Why you should be eating wholegrain oats
Oats are one of our healthiest grains and are both nutritious and satisfying. They’re a great source of carbs and fibre and they’re rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The grains are naturally gluten-free and are suitable for coeliac and vegan diets. But you need to make sure you buy the pure, organic kind that haven’t been contaminated by other grains during production.
Oats also have many health benefits. They can aid weight loss, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and cut the risk of heart disease.
Do oats go off?
Oats keep well. If you store them in an airtight container and keep them somewhere cool and dry, they should stay fresh for at least 12 months.
Wholegrain oats are not just for porridge
There’s nothing more comforting and satisfying than a warming bowl of porridge on a cold winter’s morning. And there are seasonal recipes for porridge and overnight oats that mean you can enjoy it all year round.
But if you have oats left over and would like some alternative ideas on what to do with them, keep reading.
In this article, we’re here to inspire you, with four tasty alternative ways to enjoy oats without making porridge.
1. Alternative fruit crumble topping
Fruit crumble is a family favourite that can be enjoyed any time of year using seasonal fruits. Using wholegrain oats in place of the traditional crumble mixture makes a scrumptious, flapjack-like topping that’s crunchy with a hint of gooeyness underneath.
Take 60g of porridge oats and mix them in a bowl with 75g of light brown sugar and 70g of flour.
Then pour in 125 grams of melted butter or vegan oil and stir it all together.
If you like, you can add some extra crunch with a sprinkling of flaked almonds or mixed seeds.
Spoon the topping over your fruit base, bake at 200ºC for 25 minutes then serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
2. Vegan oat and bean burgers
You can combine oats with tinned beans and spices to make delicious vegan burgers.
Add 90g of porridge oats, then season with salt, pepper and your chosen blend of dried herbs and spices. We recommend choosing a combination of three that work well together and adding a teaspoon of each. But you can vary the quantities to taste.
Our favourite is a mix of cumin, coriander and chilli powder. You can substitute the chilli powder with curry powder, if you prefer — or try Italian seasonings, like basil, oregano and thyme. You can add some fresh herbs too, if you have them.
Shape the mixture into burgers, then fry, grill or bake to perfection.
3. Fruit and oat smoothie oats can be used to add crunch and texture to a fruit smoothie.
To make enough for 4, start by toasting 60g of oats for 2–3 minutes in a dry, non-stick frying pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, put 400g of fresh or frozen fruit in a blender with 500ml of milk, or non-dairy alternative. Blend until smooth.
You can choose whichever soft fruit you like or create a combination, if you prefer. Our summer favourite is strawberries with a kick of fresh lime juice.
Add 6tbsp of the toasted oats nuts and seeds to the blender and blend them in.
Pour the blended mixture into 4 glasses and top with the remaining toasted mix. Serve with a spoon.
4. Crunchy coatings
You can use oats as a wheat-free and gluten-free substitute for breadcrumbs, when making coatings for chicken and fish.
Whole oats are a bit too chunky for this, so you’ll want to put them in your food processor and blitz them until they have the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
Once blitzed, you can mix in some salt, pepper and other dry seasonings. Garlic granules, onion powder and citrus zest all help to add flavour, along with a mix of your favourite dried herbs and spices.
To coat them, you’ll need to take your chicken portions or wet fish and triple dip them. First in your choice of flour, then in whisked egg, then in your seasoned blitzed oats.
If you need a substitute for the whisked egg, you can use vegetable oil or mix 1 part ground flax with 2 parts water.
Put the coated portions into the fryer, or spread them on an oven tray and bake at 200ºC for 20–25 minutes.
Do you need a wholegrain oat fix?
If you’re all out of oats, but would like to try one of our alternative ideas, you can order more direct from us.
We recommend Nairn’s Gluten-Free Scottish Porridge Oats, it's wholegrain and naturally gluten-free.
Alternative ways to get your oats
If you still want oats for breakfast, but need an alternative to porridge, try Rude Health Honey Puffed Oats, which are also wholegrain and gluten-free.
We also sell the following oat products, but please note, these are not labelled as wholegrain or gluten-free.
Nairn’s Oat Cakes — oat biscuits that make a perfect base for your favourite savoury toppings.