Oat flakes, also known as Rolled Oats or Oatmeal, maintain the same nutrients found in oat grains, but with the benefit of avoiding long cooking times: processing consists in a pre cooking of the grains through a current of steam in order to gelatinize the starch, making it more digestible; the grains are then flattened through laminating cylinders; finally the flattened grains are dried and then cooled in order to reduce the moisture contents up to 12-14%, which is infact necessary for the perfect conservation of the flakes over time.
From a nutrional point of view, oat has a complete and balanced composition, thanks to the presence of high value proteins, rich in lysine, and unsaturated fatty acids including omega-9 and omega-6.
Oat is characterized by a high fibre count and a low glycemic index, that make this cereal an ideal option for low-calorie diets. A particular feature of oat flakes is the “avenina” element, an alkaloid that has tonic, energetic and balancing effects on the nervous system. Moreover, the content of mineral salts (magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon, and iron), B Vitamins, plant sterols and antioxidants make oat a truly complete food.
How to use them:
Oat flakes are a very nutritious and versatile ingredient, used not only for a delicious breakfast but also for the preparation of breads, muffins, cookies or even straight as is for a healthy snack or a fancy garnish.
Ingredients (for 4 people), 160 g oat flakes, 200 g dried prunes, 100 g cream, 1 liter water, salt
Cooking Instructions: pour the water into a saucepan and bring to boil. Once the water is boiling, stir in the oat flakes and cook for about 20 minutes over a very low heat, until a rather dense paste is formed. Then, after having soaked the prunes in water until they have softened, add the prunes. Salt lightly and pour into a bowl, together with the cold cream and mix everything thoroughly.
Focaccia with Oat Flakes and fennel seeds
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 100 g rye flour, 250 g whole wheat flour, 100 g oat flakes, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 20 g brewer's yeast, 120 g butter, 1 dl milk, salt
Cooking Instructions: mix the two flours with a pinch of salt, then mix it with 100 g of softened (room temperature) butter and the yeast dissolved in warm milk. Stir the fennel seeds into the dough, and knead it until it has all been smoothed out. Cover it with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. Take the dough and knead it again. Then roll it out into a thin sheet, which has been sprinkled with oatmeal. Grease and flour a baking pan and once the dough is covered with oatmeal, put the dough on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 190 ° C for 20 minutes.
Blueberry Oat Flake muffins
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 300 g soft wheat flour, 200 g oat flakes (plus a bit extra for the topping), a packet of instant yeast or baking powder, 150 g of sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 250 ml milk, 2 eggs, 150 ml vegetable oil (or you can also try hemp seed oil), 125 g fresh blueberries
Cooking Instructions: combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, baking powder, salt, oat flakes and sugar. In another bowl beat the eggs with the milk and oil. Combine the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir the ingredients together, but don’t stir the better too much or too hard (it doesn’t matter if there are still small lumps of flour – they will mix in while the muffins are baking. If the batter is stirred too hard, the gluten in the flour will develop, causing hard and rubbery muffins). After buttering and flouring the muffin molds, pour the batter into them, filling them ¾ full. Sprinkle a bit of oat flakes on top of the muffins and then bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, but leave the muffins in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cook on a wire rack.
Hazelnut and Oat Flakes balls
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 500 g oat flakes, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup of crushed hazelnuts, salt
Cooking Instructions: using the oat flakes, raisins (that have previously been soaked in warm water), salt and water, make a consistent paste. Toast the hazelnuts, and then rub them in your hands to remove the skins, grind them into a powder and add them to paste. Use a tablespoon to make balls and one by one, place them on baking sheets that have been lined with baking paper. Bake at medium heat for 35 minutes.
5 parts oat flakes
2 pieces of fresh fruit (strawberries, mango, banana, ...)
1 part raisins
1 part dried fruit (hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, ...)
1 part seeds (flax, sunflower)
yogurt or milk to taste
Oat Flakes bars
Ingredients (amount for 40 cookies): 300 g of oat flakes, 100 g of whole wheat flour, 160 g brown sugar, baking powder, 120 ml extra virgin olive oil, 300 ml hot water, 1 pinch salt
Cooking Instructions: mix the oat flakes with the whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar, oil and water and knead the dough to make it smooth. Line your baking sheets with baking paper and roll out the dough, let it rest for 15 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees. Cut the surface of the dough before baking it, so that the bars will be easy to remove from the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.