Obsessed with oats

Today’s blog is all about oats. I make no apologies for this.

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A game I sometimes play with friends is “desert island ingredients” the premise being you have to choose and justify 2 ingredients that you could live on for the rest of your life (on your desert island). Mine would be oats and avocado. A strange combination perhaps…

I’ll talk about avocados another time but for now I’ll focus on oats.

Oats with the most:

Oats are a hero ingredient. Not only are they celiac-friendly, a great source of essential nutrients, healthy fat and plant protein, but with their abundance of soluble fibre they’re also good for reducing cholesterol.

Exhibit A: this nutritional table:

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But what can be done with oats apart from boring old porridge?

Here’s a few ideas;

I experimented with savoury oat crackers last weekend. I wanted something wholesome and not sweet for my kid’s lunchboxes and these were an instant favourite. They are fab with cheese.

My  first batch failed as the mixture was too dry and crumbly, but the second batch worked out perfectly with the addition of eggwhite and a higher ratio of flour to bind the mixture.

Here’s the recipe in progress – I say “in progress” because there are no exact measurements and you can improvise with quantities and seasoning as you wish.

Savoury Oat Crackers

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Image courtesy of Kitchen Cactus

Ingredients: 

– About 3-4 large cups of oatflakes

– half a teaspoon of salt (to taste) and half a teaspoon baking powder

– your own seasoning (this is your licence to experiment! Try parmesan, pepper, cumin, coriander, fresh rosemary, chilli etc)

– Optional: a good 3-4 glugs of good Olive oil

– two thirds of a cup of cream flour (or try brown flour if you prefer)

-1 egg white

– some water to bring the mixture together

Instructions:

Blitz the oats, baking powder and seasoning in a blender until you have a fairly coarse flour. In a mixing bowl combine with the flour (keep some for rolling) then add the olive oil (optional), eggwhite and enough water to make a stiff but not crumbly dough. Knead gently and briefly. Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes as you would pastry.

Grease and line a shallow baking tray, roll out the mixture (IN the tray) until it’s about as thick as a pound coin (2.5mm). If the mixture is too thick just keep on rolling – you can trim the edges and use these to make extra crackers.

Before putting in the oven run a knife across the rolled out mixture to make squares, triangles, or any shape you like. Triangles work well with cheese for some reason. You can also brush beaten egg or milk over the top if you like – I didn’t bother.

Bake at 170-180c for about half an hour. They should be nicely golden when done. Testing is important; make sure they crunch, and if they don’t then pop them back in the oven for a bit longer. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Hope you’re inspired to try making them yourself!

 

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