KNOW YOUR OATS
A cereal wholegrain, oats are considered a healthy food as they are nutritious, help reduce cholesterol and are a benefit to people with an intolerance to gluten as they contain none. Use oats to thicken soups and stews.
ROLLED OATS: Once oats have been hulled, they are rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then steamed. The larger kernels of rolled or old-fashioned oats take longer to cook and digest, which gives them a low GI, providing a slow-release of energy.
PORRIDGE OATS: Milled into smaller sizes and steamed for longer. This allows a quicker cooking time. Suitable to use in cooking and baking.
INSTANT OATS: Have been pre-cooked so you will just need to add boiling water to enjoy them as a cereal. They often have sugar, salt and flavouring added, so check the packet for the ingredients.
OAT BRAN: This is the outer layer of the grain just under the hull. It is usually ground to a fine consistency. Oat bran is suitable for thickening and to add to recipes to replace a portion of the dry ingredients called for. Add a spoonful to any cereal.
SPICED OAT SLICES
125ml self-raising flour
160ml light brown sugar
250ml desiccated coconut
5ml ground cardamom or cinnamon
60ml golden syrup
375ml sifted icing sugar
3ml ground cardamom or cinnamon
5ml grated orange rind
orange juice to mix
Combine oats, flours, sugar, coconut, sultanas and spice in a bowl.
Put butter and syrup in a small saucepan and heat until melted. Add this with the beaten egg to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Press the mixture into a lined and greased 18x28cm pan, and bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely, then ice and leave to set.
Remove from pan and cut into squares.
ICING: Combine icing sugar, spice and rind in a small bowl and add enough juice to form a thick spreadable icing.
Spread on to cooled slice and leave to set.
OAT-CRUMBED FISH FILLETS
60ml chopped parsley
grated rind of 1 lemon
125ml seasoned flour
1 egg, beaten
4 fish fillets
50ml olive oil
Combine oats, parsley and rind. Put the flour on a plate and the egg into a wide shallow container.
Dip the fish fillets first in the flour, then in the egg and finally coat with the oat mixture.
Place on to a board and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the fish until golden brown on both sides – about 3-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fish.
Drain on a paper towel and serve with a side salad.
OAT AND CRANBERRY LOAD
80g butter, melted
80ml golden syrup
10ml baking powder
80ml chopped pecan nuts
125ml dried cranberries
125ml canned apples, chopped
Combine milk and 125ml of the oats and set aside for 30 minutes. Add butter and syrup to the oats and mix.
Sift flour and baking powder and add to the oats, mixing to form a batter.
Stir in the nuts, cranberries and apples.
Spoon mixture into a base-lined 20x12cm loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining oats on top.
Bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Remove loaf and cool for 10 minutes before turning on to a cooling rack.
PEAR AND CHOCOLATE CRUMBLE IN A PASTRY CUP
Serves 6 – 8
4 large unripe pears, peeled and cubed
45ml brown sugar
5ml vanilla essence
375ml rolled oats
150g chocolate chips
In a pot, add the pears and enough water to just cover. Simmer until soft and then turn up the heat to reduce the liquid.
Deglaze the pan with the sherry. Set aside. Preheat oven to 200°C.
PASTRY CUPS: Add the butter, flour and cocoa to a food processor and pulse until mixture is fine. Add egg and pulse until it forms a ball of pastry.
Roll pastry out to 2mm thick and cut out a circle using a small pot lid. Drape the circle of pastry over a dariole mould or other small, round ovenproof bowl. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn over while still hot.
CRUMBLE TOPPING: Add the butter, sugar and vanilla essence to the food processor. Pulse until well combined.
Mix in the walnuts and hazelnuts and pulse again to incorporate. Add the oats and turn the mixture out into a large mixing bowl before adding the chocolate chips.
Add some cooled pears to the cooled pastry case and top with a generous amount of crumble topping. Turn the oven down to 170°C and bake for 20 minutes.