Oats are one of the healthiest grains you can have and still, everybody uses them mostly to make oatmeal. Or porridge. But there can be way more to cooking oats than that. Plenty of ideas under the sun to integrate your oats in other dishes and benefit from their nutrients.
Not only are oats a gluten-free grain, but they’re also healthy, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. This grain helps with weight loss, it lowers blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. They also have more protein and fat than most grains. If you eat oats, you will also fuel your body with minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and folate. Not to mention some vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B5 (panthotenic acid), and smaller amounts of calcium and potassium.
So, bottom line, oats are pretty healthy for you, that’s why you should make the most of them. And because you can’t have oatmeal every day (or you can, but wouldn’t it be a bit boring?), it’s time to try integrating oats in more dishes from your meal plan. Here are some ideas.
3 ideas for cooking oats – other than oatmeal
1. In batters and doughs
If you want to keep going with the oats domination of your breakfast, you can easily make some pancakes where you mix oats in the batter. They turn out light, fluffy, and delicious. Oats can also be worked in banana bread or you can make some oatmeal muffins.
Oats are ideal for making some thick cookies with a nice, fluffy center and a crispy exterior. The oats become softer thanks to the moisture in any cookie dough, so you can add those oats in most any type of cookie dough.
Also, since we’re here baking, how about making some pie crust that’s oat-y? Yes, made with oats, of course. If you use your food processor on the oats, then use the flour-like result in conjuncture with “normal” flour, you can make a very interesting pie crust.
Here’s an idea: make these wonderful banana oatmeal pancakes!
I like to think of this as oatmeal to go because it involves me combining oats and the toppings I would use for my oatmeal, but everything will be blended into a nice, creamy, satisfying consistency. The oats work with any other ingredient, be it sweet or sour or savory, or a combination of all of them.
You can blend berries and add oats, and honey. You can make a kale smoothie and throw in some tablespoons of oats, too. Your imagination is your best friend in this matter. If you’re a smoothie person, you surely have some recipes you can add oatmeal to, which will turn out amazing!
3. Homemade oat bars
Why buy granola bars when you know there are some unhealthy and evil ingredients in them? Just make your own and calibrate your special formula. And it’s not even too much work. You can just combine in a bowl some oats, your favorite nuts, berries, dried fruit, and so on. Then add something binding, like maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup.
Form the bars on a baking sheet and then pop in the oven preheated to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Then cook for a few minutes and presto! You have your own homemade snack, made with well-chosen ingredients, that’s uniquely tailored to your tastes!
Since we’re talking about the oven, you should know that you can also make some baked oatmeal, too. The great part is that you can make a large batch, with whatever you have handy, and feed your entire family.