Oatmeal: A brief History

Dec. 19th was National Oatmeal Muffin Day. Muffins are usually served for breakfast or with dinner, and are usually made with flour, yeast or baking powder, and sugar.
The history of oats is somewhat clouded because there are so many different species and subspecies, which makes identification of old remains very difficult. The chief modern center of greatest variety of forms is in Asia Minor where most all subspecies are in contact with each other. Many feel that the area with the greatest diversity of types is most likely where a particular plant originated.
Oats were first brought to North America with other grains in 1602 and planted on the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. As early as 1786, George Washington sowed 580 acres to oats. By the 1860s and 1870s, the westward shift of oat acreage in the United States had moved into the middle and upper Mississippi Valley, which is its major area of production today.
Oats are high in unsaturated fats, yet curiously enough have little storage requirements because the grain has a rare natural antioxidant that actually delays rancidity.
Before the discovery of chemical preservatives, commercial bakers often added a pinch of ground oats to breads and cakes to stave off early staleness. So it is not surprising that a package of oats should have a life expectancy of up to a year on a pantry shelf in an air-tight container and longer still if the temperature is moderately cool.
Today this hearty vegan 🌱 chocolate 🍫 chip oatmeal muffin paired with a delicious, creamy Paradise Icing.