Monday, October 20, 2014
ADVENTURES WITH "OATRAGEOUS OATMEALS": COCONUT OAT VANILLA NUT CREAMER & STEEL-CUT OAT SAUSAGE CRUMBLES
I was so excited when I heard about Kathy Hester's new book on cooking with oats! I love oats and regard them as a staple in my kitchen. They are so healthful, homey, accessible, inexpensive and, well, indispensable. We have oatmeal (with rolled oats) almost every morning, and I had used oats to make flour, in muffins, cakes, cookies, breads, waffles and pancakes, even to thicken soups. But, in this book, Kathy has revealed what a chameleon the humble oat can be in the kitchen-- the vegan kitchen in this case!
When I agreed to review the book and be a part of the books "blog tour", it was difficult to choose which recipes to test out! So many amazingly original recipes! The book is divided into 9 sections:
Do It Yourself Homemade Staples
Warming Oats for Fall and Winter (Breakfast dishes)
Cooling Breakfast Oats for Spring and Summer
Granolas and Bars for Breakfast and Beyond
Satisfying Soups and Stews
Savory Oats for Lunch and Dinner
Drinks, Oat Milk and Even an Oat Liquor
Beyond the Dining Room: Other uses for Oats (Pet treats and personal care items)
As you can see, just about everything is covered! It's going to be fun cooking my way through the book over the fall and winter months!
I made two recipes for this blog post and I'll be posting the recipe for the first one, Coconut Oat Vanilla Nut Creamer. The recipe is easy to make and requires no complicated equipment (a blender and a fine mesh strainer are required). The pickiest part is the straining. I made the creamer twice and I'll take you through the steps as I made it:
After blending the oatmeal and coconut to chop it finely, you soak it for 10 minutes in the water. Then you blend for 3 minutes. You are left with a thick liquid, which you need to strain through a fine mesh strainer. I used two mesh strainers the 2nd time I made it, Because I was afraid that my mesh was not fine enough. And I was right.
I used a silicone spatula to press the mixture into the mesh to get the most liquid out of it that I could. I had this much pulp left after the first straining :
I decided to strain it once again through a small tea strainer-- the only thing I had that was a finer mesh than the strainers I'd used before. It took a few minutes, because the strainer is so small, but I ended up with a nice smooth "cream". (And I will be looking for a larger fine strainer!)
After you blend the strained liquid with the remaining ingredients in the recipe, you should have about 1 cup of the creamer. I had a bit less, but added a little water and it was just fine (it thickens a bit in the refrigerator).
There are many uses for this lovely, mild creamer. Drizzle on hot cereal, gingerbread, in hot drinks (see the pictures below the recipe-- it doesn't curdle in hot liquid!), and, as you can see below, on fruit!
COCONUT OAT VANILLA NUT CREAMER
From OATrageousOatmeals by Kathy Hester , printed with permission of Page Street Publishing
Gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free
Makes 1 cup (237 ml)
Makes 1 cup (237 ml)
This creamer gives you the same fun flavor without all the fillers. You can play with the extracts you use to change flavors.
1/4 cup (24 g) rolled oats (can be gluten-free)
1/4 cup (24 g) finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup (237 ml) water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) agave nectar (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
1 teaspoon (pure) vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (pure) almond extract, to taste
Break the oats and coconut into tiny pieces with your blender.
Add the water and let soak for 10 minutes.
Blend again for about 3 minutes or until smooth, then run the creamer through a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl to strain out the oat pieces.
Put the liquid, sweetener and extracts back in the blender and blend until the sweetener is incorporated and dissolved.
Per 1/4 cup (60 ml) serving with no pulp removed: Calories 83.8, protein 1.1 g, total fat 5.4 g, carbohydrates 9.4 g, sodium 2.5 mg, fiber 1.5 g
Using the creamer in strong, hot orange pekoe tea:
The second recipe I tried was Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles from the Do It Yourself Homemade Staples chapter. It's super easy to make and makes a delicious, crunchy, herb-y topping for scrambled tofu, roasted veggies, soups, pizza or pasta dishes.
Steel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles on top of our scrambled tofu
Here are some photos of the procedure:
I know you'll love this very original vegan cookbook-- thank you, Kathy!