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What are Scottish oats?

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Scottish oats are recognized as the true oatmeal in the United Kingdom. However, the exact same dish is referred to as porridge in the United States. But what are Scottish Oats and how are they made? Lets discuss this in further detail.

Scottish oats are whole oat groats that have been ground. The oat groats are not steam, rolled or cut like other types of oats, but rather ground.

The texture of the grind is fairly fine, however, it’s coarser than flour. To make Scottish oats, the oat groats are ground into a coarsely ground meal that is similar in size to cornmeal.

Porridge-style oats with a creamy texture have been consumed for centuries. Oatmeal variations like steel cut, rolled and quick oats are the result of modern day roller mills.

The cooking time is about 10 minutes for the ground oats to turn into a thick and creamy gruel. In addition, Scottish oats are wonderful for baking because the grind is slightly larger than flour, but a step below farina.

what are Scottish oats?

Are Scottish oats the same as rolled oats?

The process of making rolled oats and Scottish oats is dissimilar. Therefore, Scottish oats are different from rolled oats in taste, texture and consistency.

Scottish oats are not rolled oats. Rolled oats are oat groats that have been steamed so that they don’t crack when put through the rolling mills.

The rolling process flattens the oat groats to give more surface area, which helps reduce cooking time. Furthermore, rolled oats have a tender chewiness with a nutty taste.

Scottish oats are oat groats that are ground into a meal. The grind size is slightly larger than flour but still relatively fine.

As a result, cooked Scottish oats make a delicious porridge-style cereal that tastes both rich and creamy. This preparation is what people in UK refer to as oatmeal. However in the US, this resembles porridge.

What is the difference between oatmeal and porridge oats?

Porridge commonly refers to a breakfast cereal dish that is made of boiled, crushed or chopped starchy vegetables, mostly grains, served in water or milk. A porridge is often sweetened with sugar, honey, fruit or syrup.

Oatmeal is the most common type of porridge, but not all porridge is made from oats. Other grains used to make porridge include rice, wheat, barley, corn, etc.

Even though the two terms are often used interchangeably, many other types of porridge have their own names like polenta, grits and kasha.

Is Scottish oatmeal healthy?

Scottish oats nutrition information

Scottish oatmeal goes beyond the abundant source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals naturally found in oats. The balance of insoluble and soluble fiber prevents constipations, maintains a full feeling long periods of time, and also may help to lower LDL cholesterol.

The fine grind of Scottish oatmeal helps to ease digestion because the intestines don’t have to work as hard to breakdown the meal. The nutrition is absorbed into the body faster giving you the energy necessary to be active.

However, it is noteworthy to mention that some people that eat oatmeal have experienced symptoms similar to gluten intolerance. Oat side effects have been documented, so if you have comparable reactions then explore the possibilities of having an allergy to oats.

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Helen Ainscough

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

I ate Scottish oats as a cereal in England. It was delicious. The oat was small.white and creamy compared to here in Australia. I would like to purchase Scottish oats as a cereal. Can you recommend a site?


Friday 24th of February 2023

@Joshua, Winco Discount Foods, at least the one nearest me, has Scottish oats.


Tuesday 25th of January 2022

@Joshua, yes! I just tried for the first time and I’m sold ro it! I noticed my local WinCo store carries it bulk, so I purchased a small portion ro try it. I’d like ro know if there’s organic form or not somewhere else. I’m familiar with Red Mill brand, I love the barley! I eat barley as a breakfast cereal too with cinnamon clove toast boil then almond milk to splash.


Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Scottish oats are delicious! The creaminess is incomparable with other types of oats. I currently live in the US, so I aam most familiar with Amazon or I purchase directly from my favorite brand Bob's Red Mill. Are those options available for shipping in Australia?

Randy gubersky

Saturday 18th of July 2020

why does scottish oatmeal not have to be steamed and roasted prior to grinding....wont the oatmeal go rancid, because of enzymes not being heated away ?

Andrew D

Friday 9th of December 2022

@Joshua, I think it's the roasting mentioned by @Randy gubersky that is the preservation method for rolled oats -- it's necessary in that case because steam has been applied. Since Scottish oats aren't steamed, I guess they don't need roasting either. Thanks for your post, I'm going to look for Scottish oats to bake into my bread.


Sunday 19th of July 2020

As far as I know, oats are only steamed so that they can be rolled into old-fashioned oats. I don't believe the steam is a preservation method. Other grains are not steamed prior to packaging, ie barley, wheat, corn, etc. Rancidity is a concern with longterm storage, therefore its best to keep the oats whole and not grind until necessary. In addition, I would store the whole grains in airtight containers to avoid contact with air, moisture and reduce oxidation. For more about longterm storage of oats: How To Store Oatmeal

Seumas McCombie

Tuesday 30th of June 2020

Oats in England is fed to horses, in Scotland it supports the Nation. the answer to that is where have you seen such horses or such People


Wednesday 1st of July 2020

Very interesting! Oats are a nutritional food source that has many different uses.