Saturday, January 14, 2012

Making Rolled Oats from Oat Groats

Oats coming through the Marga Marcato Roller Mill
I was wanting to find a way to truly make homemade rolled oats, as in from my 25# supply of oat groats I have in the pantry.  You can't use a regular mill / wheat grinder to make rolled oats.  I have heard that you can possibly put them in a plastic bag and take a rolling pin to them, but hadn't tried it, and was dubious about the amount of time that would have to be invested and what the results would be.  I guess I should have at least tried it, since that would have been free.  I have also heard that it is best to have the oats lightly steamed when rolling them, instead of scalding all the nutrients out of them to make processed rolled oats.

I have a recipe for oatmeal muffins that I lovingly claimed from Cooking Light several years ago. I am not a big fan of oatmeal, so muffins is one of the few ways I eat oats and these muffins are AWESOME. My husband loves them dearly, ("devours" would be the appropriate term), but he jokingly calls them 'roto-rooter muffins', and unfortunately the name has kind of stuck. Let's just say they are high in fiber! :0)

The idea of rolling our own cereal flakes and making our own cereal intrigued me (the question of sweetening that cereal has not been fully thought out, lol!).  One of the companies had a cereal with rice flakes, wheat flakes, dried strawberries, and dried blueberries that we thought was super yummy.  However, aside from the fact that it had 12 grams of whole grains but only 3 grams of fiber (exactly how much of that whole grain is still whole or considered a grain by that point?), it also had quite a bit of sugar (especially for a "healthy" whole grain cereal!).  Thus, I was on the prowl to find a mill that would be able to make rolled outs and cereal flakes.  I am not sure where I first saw it / heard of it, but I found the Marcato Marga Roller Mill.  My husband suprised me with one for Christmas :0) I felt a little bad because of the price, but considering its long term use, considered it more an investment and decided to just be happy about it and enjoy it!

There are 3 settings, one for flour, one for course ground grains (kind of like cracked wheat maybe?) and then one for rolled oats.  The instructions indicate that you can roll the items back through a second time to make a finer grind, but getting the oat flour to go back through a second time proved difficult, so I would probably stick with a flour grinder if you are wanting flour.  The bottom tray is removable, and plastic, yet to be proven, however in a family with 4 small children, plastic is not ideal, so we will see how long it lasts.  The top hopper is also plastic but does not seem to be easily removed, if at all. 

Different outcomes for setting '#2'

The first setting was a coarse flour.  The second setting had three different settings (within the second setting) to adjust for a coarser or finer product (see picture at left). The third setting was the one for rolled oats.  They were not a uniform shape like you might expect from a canister of Quaker Quick Oats; there were lots of shapes and sizes, and "roller" marks where you could see how they went through the roller.

The bowls in the picture above were to highlight the differences coming through the roller mill:  From left to right:  Quaker Quick Rolled Oats, Marcato Marga Roller Mill rolled oats (setting 3), rolled / cracked oats (setting 2), oat flour (setting 1).  The Quaker rolled oats and homemade rolled oats looked pretty similar! My kids like to eat oats and peanut butter together, and sometimes just plain oats.  My son kept eating the oats out of the bowls as fast as I could roll them.  I had to refill one of them twice - I guess there are worse things to happen, and worse things for him to snack on, lol! He did tell me "Yesterday I hated oats, but today I LOVE oats!" Kids - so funny!

Compared to a hand wheat grinder, the oats went through really quickly and easily.  My kids were anxious about who was going to get the first turn and whose turn would be the longest, and they all had fun trying it out!

The real test was to see how they would turn out in our favorite blueberry oatmeal muffins recipe.
Answer:  Delicious!!!!

I guess I will be looking for a cereal recipe next, as well as some additional uses for the roller mill :0)

What yummy recipes do you have using oat groats or rolled oats?


  1. I have heard (but not confirmed) that the Marcato Marga Roller Mill is available through the cannery (minus the shipping), if you have one available in your area. :0)

  2. Great post! So are you happy with it? Can you taste a difference between store bought oats and your home made rolled oats?

  3. It has been interesting to see how they are different, they are softer, soak up way more water, can end up mushier in oatmeal (not sure what I did different with that batch, but my kids still loved it), and are truly delicious! After handling these, I wonder how they get quick type oats to keep their shape, almost like they are hard like uncooked rice. I love the roller mill and am looking forward to trying it oat to make cereal. The question there will be, how do I make the cereal harder / get it to keep its shape - maybe that is where the light steaming comes in, I'll have to try baking or steaming in the oven.

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  5. Interesting article. I live in Australia and I'm a home brewer. The Marga is very popular indeed for crushing barley malt and I have modified mine to take an electric drill (slow speed hi-torque). That top hopper comes off if you squeeze it slightly and it can be modified also to take a standard "leaf catcher" hopper thing that you find at the tops of down pipes off the roof, if you want to do several pounds in one run. I crush up to 20 pounds of malt at a time, takes about ten minutes with the drill. If you remove the cover opposite the drive-side you expose the "control wheel" which is perforated at various points, and can easily drill your own setting holes (which we need to do for barley malt). I recently discovered its groat-rolling capabilities and put two pounds of groats through in about 2 minutes, lol, and now eating the same porridge that God eats.