Monday, October 10, 2011

Cooking and Baking With Oatmeal: Part One

This little gem is a copy of the 8th printing in January of 1981. I was about 1 and 1/2 years old!

Did you now that you can add whole grains to you and your family's diet very easily and inexpensively? This is something I struggle with for both myself and my children. We don't like wheat bread or whole wheat pasta, and we really don't have the money to afford it even if we did! And no one in our home really cares for traditional oatmeal for breakfast, which is so good for you. However, you can have oatmeal and it it too. (And even like it!)

For about a year or so now, I've been making my own oat flour by lightly toasting it in the oven and then "milling" it in the blender. I've substituted some of the all purpose flour in baked goods with the oat flour, with no adverse effects to the recipe. According to The Quaker Oats Whole Grain Cookbook you don't have to toast the oatmeal, just whir 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal in your blender or food processor for about 60 seconds until you have flour. This makes about 1 cup of flour. I make up quite a bit at a time, storing it in an airtight container in a cool dry place. "When used in baking, substitute up to but not more than 1/3 of the all purpose flour called for with oat flour." With this in mind, I give you Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies!
1 1/3 Cup of shortening, butter, stick margarine combination
1 C. Sugar
1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. oat flour
1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375*, then cream together you butter, etc. Add the sugars and mix until light and fluffy. Continue beating in 1 egg at a time, adding vanilla at the end until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed. Add 1cup of flour, (it doesn't matter which) the baking soda and salt. Mix well with beaters. Then with a strong spoon, add remaining flours and chocolate chips. Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on size of cookie and what you used for fats.
Whole Grain Choco Chip Cookies!

For the cookies pictured above, I used 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 and 1/3 cups of stick margarine. They spread a bit more than if I had used some shortening, but were still soft and chewy. And the kids haven't noticed a difference in taste! (O.k., so I couldn't either!)  I also used mini chocolate chips, so that I don't need as many in the mix. If you want to make these even healthier, you could make these into bar cookies by substituting an equal measure of unsweetened apple sauce for half of the fats, reducing the oven temp to 350* and baking for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. I've made them this way before, and although the texture is different, they are still yummy!

Another way to add oatmeal to your diet is by making the Add-A-Crunch recipe from The Quaker Oats Whole Grain Cookbook . There are three recipes, each with it's own applications. There is a Savory Add-A-Crunch, a Cinnamon A-A-C, and a Peanut A-A-C. I made the Savory Add-A-Crunch to use as "croutons, bread crumbs over salads, soups or casseroles". I'm going to give you the recipe as printed in the cook book, and then a revision that I would make next time. I felt that the original recipe used just too much butter for my tastes (Can you imagine, TOO much butter!) and I would like to make this a bit healthier. Keep in mind, I haven't actually made the revised recipe, so you might want to play around with the "fat" you use, according to your and your family's taste.
Quaker Oats Savory Add-A-Crunch
2 cups Quaker Oats (Quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1/2 Cup butter or margarine, melted
1/3 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 C. wheat germ, unprocessed bran or chopped nuts, if desired
1/4 tsp. onion or garlic salt.
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Bake in ungreased 15-1/2x10-1/2-inch jelly roll pan in a preheated moderate oven (350*F) 15 to 18n minutes or until light golden brown. Cool; store in tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 3 months. Sprinkle over tossed salad greens, soups, casseroles or vegetables. VARIATION: Add 1 tsp. oregano leaves and 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves to mixture before baking.
My Savory-Add-A Crunch. I used my usual Pyrex cake pan.

Homespun Inspirations Savory Add-A-Crunch
2 C. old fashioned or quick oats, uncooked (use whatever brand you have!)
1/4 to 1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup wheat germ or flax seed, if desired (I used flax seed in the pic above.)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.

Follow the above directions, using the biggest pan you have on hand! I'm storing mine in a quart canning jar in the fridge. You can also add whatever herbs and spices you would like.

I'm wondering if you could add the A-A-C to stuffing mix, so next time I make it, I'll try adding it in.

There are many more recipes to share, but I'm running out of time for today! And, I would prefer to share recipes that I have actually tried. So I'll be back soon with more recipes to share, and if you have one, please let me know. You can comment below, look for me on face book, or email me at Have a great day!

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