A box of oatcakes in the cupboard is something I’m rarely without. We get through tons of them – with dips for lunch, with chunks of cheese, apples and grapes as an afternoon snack, or spread with thick lashings of homemade nutella. So I can’t say that it has ever occurred to me before to make oatcakes myself. Why bother after all, when it’s so much easier to buy a box?
Boxes of oatcakes are a staple for me and I can’t see myself ever not buying them. But home made oatcakes just taste, well entirely different. Fresh oatcakes have more texture, more taste, and either endearingly or annoyingly, depending on how you look at it, are a little more fragile and ‘rustic’. These homemade almond and rosemary oatcakes definitely feel like a treat.
And they’re so simple to make:
- Just a few ingredients
- 5 minutes to mix
- 5 minutes to cut and roll
- 15-20 minutes to bake
The only reason I made oatcakes in the first place was because I was looking for a way to use the almond flour that is a by-product of making almond milk. It’s a waste to throw away the almond meal (the wet, ground almonds, that are strained from the milk), but even with my best intentions, I never get around to using it ‘wet’ and I know if it goes straight into my freezer, it will never emerge.
So instead I spread the almonds out on a baking tray, and dry them at a low temperature in the oven, until they resemble breadcrumbs. It’s then easy to blitz them in the processor where they can be stored for ages in the cupboard as almond flour – useful in many recipes but also as a coating for fish or chicken goujons.
Traditional oatcakes don’t contain almonds, but I find that they mix well with the oats. You could use ready-made ground almonds, although making almond milk is so easy and a cheaper way to get both almond milk and almond flour from one batch of almonds. Adding chia seeds to the mix isn’t vital, but bumps up protein, adds Omega 3 fats and helps them stick together a little better.
These oatcakes don’t last long in our house; at least half disappear while they are still warm – always a good sign.
Oats can be a good way to diversify from our predominantly wheat-based diets. They are gluten-free (check for the ‘certified gluten-free’ label) and have a range of health benefits for those who tolerate them:
- Oats are low GI/GL so have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, helping to support moods and energy levels
- Oats help us to feel full due to the fibre – so we eat less
- A type of fibre in oats called beta-glucans, can help to reduce cholesterol levels
- Oats contain tryptophan so are a perfect bedtime snack; tryptophan converts to serotonin and melatonin (which helps us to sleep). Pair them with nut butter, a small amount of banana or a cup of warm milk for a stronger sleepy effect
After my almond oatcakes were such a success, I tried the traditional plain oatcakes, which were also a hit. To make these, simply use 200g of oats instead of the oat and almond mix in our recipe. We use the almond ones to snack on, and the plain ones to accompany dips, fruit or cheese.
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