This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, with whom I’ve partnered with to learn about the oat journey. All opinions are my own.
Oatmeal is one of those foods that is savored uniquely by each person. When I think about the many recipes I’ve created with this simple, yet nutritious ingredient; I can’t help but smile at the joy that it brings me to eat them for breakfast and as a snack.
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the Quaker Oats facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; also known as the epicenter of the brand’s oat processing efforts into the products we, the consumers, see on the store shelves.
You could say that it was exciting to see how their canisters were made; because did you know that the tube of oats we find at the store are made on site? But no. What was most exciting was meeting a group of people so passionate about oats, that it was contagious.
Quaker supports the agricultural efforts of more than 400 farmers that work alongside them through their Direct Growers program, which started in 2009. These farmers are committed to growing the highest quality oats that meet Quaker’s standards.
And of course, you already know how my heart feels about the amazing farmers that make our food, the food we enjoy eating, possible. To them, their fields are their livelihood and they are passionate about yielding the highest quality oat.
Touring the facility was impressive. It was the first time they had invited a small group to see behind the scenes of the rigorous testing they place in their oat shipments to the milling of the grain into groats and furthermore, into the oat varieties most of us have in our pantry.
I also learned a ton. No, not a lot. I mean a ton. I’m fascinated by how our food is made and therefore, I’m always asking questions that start with “how” and “why.” I must have sounded like a curious toddler to the Quaker team but guys, I was smitten by all the research and quality control processes and facts.
I learned that all of the oat products that we see on the shelf, regardless of the cooking time, start as a groat. What changes is whether the groat is cut with steel blades (Quaker Steel Cut Oats) or rolled to make the gorgeous flakes we know as Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.
That seems pretty self-explanatory, but what I didn’t know is that they rolled the steel cut oats into small flakes to make the Quaker Instant Oats and the Quick 1-Minute Oat! No matter the cut of oat, it’s 100% whole-grain; meaning, the grain itself is intact, and it provides the same nutrition we love from oats.
By the end of lunch with an incredible team of Quaker employees, from the plant facility manager to one of the Direct Grower farmers from Canada that visited the facility with us, what was most apparent is their passion for making a great product.
What is your favorite Quaker Oats variety? Steel Cut, Old Fashioned, Quick 1-Minute, or Instant Oats?