The key difference between rolled oats and instant oats is that rolled oats take about five to ten minutes to cook, whereas instant oats are ready to eat as soon as hot water is added to them.
Instant oats are steamed longer and rolled thinner; therefore, it takes less time to cook. You only have to add hot water to it. Despite its convenience, it is not very healthy. Rolled oats take more time for preparation – for soaking and cooking, but is considered to be healthier than instant oats.
What are Rolled Oats?
Rolled oats are lightly processed whole-grain food. They are also called regular oats. They are made from oat groats. These oat groats are dehusked, steamed and then rolled into flat flakes using heavy rollers. Finally, they are stabilized by light toasting. Steaming helps the natural oils in the oats to stabilize, increasing the shelf life of the oats. It helps the oats to roll flat without getting cracked.
Rolled oats have a large surface area, and therefore, they can be cooked without spending much time. Uncooked rolled whole oats contain 68% carbohydrates, 6% fat and 13% protein. In 100 grams of whole oats, there are about 379 calories, vitamin B – thiamine, pantothenic acid, dietary minerals, especially phosphorous and manganese. Moreover, it is a rich source of dietary fibre and has beta-glucan, which is a soluble fibre with cholesterol-lowering ability.
Rolled whole oats can be used in making oatcakes, pancakes, flapjacks, biscuits, cookies, cakes, porridge and can be consumed as old-fashioned oats or Scottish oats. They are also the main ingredient in muesli and granola. If further processed, they can be turned into a coarse powder. This gets converted to a thick liquid broth when cooked. The finer oatmeal powder is usually used in baby food as well. Thick-rolled oats have large flakes, while thin-rolled oats have small, fragmented flakes. Rolled oats can be soaked for 1-6 hours in water, milk or any plant-based dairy substitute and consumed without heating or cooking. The duration of soaking depends on the size, shape, and pre-processing techniques. This method saves energy spent on heating as well as preserve the nutritional value and the taste.
What are Instant Oats?
Instant oats are steamed for a longer period, rolled very thin, and dehydrated. They are pre-cooked. Salt and caramel colour is already added to it. It has vitamin A, minerals, calcium and iron. A half-cup of cooked instant oats has 3.4 grams of fat and usually has 4.2 grams of fibre. It also provides around 6 grams of protein per serving. However, the exact amount usually differs depending on the flavour.
Instant oats contain guar gum, which is an additive and a thickener. In fact, they are usually famous for the additives and preservatives added to them. Since they also have a lot of sugar added to them, they are considered unhealthy. These oats come in packets. Since these oats are pre-cooked, adding boiling water is enough to make it ready to eat. Therefore, there are very friendly in consuming while camping, in hotels, workplace and as on-the-go breakfasts.
What is the Difference Between Rolled Oats and Instant Oats?
Rolled oats are a type of lightly processed whole-grain food, whereas instant oats are a type of pre-cooked, thinly rolled and dehydrated oats. The key difference between rolled oats and instant oats is that rolled oats take about five to ten minutes to cook, while instant oats are ready as soon as hot water is added to them.
The following table summarizes the difference between rolled oats and instant oats.
Summary – Rolled Oats vs Instant Oats
Rolled oats are lightly processed whole-grain food. Therefore, they are a little thicker than instant oats and take about 10 minutes to cook. Instant oats are pre-cooked and dehydrated. Salt, sugar, artificial flavours, additives and preservatives are already added to it, so these are considered less healthy than rolled oats. Instant oats are suitable for on-the-go breakfasts, camping or the workplace since only hot water is needed to be added to prepare them. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between rolled oats and instant oats.