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Oat

(Avena sativa)

Oat is a cereal grain, found typically in the cool climates of North America and Northwestern Europe. Their high tolerance to rain, make them adapt well to the clay soils of Central Italy. After being harvested, many of the cultivated oat varieties’ seeds are encased by the glumes and the husk. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as “dressed”. However, we propose one of the few varieties that the seed is "naked". In other words, the "hulling" procedure is superfluous and the seed preserves its nutritional qualities.

 

 



From a nutrional point of view, oat grains are rich in lipids and contain unsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid and linoleic acid. They also have proteins with a high organic value thanks to the presence of lysine. With a high fiber count and an very low a glycemic index, oat grains are also ideal for diabetics. Their content of mineral salts (magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon, and iron), B Vitamins and antioxidants make them a truly complete food. The presence of plant sterols also give them the capacity to regulate cholesterol in the blood. One particular feature of oat grains is the element of “avenina”, an alkaloid that has tonic, energetic and balancing effects on the nervous system and stimulates the functionability of the thyroid. They also come in handy for people who suffer from insomnia, depression and eating disorders. Oat grains are used during convalescence and nursing, as they are very nutritious and easy to digest. Oat grains are also commonly used in cosmetic products, such as skin creams, because of their moisturizing, soothing, and protective qualities. These qualities also make them perfect for and often used in children’s skin creams.

 

How to use them:

 

Oat is characterized by a mildly sweet flavour, making them perfect for first dishes, but also ideal for desserts. They also accompany many recipes well as side dishes (replacing rice as a side for meat dishes, or in cold salads). Otherwise, they can also be cooked directly into dishes, such as minestrone soup, enriching it’s taste and nutritional value.
Basic recipe: after thoroughly washing and cleaning the oat grains, they need to be cooked for at least 45 minutes. They do not need to soak in water prior to being cooked.

 

Warm Oat salad with radicchio and apple


Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 250 g of oat grains, 1 red radicchio, 1 leek, 1 sour apple, some mint leaves, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, juice from half of a lemon, salt and pepper
Cooking Instructions: fill a pot with water and cook the oats for 45 minutes. Thinly cut the radicchio. Then cut the leeks in round discs. Afterwards, peel the apple and thinly slice it. Put everything in a dish, mix it together, squeeze the lemon juice over it, and put it aside. When the oats grains are finished cooking, separate the grains with a fork and dress them with oil and vinegar. Chop the mint leaves and add them to the grains. Mix well, and add salt and pepper. Finally, combine the grains with the other ingredients and serve.

 

Oat soup

 

Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 200 g oat grain, a bunch of swiss chard (or any other vegetable of preference), 4 dried tomatoes, 1 onion, parsely, vegetable broth, extra-virgin olive oil, salt
Cooking Instructions: put some oil in a pan, followed by the finely chopped onion and dried tomato and then oat grains. Sautee in the pan for about 3-4 minutes and then add the cleaned and chopped chard, and the vegetable broth. Cook for about 45 minutes. Serve with finely chopped parsely and a drizzle of fresh olive oil.

 

Pesto-marinated Oat salad
 

Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 250 g of oat grain, 3 tomatoes, 1 courgette, half an onion, 1 red sweet pepper
Cooking Instructions: fill a pot with abundant salted water and add the oat grains. Cook for 45 minutes. After, drain the grains and let them cool. Cut all of the vegetables into small pieces. Add the oat grains and mix. Finally, add the pesto with olive oil and set aside to marinate for 3 hours. Before serving, add some grated Parmesan Cheese.

 

Cold Oat salad

 

Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 250 g oat grains, 3 carrots, 2 courgettes, 3 mature tomatoes, half an onion, a few basil leaves, oil, salt and chopped hot pepper.
Cooking Instructions: Fill a pot with abundant salted water and cook the oat grains for ab. 45 minutes. After, drain the grains and put them aside to cool. Finely chop the raw carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, and onion, and put them in a salad bowl. Add the cooled oat grains, and dress everything with salt, oil, finely chopped hot pepper and garnish with the basil leaves.

 

Oat grain salad, roast-beef, and vegetable crudités

 

Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 150 g of oat grains, 600 g of beef sirloin, 4 teaspoons of mustard, 100 g of celery, 100 g of carrots, 100 g of sweet peppers, 100 g of courgets, 50 g of red onion, 4 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, vegetable broth, juice from an orange, 1 teaspoon of grappa (or vodka), salt and pepper.
Cooking Instructions: pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Dress the beef sirloin with the mustard and salt, tie it and place it in the oven for 20 minutes, above the grill. Once cooked, put it aside to cool off and rest. In the meantime, cook the oat grains for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water and put them aside to cool. Finely chop the raw vegetables, add them to the oat grains, and dress the mixture with salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Dice the roast beef and dress it with a bit of salt, the fresh orange juice, a spoonful of grappa, and a bit of pepper. Combine the roast beef with the oats and vegetable mixture, and serve cold.