Native to Central Europe and used since Neolithic times, oats are rich in B vitamins and contain one of the highest amounts of protein of any grain in addition to iron and calcium. Reputed to have a high fat content (which they do), oats contain soluble gums, which bind cholesterol in the intestines, preventing its absorption by the body, making it a heart-healthy grain.

Most commonly used in modern cultures as oatmeal, a process by which the oat groats are rolled or steel cut, oats are the most delicious when used in their whole state. I use oatmeal flakes mostly to cream soups and thicken sauces as well as in breads, cookies and croquettes.

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