Humans have eaten wild oats for millennia—but we were surprisingly slow to cultivate them. Perhaps the ancients should have tried these recipes. 
toasted oatmeal in pan
Credit: Carson Downing

Breakfast Boost: Toasted Oatmeal

For morning oatmeal with heartier texture and nuttier flavor, toast the oats. Over medium heat, cook rolled oats in a dry skillet—or for a splurge, in bubbling, just-browning butter—until they smell toasty, a few minutes. (If dry-toasting, the color won't change. Trust your nose.) Then prepare your oatmeal as usual. If you eat oatmeal regularly, you can toast a big batch of oatson a sheet pan in a 325° oven for 10 minutes; store in an airtight container.

Oat Horchata

Sweet Drink: Oat Horchata

Served across the Spanish-speaking world, horchata is a sweet and cinnamony drink typically made with rice or almonds. This creamy version uses oats. Dust with additional cinnamon and/or serve with a stick of cinnamon for a flavor boost.

Savory Spiced Granola

Anything Topper: Savory Spiced Granola

Don't serve this granola with milk! Use it to garnish salads, roasted veggies, sauteed greens or mashed sweet potatoes. (Or just snack on it. So good!)

Oat Bars with Ginger and Coconut

Easy Snack: Oat Bars with Ginger and Coconut

Inspired by an English treat called a flapjack, these buttery bars have crisp edges and are chewy in the center.

Common Questions About Oats, Answered

Our Test Kitchen weighs in.

Are Oats Good for Weight Loss?

Yes! If you're looking to lose weight, lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and be good to your heart, eat more oats. They're loaded in nutrients, especially fiber.

What's the Difference Between Old-Fashioned and Quick-Cooking Oats?

Old-fashioned and quick-cooking rolled oats are both made by flattening oat groats. Slower-cooking steel-cut oats are just chopped up. 

Are Oats Gluten-Free?

Oats are naturally gluten-free. But they may come in contact with gluten-containing foods in processing. Always check the label.