A Brief History of Oats
Native to Asia Minor, wild oats were considered by early farmers to be weeds amidst their wheat and barley crops. Archeological evidence indicates the domestication of oats began in Europe sometime during the Bronze Age. While animal feed was the primary use for oats, some cultures (like the Scots) relied on oats as a key food crop.
In fact, it was Scottish settlers who introduced oats and “Scottish porridge” to North America back in the 1600s. Today, oats are often used in breakfast foods—including oatmeal, granola, muesli, and oat bran muffins—in addition to certain snacks, such as granola bars and oatmeal cookies.
Health Benefits of Oats
The reputation of oats as a supergrain is based on their impressive nutritional profile. Higher in protein than other grains, oats are also rich in many vitamins and minerals, including manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamins B1 and B5.