Buying Organics in Bulk
There are many different kinds of organic foods besides organic rolled oats in bulk that you can buy at your local natural foods store. There are many advantages to buying organics in bulk:
- Lower price because of lack of packaging
- Less environmental impact because of lack of packaging
- The ability to reuse containers
- Variety is often better than off-the-shelf choices
A great example of the good points about buying in bulk is when you're shopping for organic spices. There are many great spice blends and individual spices available in bulk-often more than you will find in the packaged spice section-and the price is much cheaper because you can buy as little or as much as you need and there's no packaging involved.
The main potential negative associated with buying organics in bulk is that they may not be as fresh as pre-packaged items. Because food bought in boxes and bags is sealed at the factory, it stays fresh for a long time.
Bulk bins are open, allowing people to access the food and take what they need. This also exposes the contents of the bins to air, which will make the food, whether its organic oatmeal or anything else, go bad more quickly.
Before you buy in bulk at your favorite natural food store, take a look at the bins. Make sure they look clean and are well sealed when closed. Check how many people are buying from the bulk bins when you visit. Or, ask someone who works there what kind of turnover they have in the bulk bins and when, if ever, they throw things out that have been sitting too long.
Using Organic Rolled Oats in Bulk
Organic rolled oats are a versatile addition to the organic pantry. They can be used to make oatmeal, oatmeal cookies and healthy quick breads. They're a great filler for vegetable or bean burgers, or even meatloaf.
They can be used in place of breadcrumbs in just about any recipe and are a wonderful crunchy addition to desserts like apple crisps or snacks like yogurt parfait.
Rolled oats are cleaned and dehulled before being packaged. Depending on the variety you are getting at your local natural foods store, you might be buying oats that have been further broken down into an "instant" oatmeal type product.
Most rolled oats are steamed or roasted (or both) and flaked to give the oats a uniform shape, which makes for more even cooking.
Cooking Organic Rolled Oats
Wherever you buy your organic rolled oats in bulk, you will probably find cooking instructions. If not, boil three cups of water and add one cup of rolled oats. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the consistency you like for oatmeal.
You can use organic rolled oats in place of conventional oats in any recipe. Oats are a great addition to homemade bread, adding crunch and cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Speaking of the health benefits of oats, they are low in fat and a good source of protein and fiber. They have more soluble fiber than any other grain, which makes it a powerful helper for reducing cholesterol. The fiber and protein help stabilize blood sugar, and it's a great choice for dieters because it the complex carbohydrates keep you feeling full for a long time.
Research suggests that regularly eating rolled oats, organic or not, can help prevent blood cells from sticking to artery walls, causing blood clots and heart attacks and stroke. The fiber in oats can also help improve gastrointestinal function.
Organic rolled oats on their own are rather bland, but if you mix in some fresh fruit or organic jam or mix them into something else, you'll find they are a delicious and healthy part of a meal or snack.