Have you been looking at a bag of oats in your pantry and wondering the best way to use it? Perhaps you could eat multiple bowls of porridge for the next month? Or make Overnight Oats for weeks? Those two ideas are delicious and healthy, however, there are many more things that you can make with oats, using other pantry ingredients. Oats are filling, nutritious and cheap, making them the perfect pantry staple in every household.
Here are 5 ideas of what to do with oats, from my family to yours...
1/ Honey & Oat Slice is perfect for the lunchbox. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 18cm x 28cm slice pan. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup sultanas, 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup self-raising flour and 1/2 cup raw sugar. Then add 125g melted margarine and 2 Tablespoons honey. Combine and press firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool in the tray before slicing.
2/ Chocolate Protein Balls are a winner in our household and disappear very quickly! In a food processor combine 1 cup of dates, 1 cup desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup unsalted cashews, 1/4 cup oats, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons water. Mix until all combined, stopping to scrape down the sides. Roll into balls and then roll in coconut. Makes approximately 20.
Use your food processor to make protein balls using oats, dates, cocoa powder, coconut, honey and nuts. Experiment with other ingredients.
3/ Oat Biscuits are another tasty oat recipe, so you can enjoy ANZAC biscuits all year around. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays. In a large bowl combine 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup self-raising flour, 1 cup raw sugar and 3/4 cup coconut. In a microwave-proof bowl melt 125g margarine, 2 Tablespoons golden syrup and 2 Tablespoons water. Mix into the dry ingredients (add more water if it looks dry). Roll into small balls and flatten them on the baking trays. Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Makes about 20 biscuits, depending on size.
4/ Apple Mini Muffins are great for little hands. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and spray a 24 hole mini muffin tin with oil. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup vanilla yoghurt, 1 cup oats, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1/3 cup of caster sugar and 1 egg. Stir in 1 cup of self-raising flour, (sifted), 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and diced) and 1/2 cup of sultanas. Top with pepitas and sunflower seeds (optional). Bake for 15- 25 minutes in a mini muffin tin, until centres are cooked.
5/ Meatloaf is a good family recipe and this one has a thick, tasty glaze over the top. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a loaf tin with foil and then baking paper. In a large bowl, combine 500g beef mince, 1/2 diced red onion and 2 cloves garlic, finely diced. Stir in 1/2 cup rolled oats, then 1 egg and 1/2 cup milk. Season. Press into loaf tin and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan gently heat up the glaze of 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard. Stir until it becomes thick and syrupy.
Pull the meatloaf out of the oven after 15 minutes and pour the glaze over the top. Return it to the oven for 25 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with mashed potato and vegetables. * As ovens vary, cooking times may differ. You may need to cut it in half to check it has been cooked all the way through, then put back in the oven on for longer.
Oats are filling, healthy, full of fibre and give value for money. Once you start cooking with oats, you will always find more ways to use them. One bag, will never be enough!