Staff Review: Fresh Rolled Oats

B - HazelReviewer: Hazel Bacigalupo

For a many years I have enjoyed oats for breakfast, aware that they are a healthy way to start the day – unlike empty calorie-packed breakfast cereals! When South Shore Organics started selling rolled oats, Pam gave me a bag to see if I liked it.   I didn’t expect to notice any difference to the oats I had previously being buying from the supermarket, but I was in for a pleasant surprise.

These oats are naturally sweet and fresh, supermarket oats taste like cardboard in comparison. I don’t cook my oats in water, but instead use skim milk allowing them to simmer slowly (around 20 minutes, which is longer than generally recommended).  They are wonderfully chewy and so tasty, it is like eating a favorite dessert.  I find oats for breakfast are filling enough to keep me on the go until lunch time.

"I find oats for breakfast are filling enough to keep me on the go until lunch time

“I find oats for breakfast are filling enough to keep me on the go until lunch time

I also use them when cooking an excellent cookie recipe I used to make when living in Zimbabwe.  Say “Crunchie” to any Zimbabwean or South African, and they will know exactly what you are talking about!!  They are square cookies with a wonderful crunchy chewy consistency (hence the name) and they don’t hang around for long, especially with kids in the house.

Recipe for Zimbabwe Crunchies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ lb. margarine (or butter)
  • 1 large tablespoon of Lyle’s Golden Syrup (available in the British import section of Shaw’s or Stop ‘n Shop), I have also used honey in a pinch and it works well.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional – ½ cup dried cranberries

Put all dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the margarine and syrup (or honey) together, add baking soda and stir till frothy.  Add this to the mixed dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Flatten (I use my hand) into a large greased shallow pan and bake at 3000 until golden brown until crisp – about 30 minutes.  Cut while warm and leave to cool in the pan. Best enjoyed with a good cup of tea, Zimbabwe style. YUM!!!

NOTE: you don’t have to cook your oats, in the heat of summer, you can make ‘overnight oats’ that are just as chewy and delicious. Just do equal parts oats, to your choice of liquid (almond milk, soy milk, yogurt, cows milk) and let stand overnight, here are some other yummy combinations for you to play with:

  • oats, almond milk, peanut butter, banana
  • oats, almond milk, agave or honey, blueberries
  • oats, french vanilla yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, banana
  • oats, almond milk, vanilla extract, dried cranberries, sliced almonds
  • oats, greek yogurt, brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract
  • oats, greek yogurt, bananas, mango
  • oats, almond milk, apples, maple syrup, cinamon
  • oats, milk, chocolate chips, cherries

About Maine Grains:

Their mission is to cultivate and deliver exceptional stone ground grains, which are locally grown and sourced. Through a unique stone-milling process, Maine Grains preserves nutritional content and the performance of their grains and flours for natural fermentation baking and cooking. Locally grown grains provide a variety of delicious hearty flavors, and are non-GMO and sustainably grown, preserving Maine land for work and play for generations to come.

About Hazel:

Don’t let Hazel’s petite frame, blue eyes, and lovely accent fool you, this lady is as tough as nails.  From a remote farm in Zimbabwe to the South Shore community of Massachusetts, she’s seen it all and knows how to get the job done, and it is her breakfast of champions that keeps her going long after the rest of us are worn out!

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