Are oats good for anything else other than porridge or crumble? | Kitchen aide

What else can I use oats for other than porridge and crumble?
Clare, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Oats have a lot going for them: they’re nourishing, filling and good value. Yes, they’re the main player in porridge and, for some, in crumbles, too, but they also present many other possibilities, both sweet and savoury.

It all comes down to which oats Clare has knocking about. Spent jumbo ones, for example, would be very at home in soda bread, both worked into the dough and sprinkled on top before baking. Besides making cracking toast, the charm of this loaf lies in its simplicity: “You just mix all the wet ingredients, mix all the dry ingredients, then combine the two,” says Roberta Hall-McCarron, chef/owner of The Little Chartroom in Edinburgh. “It’s quite a wet dough and the oats soak up that moisture nicely, but they also help to keep the bread moist.”

Another no-porridge breakfast option is pancakes, for which Ben Tish, chef director of Cubitt House group in London, subs oats for flour. “Put oats, eggs, a little baking powder, a banana and some cinnamon in a blender, and add a bit of yoghurt or coconut milk to loosen.” Whizz and that’s your batter. If, however, you fancy something savoury, simply swap the banana for avocado, ditch the cinnamon, and eat topped with extra avocado or tomatoes.

For the adventurous, Hall-McCarron suggests using pinhead oats for homemade haggis, or mixing them into a stuffing to accompany your Sunday roast, or even veggie burgers: “They act as a nice binder.” Tish, meanwhile, blends his oats “so they’re a bit finer” and uses them to encase oily fish, such as mackerel, herring or salmon. “Brush the fish with grain or dijon mustard, then coat it in oats to give it a crust and fry or bake. The oats give a nice, nutty flavour.”

Perhaps the easiest solution of all, however, comes in the shape of old-school flapjacks. That said, Jemma Wilson (otherwise known as Cupcake Jemma), co-owner of Crumbs & Doilies bakery in London, is also partial to including blitzed oats in a “buttery biscuit base” for the likes of cheesecake. Or go for Hall-McCarron’s favourite – panna cotta. “Toast the oats quite heavily [but don’t burn them], then infuse them in the panna cotta mix – it’s an interesting way to jazz up a fairly simple dessert.” Go all-out and toast extra oats with a little butter and sugar to sprinkle over the top for some sweet texture.

Like Hall-McCarron, Wilson is a great believer in toasting her oats, but in her case they’re for oat-and-raisin cookies. To deplete those stocks even further, try rolling the dough in extra oats before baking: “You might want to blitz them up a little, so they’re less imposing, then mix with demerara sugar so you get a really craggy, rough coating.” And don’t be fooled by the understated nature of these cookies: “They may look a bit unexciting next to their chocolate-filled, caramel-filled brothers and sisters, but I love them,” Wilson says. “They’re the underdog of the cookie world.” The campaign starts now.

The Guardian