Oats are a staple that everyone should have in their pantry! They have so many uses, as a hot cereal on a cold winter morning, for making bread, baking cookies or even making granola. You can use rolled oats as a meat extender in meat loaves. Oat flour makes rich thickeners for soups, gravies and stews. Oat flour will also add nutrition to your breads, muffins, crackers and desserts. Did you know that you can use 25% oat flour in making bread and the natural vitamin E in oats will help keep your breads from going stale so quickly? It also has numerous health benefits such as lowering your cholesterol due to its soluble fiber content. Oats are also rich in the B vitamins, contain the anti-oxidant vitamin E and oats are mineral rich as well. Oats contain high levels of complex carbohydrates, which have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer and the better control of diabetes. Oatmeal is ground oat groats, it can also be ground oats, steel-cut oats, crushed oats or rolled oats. The process of heating produces a nutty flavor to the oats.
Perhaps you are familiar with instant oatmeal, which is precooked and dried, usually with a sweetener, and flavoring added. You can eat oats uncooked as in muesli or cooked as in porridge. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to cook regular rolled oats. Quick rolled oats, being thinner, cook much quicker in 2-3 minutes. The instant rolled oats are the least nutritious, you should think seriously about using them in your every day cooking habits. However you decide to eat oats you should definitely have some on hand.
Oats are a wonderful pantry staple.
Oats are much like barley with a hard outer shell that must be removed before it’s ready to eat. If you want to purchase oats you usually purchase them already hulled. Because of the antioxidants in oats, they are a good storing grain. For best storage conditions, pack them in airtight containers and store them in a cool place.
I use oats in many recipes. Here is a simple muffin recipe that I adapted from a recipe found on the epicurous.com website.
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Let oatmeal and buttermilk sit for one hour.
In a large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and let stand 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400°F and butter twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins. Add egg, sugar and butter to oat mixture, stirring until just combined. Into another large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and add to oat mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in dried cranberries. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Bake muffins in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Makes a dozen muffins.
Divide batter evenly into muffin tin
These muffins are delicious warm from the oven!
Warm muffins right from the oven, delicious!
Muffins right out of the oven.