There's a wide world of oats out there
If you find yourself in the kitchen at breakfast with a surplus of rolled oats and no desire whatsoever to make a pot of oatmeal, don’t lose hope. There are actually a bunch of ways to parlay those oats into more exciting breakfast foods. By grinding, soaking, and even blending oats into your go-to breakfasts, you’ll finally finish that four-pound bag of oats you bought during a bulk bin sale. From oat flour quick breads and pancakes to healthy breakfast cookies to oat-kissed fruit smoothies, here’s how to use oats when you’re sick of oatmeal.
Oats can be ground into a fine meal and used like other alternative grain flours. Grind rolled oats in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder until fine. Then, use in pancakes, waffles, muffins, or quick breads. Keep in mind that oat flour doesn’t have the same glutenous properties as all-purpose flour, so you’ll need to use a ratio of 2 parts oat flour to 1 part all-purpose. If you’re gluten free, increase the amount of baking soda called for in the recipe by 25 percent. For baked goods like muffins or breads, add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum per 1 cup oat flour as well.
Unlike other nondairy milks, oat milk doesn’t require a lengthy soak or a high-powered blender. Plus, it’s way cheaper than nuts. Blend 1 cup rolled oats with 3 cups filtered water (with a splash of maple syrup and a pinch of salt if you’d like) on high until smooth, then strain through 2 layers of cheesecloth.
Granola or Muesli
Seriously, stop spending all your hard-earned money on packaged granola and muesli. Making homemade granola or muesli takes about 10 minutes of active prep time and will stay fresh for weeks (you’ll have eaten it all by then, but it could last that long). For granola, mix 3 cups rolled oats with 3 cups of your favorite nuts and seeds, then toss with a mixture ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup maple syrup or honey, and one egg white whipped to medium peaks. Bake at 300ºF for 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. For muesli, mix 3 cups rolled oats with 1 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds, ¼ cup chia seeds, and ¼ cup dried fruit. Store both breakfasts in sealed jars and serve with yogurt or milk and freshly chopped fruit.
While overnight oatmeal is certainly related to oatmeal proper, the two preparation methods yield unique flavor. Mix ½ cup rolled oats with 1/2 cup milk of your choice in a small jar. Add a spoonful of plain yogurt, nut butter, chia seeds, and/or maple syrup if you so choose. Cover, and store in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
Adding ¼ cup rolled oats to your favorite smoothie recipe will not only make your blended fruit and milk into a more filling meal, it works as a thickener and adds a slightly nutty flavor.
Cookies for breakfast sounds like the dream, but to avoid facing a 10 a.m. sugar crash, try making oat-based breakfast cookies. Mix 2 cups rolled oats with 1 cup shredded coconut, ½ cup nut butter, 1 mashed banana, ½ cup flour (your choice!) and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350ºF.