Oatmeal is highly nutritious, being richer in nitrogen than any other grain; but as it does not contain a tough, adhesive gluten, like wheat, it is not easily made into fermented bread. Its nitrogenous matter resembles casein more than gluten, and is called avenin (from avena, the oat). It is used as a mush or porridge, eaten with sugar and milk. It is rich in food for muscle and brain, useful for children and laboring people, but irritating to many people whose digestive powers are weak.

Groats, or Grits, are oats from which the outer husk and inner flinty cuticle are removed.

Indian Corn is used in many forms. Some varieties which contain a large proportion of sugar, are eaten green from the cob as a vegetable. The whole grains, hulled, are eaten as samp; broken grains of various sizes, as hominy; the ground grains, as either coarse or fine meal. Meal grows musty very quickly when ground by the old process, owing to the moisture of the corn and the heat of the stones. In the new-process, or granulated, meal the corn is first dried for two years, then ground into coarse grains like sugar. Indian corn is also used in the form of a very fine powder, called cornstarch. Corn meal, when cooked, is best made into small loaves or cakes and eaten hot. It is rich in nitrogen, and contains more fat than the other grains. This causes it to attract the oxygen from the air, and spoil rapidly. It should be purchased in small quantities. It is better adapted to strong laboring people, as it is very heating for persons with weak digestion.

Rye meal and flour are used, more especially in New England, in the form of bread and mush. Rye is sweeter than wheat, and makes a moist bread which can be kept for some time without becoming hard and unpalatable. Rye should be purchased in small quantities, kept in a cool, dry place, sifted and examined thoroughly before using.

Barley is used in soups and sometimes in gruels. It cannot be made into good bread, as it has too little gluten. It is nutritious, being rich in phosphates. It contains starch and mucilage, and, in the form of gruel, makes a soothing drink in fevers. The husk is removed, the grains are ground and polished, and then it is termed pearl barley. Barley crystals or flakes and granulated barley are also used.

Buckwheat has less flesh-forming and more heat-giving elements than wheat. It is therefore suitable only when used in cold weather and by those who labor hard or exercise freely. It is used principally in the form of griddle-cakes.

Rice contains very little of the flesh-forming element. It has more starch and less fat than any other grain. It is cheap, and is largely used by people in very hot climates. It should always be used with milk, eggs, or some fatty substance. Rice is easily digested.