Some foods are potentially dangerous when eaten raw, such as flour. But what about raw oatmeal? Some people blend raw oats into a smoothie, make porridge overnight, or use it to make delicious chocolate balls. But are they safe to eat this way?
There are several forms of oats, but rolled oats are one of the most common varieties. The flakes are produced from completely husked and cleaned oats that are steamed, cut, rolled and shredded. Similarly, instant or “1 minute” oats are grains that are cut into several pieces and then steamed and rolled. Because they are cut into smaller pieces, they can be cooked faster. Steaming oats helps minimize the risk of pathogenic microorganisms and makes them safe to eat raw. This is why oatmeal or recipes that use this raw or instant ingredient are safe to eat.
Also, oatmeal can be consumed without cooking it first, like when we want to make no-bake cookies, for example. However, some people have a more sensitive digestive tract, so if you’re trying raw oats for the first time, it’s best to introduce them into your diet slowly and drink fluids when you do.
To the refrigerator and well closed
Although using raw oats to make a porridge is safe, we still need to keep in mind that overnight oats should be refrigerated . Moist carbohydrates create an environment for bacterial growth, and the best way to minimize bacterial growth and keep overnight oats safe is to keep them low and not leave them on the counter overnight.
To keep raw oats as fresh as possible, it’s important to store them properly. Some ways to do it are:
- Store unopened dry oats in a cool, dry place.
- Store open oatmeal in its original container with a tight-fitting lid. It should then be covered with a resealable plastic bag or in a plastic or glass container. Opened oatmeal should be used for 1 year after opening.
- Store dry raw oats in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 1 year.
- “Best before” or “best before” dates are quality suggestions that food manufacturers place on the package. The oatmeal is still safe to eat after this date. However, if the oatmeal develops a strange taste or smell, it is recommended to throw it away immediately.