What to Do
with 25lbs of Oats
by Crystal Miller
Buying grains in bulk quantities (25 or 50lb bags) is a great way to save money. Oats are a great food source and low in cost. They are high in vitamins B1 and E and also contain protein and many other valuable minerals that our bodies need. They have the most soluble fiber of any grain. They also help to stabilize blood sugar. What a great economical source of health providing food to feed your family!
Now that you know how great oats are for your health and your budget what are some ways to use this power packed food?
Oats are a great choice for breakfast! Cold breakfast cereals can be very hard on a budget and feeding oatmeal for breakfast is a great alternative.
Our Breakfast Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a breakfast that my children see often, especially in the winter months where a hot breakfast feels so good. It warms the insides and starts the day off right. I always serve oatmeal with toast made from my homemade bread.
Basic recipe, adjust to feed your family
1 cup water
˝ cup oats
pinch of salt
Bring water and salt to a boil, add oats. Cook 5 minutes for quick oats and 10 to 15 minutes for regular oats. Serve with real maple syrup or honey to sweeten a bit and milk. Raisins and cinnamon added are optional. My son likes to stir in a big spoonful of peanut butter into his oatmeal.
If you want to improve the nutritional aspect of your oatmeal you can soak it the night before. I do this quite often. Combine water and oats in a cooking pot and add 1T yogurt, kefir, or whey for every cup of water. Let this soak overnight and in the morning add salt and cook oats. Soaking any grain before cooking allows for better absorption of the nutrients.
Besides oatmeal I have a few more favorite breakfast recipes that use oats:
Homemade Instant Oatmeal Mix http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/instantoatmix1.htm
Baked Oatmeal http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/bakedoatmea1.htm
Oatmeal Pancakes http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/oatmealpancakes.htm
Overnight Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/cinnoatpancakes1.htm
Cinnamon Oat Waffles http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/cinnoatwaffles.htm
Raisin Oatmeal Scones http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/raisinoatscones.htm
Peanut butter Granola http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/peanutbuttergranola.htm
Stir a couple of tablespoons oats into a cup of yogurt
Oats can be added to baked goods. They are great in breads, muffins and cookies. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
Oat Dinner Rolls http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/wwoatdinnerrolls.htm
I really love this recipe. The rolls also make great hamburger buns. If I want to use them for hamburger buns I make 18 rolls instead of the 24 the recipe calls for in dinner roll form. I also will often use this recipe to make cinnamon rolls.
Leftover Oatmeal Make too much oatmeal for breakfast? No problem!
Leftover Oatmeal Muffins http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/leftoveroatmealmuffins.htm
Leftover Oatmeal Cake http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/leftoveroatmealcake.htm
Cookies and Cakes Oats are wonderful addition to cookies and cakes. Here are my favorites:
Oatmeal Cookies http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/oatmealcookies.htm
Big Batch Oatmeal Raisin Cookies http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/oatmealraisincookies.htm
Peanut butter Oatmeal Cookies http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/peanutbutteroatcookies.htm
Cowboy Cookies http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/cowboycookies.htm
Oatmeal Spice Cake http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/oatmealspicecake.htm
Other Ways to use oats:
~You can use oats in place of cracker crumbs or bread in foods like meatloaf and meatballs.
~You can use oats to thicken stews and soups
~In baking you can replace up to 1/3 of the flour called for in a recipe with oats
~Add a 2 to 4 Tablespoons of oats to your next smoothie
~Ice Cream Sandwiches: Make a batch of oatmeal cookies and let them cool. Take vanilla ice cream and spread thickly on one cookie and top with a second cookie, freeze.
There are a few uses of oats that are not food related, but health related. Oats help to smooth and soften skin. They can also be helpful with eczema as well as itchy skin. Take an oatmeal bath! Put oats into a muslin bag or even an old nylon that has been washed and cleaned and tie this to the spout of your tub. As the water fills the tub it will run through the oats. Or you can boil a cup of oats in 2 quarts of water for a few minutes, stain out the oats and add the water to your bath.
A Few More Tidbits of Info on Oats
You can buy regular or quick cooking oats and typically use them interchangeably in recipes. The only difference between the two types is how thin they have been rolled. There are other varieties of oats such as “Scottish” oats which are very thick cut and may not work well in baking. Steel cut oats are the oat groat (the oat grain) that are cut in small pieces. They are great for a breakfast cereal but do not work well in other applications such as baking and cooking.
In the mid 1880’s here in the US, a German grocer in Ohio began hulling and selling oats to his fellow immigrants. At the time the main staple for breakfast in the Midwest was typically meat, eggs and potatoes, fruit. For most immigrants this was beyond what they could produce. Oats were mainly considered horse food, not people food when this Ohio grocer began selling it. He was ridiculed and made fun of for selling them! And today, oats are looked at as a very important part of a healthy diet.
Incidentally in a town that was not far from the first milling of oats a group of 3 men began doing the same thing as the German grocer. But instead of selling their steel cut oats in bulk they put them in a nice box, added cooking directions and called their product “Quaker Oats”.
So as you can see oats are a healthy and delicious way to help you stretch your grocery budget and provide good quality food for your family.