I always thank the good people at Cheerios for getting the word out about oats. You can love or hate the commercials and the cereal, but they have done an amazingly thorough job of letting everyone know that oats lower cholesterol. But too many people seem to think that the only way to enjoy the goodness of oats is in either a hot or cold cereal at breakfast, or maybe a cookie.
Well, if you ever wanted to explore the world of oats beyond the cereal bowl, Kathy Hester’s new book OATrageous Oatmeals Delicious and Surprising Plant-Based Dishes From This Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain has arrived to broaden your oat-y horizons. This book is packed with vegan, gluten-free recipes that utilize the lovable oat in every course, from breakfast and cookies to main courses, soups, even beverages.
Of course, Hester has dedicated quite a bit of time to really exploring oats for breakfast, both hot and cold. If you thought you had only one way to make your morning steel-cuts or muesli, take a look at these explorations of the art of oat-y breakfasts. From Pumpkin-Oat Breakfast Cake and Kheer (Indian Pudding) Oatmeal in Winter, to Candy Bar Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal and Green Oat Smoothies in Summer, your oat options are expanding. Another chapter is devoted solely to granolas and bars, both savory and sweet (see recipe below.) We all love a sweet granola, but those savory ones are on the move, I’ve been making them and seeing them on menus at creative restaurants, so their time must be here.
And if you have always thought of oats as either rolled or steel-cut, Hester gives you plenty of good reasons to explore whole oat groats. You may remember my past post on whole oat groats, a grain that I keep thinking will be the next big thing. (Recipe for Oat Biryani Here) Love your vegan mac and cheese? There’s a version made with oats. Looking for a fun vegan “meatloaf? Try the Sunflower Seed and Bean Oat Loaf. Pizza crusts, stir fries, you will find a way to get those sweet, tender, healthy oats into meals that will heal your friends and family.
Of course, Hester rocks the dessert chapter, with fab plant-based crumbles, pies, cookies, cakes, even Dreamy Dark Chocolate Oat Cream. Oh yes, I’m talking ICE CREAM made from oats. On to the chapter on making milks, creamers, teas, and even a liqueur, and oats take on a whole new meaning.
And since we all love our pets, there is even a selection of pet treats, all made with oats!
Honestly, the oat-lover in you will really enjoy this book. You can even make Hester’s Soothing Lavender Oat Bath Soak, and lie in a warm, soothing bath while you read about the enticing oat-based dishes you can make when you rinse off.
Because, well, OATS!
Curry Cashew Savory Granola
From OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester printed with permission of Page Street Publishing
Makes 2 cups (161 grams)
soy-free, gluten-free option*, oil-free option**
One of the reasons I love curry is that it blends spices used in desserts with savory and fiery flavors. Because of that, this granola straddles the line between savory and sweet. Try it as a delicious topping to the Indian-Spiced Tomato Soup (recipe on page 107) or a great change of pace to your normal morning yogurt.
2 tablespoons (14 g) ground flaxseed
mixed with 4 tablespoons (59 ml) warm
1 cup (92 g) rolled oats (*make sure oats are marked gluten-free)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil (**replace oil with 1 tablespoon [15 g] ground
flaxseed mixed with 2 tablespoons [30 ml] warm water in addition to the amount above)
1⁄3 cup (55 g) golden raisins
1⁄3 cup (26 g) finely shredded coconut
1⁄3 cup (43 g) minced cashews nuts
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄8 teaspoon ground mustard
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and either oil a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Add all ingredients but the salt to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix well, then add salt to taste.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet and press thin. You should have one large, flat
piece about 1/4 to 1⁄8-inch thin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are browned and the
middle is no longer wet.
Let cool on cookie sheet and break it up into large or small chunks with your hands. Use to top
salads or plain yogurt, or just eat by the handful for a snack!