By: Hillary Tonken
This month, we’re focusing on oats—and we’re not talking about instant oatmeal. Even before you add milk, you’ll find that rolled oats are a great addition to any meal. They contain loads of calcium per serving, in addition to beta glucan, a form of fiber that’s been shown to lower cholesterol. Stumped on how to include them in your next dish? These four recipes will quickly dispel the myth that rolled oats are only fit for cereal and cookies. Here’s how to use unprocessed oats for a variety of different dishes sure to be a breakfast, lunch or dinner favorite.
The addition of oats instead of breadcrumbs makes this traditional meatloaf more tender than usual. Add in the scrumptious sauce and these mini meatloaves are sure to become a weekly staple.
1 ½ pounds ground beef or turkey
1 ½ cups organic ketchup, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large onion, minced, divided
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 cup organic old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Four 5” X 3”X 2 mini loaf pans or 1 standard loaf pan
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, ½ cup ketchup, eggs, ½ chopped onion, garlic, oregano, basil and oats. Mix well with your hands or a large spoon until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 mini loaf pans (or use 1 standard loaf pan). Place the pans on baking sheet and bake 30 minute or until cooked through. Remove from oven and allow cooling slightly before serving. Unmold onto plates and serve with sauce.
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup ketchup, remaining half minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Warm slightly over moderate heat. Remove from heat and serve with the meat loaves.
Mushroom Ris “Oat” Ohhh!
Oat Groats are higher in fiber than the traditional Arborio rice. Even better, they provide a texture similar to traditional risotto with the added health benefits of oats, which have not been over-processed.
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
3 ½ to 4 cups chicken broth
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 cups mixed sliced raw mushrooms, such as Portobello, shiitake and white
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups organic oat groats
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan
1. In a medium saucepot over moderate heat, add the chicken broth. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over high heat, add the oil. When hot, cook the onion and garlic 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is soft and starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the fresh thyme. Add wine and allow it to cook until almost evaporated.
3. Add oats and toss to coat. One cup at a time, add the chicken stock stirring the groats constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated. Keep adding chicken broth 1 cup at a time until oats are tender (but still al dente) and most of the liquid has been absorbed. It should be creamy in consistency. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and parmesan cheese
Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Gluten free and moist, these pumpkin oat muffins offer a healthy spin on an old favorite. This makes a great breakfast treat, and can also be a wonderful alternative to cupcakes.
Makes 6 muffins
One 15-ounce can of organic pumpkin pie mix
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups Cup 4 Cup* gluten free flour (*Cup 4 Cup flour can be found in most organic or specialty grocery stores)
1 cup organic old-fashioned oatmeal (not quick cooking)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease or flour one 6 cup muffin tin or use paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, sugar, oil, juice and eggs. Blend well. Add remaining ingredients blending just to combine. Do not overmix.
3. Fill prepared muffin tins 2/3 full.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
Easy Crunchy Oat Granola
There are so many different brands of granola on the market; it can be difficult to choose the healthiest and most flavorful brand. Until I made this homemade version, my kids wouldn’t touch granola. Now, I can’t keep enough of it around. Once you make the basic recipe feel free to add your own ingredients to make it unique.
Makes 5 cups (including nuts and fruit)
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sliced almonds
3 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup mixed nuts such as pecans, walnuts and cashews (optional)
1 cup mixed diced dried fruit such as apricots, cranberries and blueberries (optional)*
1. Preheat oven to 250°F
2. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Reserve
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, almonds and oats and toss to coat evenly.
4. Spread evenly on prepared pan and bake in oven 30 minutes.
5. Toss and continue to cook 45 minutes longer, tossing every 15 minutes or until desired crunchy consistency. The longer you bake it the crunchier it gets.
6. Cool completely. Toss with additional nuts and dried fruit if desired. Store in tightly sealed container.
*NOTE: Since the dried fruit is moist, I found that it softened the oat granola more than I liked so I opted to add it in before serving.
More recipes & food advice:
Hillary Tonken is a professional chef with more than 30 years experience and has done everything in the food business from cookbook author to photographic food stylist and culinary school instructor. She is a frequent contributor to Completely You.
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