system. In addition, oats contain a lot of magnesium, iron, vitamins and protein.

Can you lose weight with oatmeal?

Oatmeal produces a high feeling of energy and lasting satiety due to its complex carbohydrates. Due to the combination of energy-giving ingredients, they are well suited for a mono-diet. Depending on the type of idea, however, you also have to make sure that you have a sufficient supply of nutrients so that your body does not suffer from any deficiency symptoms. If this is still not the case through a balanced diet, one can resort to food supplements.

Oatmeal is definitely considered a healthy food and is part of a healthy diet.

How do you prepare oatmeal?

The traditional preparation could not be easier and impresses with its changeability. With the right toppings, everything is possible on the scale of sweet to savoury. You need:

  • 240 ml water
  • 40 g oat flakes

Below we show you the step-by-step preparation:

  1. Fill the water into a pot and put it on the cooker.
  2. Bring the water to the boil.
  3. Add the oat flakes. If you are very hungry or there are more people, you can add another 40 gr at a time.
  4. Let the oatmeal simmer over low heat while stirring.
  5. Add the desired ingredients. For example, sugar and cinnamon are suitable here, or a little salt for savoury alternatives. Fruits should not usually be added at this stage, as they will otherwise become mushy too quickly.
  6. Cook the porridge for about 5 minutes until it has the desired consistency. Then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 2 minutes with a lid on.
  7. Now garnish as you like.

What recipes are there for oatmeal?

We have already mentioned the variety. For example, you can spice up the classic oatmeal with your favourite fruits and nuts to create a fruity-sweet alternative. If you prefer it savoury, you can also stir in grated cheese and crown the porridge with a fried egg at the end. With milk and fresh fruit, the oatmeal can be made into a shake that is great to take with you. If you're in a hurry in the morning, we recommend the Overnight Oats version. Put the oatmeal and a liquid, milk or water, in a container and put it in the fridge overnight. You can season them savoury or sweet, and add your favourite toppings in the morning. Oatmeal is also great for cakes, porridge, oat burgers and more.

What are the ingredients of oatmeal?

In the following table we have listed the ingredients of 100g of oatmeal:
Ingredients Amount in 100g oatmeal Daily requirement in percent
Calories 370 kcal not specified
Protein 12.53g 17.9%
Fat 7.00g 11.6%
Carbohydrates 63.29g not specified
Dietary fibre 5.43g 18.1%
Vitamin B1 590.00µg 42.14%
Magnesium 139.00mg 46.3%
Iron 4.61mg 32.9%
Zinc 4.06mg 27%

Are there alternatives to oatmeal?

If you prefer very crunchy flakes, oatmeal can be a possible alternative. If you don't like the taste or get bored with it in the long run, there are of course flakes of other cereals. For example, spelt, rye and millet, or flakes of pseudo-cereals such as chia or amaranth. Oat bran is also an alternative to oat flakes. Oat bran consists of the outer marginal layers of the whole oat grain and the germ. It is precisely there that vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre are found in particularly high concentrations. The following nutritional values compare oat flakes to oat bran:
Nutritional values Oat flakes (100g) Oat bran (100g)
Calories 370 kcal 350 kcal
Protein 12.53g 15.4g
Fat 7.00g 7.8g
Carbohydrates 63.29g 45.2g
of which sugar 1.3g 1.3g
Dietary fibre 5.43g 18.6g

Decision: What types of oatmeal are there and which are the right ones for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between three types of oatmeal:

  • Large leaf flakes (Tender flakes)
  • Small leaf flakes (Tender flakes)
  • Melt flakes (Instant flakes)

The different types of flakes differ from each other in the production process and offer certain advantages and disadvantages depending on the preparation preference. All types are also available as wholemeal versions. Large leaf flakes are made from the whole oat grain, are very firm to the bite and swell only slowly. Small leaf flakes, on the other hand, are produced from crushed oats and swell more quickly. Melt flakes are particularly suitable for baby food and infants, as they dissolve immediately in liquids. In the following, we will introduce you to the above types of oat flakes with all their individual advantages and disadvantages in a little more detail to help you make your final choice.

What are oat flakes and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Large leaf oatmeal is made from whole oat kernels. As a staple ingredient in many muesli mixes, they have the necessary bite and offer you a high satiety value. Since the oats are only steamed and then rolled during production, large leaf oat flakes are the pure and untreated version of oat flakes with many valuable fibres.

Advantages
  • From the whole oat grain
  • Kernel-like with a bite
  • Perfect for muesli mixes
  • Long feeling of satiety due to lots of fibre
Disadvantages
  • Poor swelling capacity
  • Not suitable for people with digestive problems

What are small leaf flakes and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The tender small leaf oat flakes are rolled from crushed oat kernels, which are also called oat groats. These fine flakes offer you many possible uses. They can be used in muesli, for soups but also as a baking ingredient. They swell quickly when cooked and can be quickly transformed into a warm and healthy breakfast.

