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Oatmeal: It’s more than a hearty breakfast

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

A favorite breakfast dish is a bowl full of piping hot oats.

Oatmeal’s a superfood.

All types – steel-cut, rolled, or quick oats provide important vitamins and minerals like thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and more – nutrients essential to health during winter. The list of benefits is long. All oats are excellent for nutrition regardless of the cut.

Old-fashioned rolled oats are oat groats steamed and rolled into flakes. They cook quicker than steel-cut oats. Quick oats are cut into more pieces and rolled thinner. They will not have as much texture as steel-cut or rolled but will cook even faster. If a recipe calls for quick oats and you have rolled oats, pulse the quick oats in a food processor. In a recipe, rolled and quick oats can be swapped.  Nothing changes except texture – and that won’t matter.  Instant oats are cut smaller, pressed thinner, need little cooking time –and not recommended for interchange.

Whatever oat groats you eat, all are highly nutritious. When I look on the label and see only one ingredient – 100% oats – it’s confirmed.

Oats are so much more than a pre-packaged, instant breakfast food.

ONE GOOD MEATLOAF

2 eggs

2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 pkg. dry onion soup mix

8 oz. tomato sauce

1 cup uncooked, rolled oats

1 Tbsp. horseradish

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add beef, onion soup, tomato sauce, oats, and horseradish. Using your hands, blend well. Pack the meat into a greased loaf pan. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Serve with a delicious sauce.

APPLE-CRANBERRY CASSEROLE

3 cups unpeeled, chopped, Granny Smith apples

2 cups fresh cranberries

½ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups quick-cooking oatmeal

¼ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup chopped pecans

1 stick melted butter

In a mixer bowl, mix apples, cranberries, and sugar together. Transfer to a butter greased 9 x 13 baking dish. In same bowl, mix oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, pecans, and butter. Sprinkle over the apple mixture. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

SCOTTISH OATMEAL CAKES

½ tsp. soda

½ cup boiling water

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 cups bran flakes

2 cups rolled oats

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 ¼ cups Crisco shortening

In a pot, boil water and dissolve soda. Set aside to cool. In a mixer bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, Bran Flakes, rolled oats, and sugar. Cut in shortening. Add water and dissolved soda. Roll out on a floured board and cut into rectangular bars.  Bake in a 350-degree oven until golden brown.

BUTTERED OATMEAL PIE

2 beaten eggs

1 stick melted, salted butter

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup Karo pancake syrup (green label)

2/3 cup oatmeal

1 unbaked pie crust

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add melted butter, sugar, and syrup, and mix well. Fold in oats. Mix well. Pour into an unbaked pie crust. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 50 minutes.

CRANBERRY-OATMEAL CRUNCH

1 cup oatmeal

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

½ stick salted butter

2 ½ cups whole berry cranberry sauce

In a mixer bowl, add oatmeal, flour, and brown sugar. Mix well. Cut in butter. In a butter greased baking dish, put half of mixture on bottom. Layer cranberry over the top. Pour remaining mixture on top. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

COWGIRL COOKIES

½ cup salted butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp. soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups 1-minute oatmeal

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and mix well. Stir in vanilla extract, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and nuts. Mix well. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

OATMEAL MUFFINS

1 Tbsp. melted, salted butter

2 Tbsp. honey or 3 Tbsp. brown sugar

½ cup rolled oats

1 tsp. salt

1 cup scalded milk

1 Tbsp. baker’s yeast

2 cups unbleached white flour

In a mixer bowl, combine butter, honey, oats, and salt. Pour the scalded milk over mixture and allow to cool to lukewarm. When warm, add the yeast to the mixture. Beat in the flour. Fill the muffin tins halfway to the top with mixture. Allow muffins to rise until mixture fills the space. Bake in a 425-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Yield: 1 dozen.

HEARTY RANGE COOKIES

1 cup Crisco shortening

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. soda

½ tsp. baking powder

2 cups oatmeal

2 cups corn flakes or rice krispies

1 cup coconut

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and mix well. Combine flour, soda, and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. Stir in oatmeal, cereal, and coconut. Mix well. Roll in balls and flatten with thumb. Dough will be crumbly. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes or until done.

OATMEAL CAKE

1 cup quick oats

1 ¼ cup boiling water

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 stick salted butter

2 eggs

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a bowl, pour water over oats and let sit for 20 minutes. In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add oats and mix well. Add flour, soda, and cinnamon to creamed mixture. Mix well. Fold in vanilla. Bake in a greased and floured baking dish in a 350-degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

ICING FOR OATS CAKE

½ stick salted butter

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup whole milk

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup flaked coconut

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Stir in milk, nuts, and coconut. Spread on cake.