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If I put raw rolled oats in my morning protein shake (I was just thinking: oats, milk and a scoop) for my breakfast meal, would they just pass though my body without being absorbed? Or would they actually get broken down and used? Is there much difference in cooking the oats?

Also, has anyone actually tried this; if so, how does it taste?

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They will be absorbed for sure. How much will be absorbed depends on how much your body needs at that time.
I sometimes have a similar breakfast (without the protein powder) but what you have to do is to mix them overnight and put them in the fridge. This way the oat will get soaked by the milk and it will be smooth the next day and tastes really good!

On a side note, you can add to the mixture banana and almonds too, it will be a perfect energetic and tasty meal.

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I use a VitaMix, so stuff is more than fine enough to allow nutrient absorption.

Easy to see if they're being broken down--same way you can tell if you've been chewing your corn.

Cooked oats are more likely to be absorbed because they don't require as much processing (chewing, digestion) as raw oats. The size of the pieces also matters; more surface area equals easier digestion--one reason we have molars.

I don't use a "huge" amount (I think I was using about 1/2c uncooked?) and I noticed it added a slight "dusty" flavor, but it was not particularly unpleasant; I actually kind of liked it but when I use it as part of a drink now I use about 1/4c, just for a boost of some middle-of-the-road carbs and fiber.