Advantages
  • Tender to the bite
  • All-round flakes in the kitchen
  • Good swelling properties
  • Digestion-friendly
Disadvantages
  • Do not retain their consistency

What are processed flakes and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Melt flakes are rolled from oatmeal and are easy to digest. They are also called instant flakes because they can dissolve in liquids in a few seconds. If you want to cook a porridge for toddlers, mix an energy drink for sports or make a light meal, these flakes are almost certainly the right choice for you.

Advantages
  • Very digestible
  • Dissolves within seconds
  • Suitable for baby food and baby nutrition
  • Suitable as a base for sports shakes
Disadvantages
  • Mushy taste
  • Higher glycaemic index

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate oat flakes

Especially when it comes to food, it is important to know what a product is made of. This also applies to a product like oatmeal, where everyone knows what is in it just from the name. In the following we have listed some criteria to distinguish between the different types. We would like to give you a quick overview and support you in your choice. The criteria are as follows:

  • Weight per pack
  • Type of leaf
  • Energy per 100 gr
  • Gluten
  • Lactose
  • Organic
  • Vegetarian / Vegan

In the following paragraphs, we will explain each criterion to help you classify them.

Weight per pack

The prices of the different manufacturers are usually very similar. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the respective weight of the individual products in order to get the best price-performance ratio. On the net, and thus also with the products we present to you here, larger packs are often sold together. This means, for example, that you buy 4 or 10 of the same product together. This is usually cheaper than buying the packs individually in quantity.

Type of leaf

In terms of taste, it makes no noticeable difference whether you choose large-sheet or small-sheet for your oatmeal. Large leaf oatmeal is more crunchy than small leaf oatmeal. The latter are therefore advertised with adjectives like 'melt-in-the-mouth'. Which type you choose depends on your personal taste and your intended use. If you want to use oatmeal for shakes or very creamy porridges, we recommend small leaf oatmeal. If you would rather use them for muesli, we think large leaf oats would be ideal for you.

Energy per 100 g

In our comparison, oat flakes have an average of 359 kcal per 100 g. This is the same as 100 g of marmalade. That is the same as 100 g of marzipan cake. As you can see, oatmeal is quite an energy pack. Because of the fibre, high-quality proteins and minerals contained in oatmeal, it is also highly recommended for athletes. They should be eaten two to three hours before exercise in order to make optimal use of the energy. Besides, they also ensure a strong immune system and a regulated blood sugar level.

Before buying, you should not only pay attention to the package size and price, but also to the ingredients. This is especially important for allergy sufferers. (Image source: unsplash.com)

Gluten

Do oats contain gluten? A simple question that is not so easy to answer. Different studies come to different conclusions. The different results are based on the fact that it is more difficult to detect gluten in oats than in other cereals. This is because the protein components in oats are much lower than in other grains. They are therefore less harmful for people with coeliac disease.
Manufacturers are allowed to call their products gluten-free if the limit of 20ppm is met in their product. The German Coeliac Society recommends eating no more than 50g per day and only under medical supervision. In addition, it should be specially grown and processed oats to prevent contamination with other grains.

Lactose

Basically, oats and oatmeal are considered lactose-free. So how come some products are not labelled as such? The reason why some manufacturers are not allowed to label their oat flakes as lactose-free is that they often produce more than just oat flakes. If a manufacturer has also produced foodstuffs containing lactose in the production hall, he cannot rule out the possibility that traces of these foodstuffs have found their way into the oatmeal. If this is the case, the product is labelled with "may contain traces of lactose" or "may contain traces of milk".

Organic

You can often tell whether oatmeal comes from organic farming by whether it bears such a seal. In this case, organic farming means that ecological, health, social and ethical aspects were taken into account during production. In addition, such seals certify that the product was produced without genetic engineering.

Vegetarian / Vegan

Just as with the question of lactose-free, it also depends on the production. Basically, oat flakes are vegetarian in any case, as they are not an animal product. However, if it cannot be ruled out that traces of animal products have been added to the flakes during production, they cannot be described as vegetarian or vegan.

Facts worth knowing about oat flakes

Can oat flakes be ground?

You can easily make flour from oat flakes. You don't even need a mill for this, a flake crusher can do it just as well. By the way, freshly crushed oat flakes taste at least three times as good as store-bought ones. Furthermore, you can also use it to grind oilseeds and spices, which makes the flake crusher very versatile.

Can you make oat flakes yourself?

You can make your own oat flakes with a flake crusher. This purchase is not exactly cheap, but it is worth it if you are a real flake lover. The grains are filled into the hopper and then pressed through rollers. This can be done manually or electrically. Freshly pressed oatmeal tastes much better than industrially produced oatmeal because it does not have to be preserved for a long time.

Oat flakes for muscle building and bodybuilding

Because of the many proteins, oat flakes are also popular with people who want to build muscles. They also serve as a source of carbohydrates. They are mainly used in the muscle-building phase as well as in the definition phase.

Image source: Pixabay.com / cgdsro

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