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What are Oat Flakes?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Oat flakes are oats which have been specially treated so that they will cook quickly. This food is extremely versatile, and it can be found in a range of recipes and an assortment of places as a result. It can be a very healthy and useful addition to the human diet, thanks to its high nutritional value. Oat flakes can make the addition of fiber to the diet very easy, thanks to their quick cooking time.

Oats are the seeds of a grass, Avena sativa, which has been cultivated for thousands of years. They are extremely high in fiber, especially when eaten whole, and they contain a number of other useful vitamins and minerals. One of the traditional uses of oats is in oatmeal, a dish made by cooking oats with water, milk, or another liquid to soften them, and oats are also used in baking and mixed-grain cereals.

When oat flakes are made, whole oats are steamed to soften them and then they are rolled out to flatten them. The flattened oats are then flaked into small pieces of material which will cook very quickly while retaining the nutritional value of whole oats. One of the big disadvantages to whole oats is that they can take a long time to cook; flakes cut down on the cooking time, turning the healthy oat into a convenience food.

Some people like to use oat flakes as a breakfast cereal, heating them and mixing them with an assortment of ingredients. They can also be added to baked goods like scones, muffins, cookies, and bread, creating additional texture and adding to the nutritional value of these foods. Some people also mix them in with granola, muesli, and other cold breakfast cereal mixes. Oat flakes can also be added to pancakes. Technically, oat flakes can be eaten straight out of the box, although they may not be very exciting in this form.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By bagley79 — On May 18, 2012

@andee - I don't think there is as much fiber in the oat flakes as the whole oats. You are giving up some nutrition for the convenience of a shorter cooking time.

Oat flakes are still good for you, and I always keep some in my cupboard. One thing I have found is that I have to put them in a different container than what I buy them in though.

If I leave the oats in the cardboard container, I seem to get bugs in them and then I have to throw the whole thing away.

I know some people who will store them in the refrigerator because of this, but I don't have room for that.

Many of the cereals we like to eat have oat flakes included in them. Fiber One cereal is one of our favorites. Eating cereal with oat flakes is one of the easiest ways I know to get fiber in my diet.

By andee — On May 18, 2012

Do the quick cooking oats have as much fiber as the whole oats?

It seems like whenever I make oatmeal with the quick cooking oats that come in individual packages, I am hungry after a couple of hours.

If I use the whole oats and allow them to cook longer, I stay full all morning long. I have always wondered if there is as much fiber in the oat flakes as the regular oats?

Cereal is the food I have for breakfast most often. I keep a few different kinds of organic cereal on hand. I feel like this is a great way to start my day with some good nutrition and fiber.

By SarahSon — On May 17, 2012

I like to buy oats in the organic section of my grocery store. Some organic items cost quite a bit more, but the price of the organic oats is very reasonable.

I seem to use oat flakes more for cooking and baking than I do for eating cereal. I make my own granola, which I use to make granola bars.

Oat flakes are the number one ingredient for this recipe. They are good for you and full of fiber, so this is what helps keep you full.

I also add oat flakes when I am making cookies and bread. This adds more substance to my recipes and is so easy and versatile to add to many recipes.

By LisaLou — On May 16, 2012
Oat flakes are a staple in our house. Our whole family enjoys eating oatmeal for breakfast -- especially when we want something hot.

I like to add some walnuts, blueberries, cinnamon, brown sugar and honey to my oatmeal. A bowl of this will easily keep me full until lunchtime.

Many mornings I don't have time to make hot cereal, so we will grab a bowl of oat bran cereal. I don't like this as well as a hot cereal, but it will do when I am in a hurry.

By anon16255 — On Aug 01, 2008

I am curious as to how oat flakes as in the cold breakfast cereal kind are made. Not to be confused with oat rings such as cheerios, but the flakes that would be similar to corn flakes.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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