Eat your Oats

I have been aware of the health benefits of Oats for years. Scientists have only since said that they are among some of the best foods we can eat. They are heart friendly, gut friendly, good for the waist line, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar, have some antioxidants that are unique to Oats and also anti inflammatory. They help weight loss, they have a good satiety value ( keeps you feeling satisfied for longer), they have also a low glycemic index, which means that they cause a lower rise in blood sugar. Which are the best Oats to buy! Jumbo, steel cut but avoid instant oats, like Readibrek which are probably fine kids and the elderly or sick as they are as the packet says, instant but are also fine and creamy, but for the rest of us, the chunkier the better!

I have made Bircher Muesli for years, but have just started making pastry using a mixture of oats and flour, a bit of a revelation really, crisper, less time to Bake Blind ( no soggy bottoms here)!

Himself LOVES RHUBARB and being the good wife that I am, I buy it when in season, and of course here in the UK it is available much of the year. Rhubarb is a native of Siberia and as such loves the climate of Yorkshire. In the early 1900’s West Yorkshire produced more than 90% of the worlds forced Rhubarb, and in 2010 it received the honour of PDO ( Protected Designation of Origin) from the European Commission. Forced rhubarb is grown in sheds, the stalks are crimson and the leaves yellowish. The pickers pull the stalks by candlelight, to protect the growth of the plant and by March the season is over.

My GoTo use for Rhubarb is Crumble. I make the crumble mix in advance, using a mixture of flour, oats, butter, sugar and chopped nuts. This I freeze, so that it is there, ready to use, when needed. Rhubarb makes a great sauce to serve with fish, chicken or duck, but also for tarts. Therefore using my recently discovered oat laden pastry, I made a Rhubarb tart.

  • 140 grams coarse toasted oats
  • 140 grams plain flour
  • 60 grams fine caster sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 150 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 beaten egg

Heat oven to 170 C.

Using a food processor, place the oats, flour, salt, sugar and butter into the bowl, switch on and give it a quick wiz and then with the motor running pour in the egg and mixture will go Bonk Bonk and form into a rough ball. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes to form a smooth ball. Roll out carefully into a round about 2” larger than your dish. ( I used a 23 cm non stick tart tin with a loose base). Carefully hang the pastry over the rolling pin and drap it over the tin and mould into the sides using your knuckles. Line the tin with greaseproof paper and fill the time with beans or rice to bake blind for only about 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and trim the pastry that might be overhanging the tin.

  • For the filling
  • 125 grms soft unsalted butter
  • 125 grams fine caster sugar
  • 125 grms ground almonds
  • +/-200 grams fine young rhubarb cut into approximately 2” lengths
  • Whipped cream to serve
  • Method
  • Again in a food processor beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy, add the egg and the ground almonds, mix quickly together.
  • Put into the pastry and arrange the rhubarb on top. Return to the oven for about 35 minutes until the tart is golden .
  • Leave to cool before removing from the tin, beware it is just a little fragile!
  • Serve cold or lukewarm with a good dollop of whipped cream.

2 thoughts on “Eat your Oats

  1. I don’t understand why you’re still with Tony when it is clear that you and I were meant to be together! I have been adding oat bran to my breads and pastries for 40 years. The basic technique is to substitute about 10% of the white wheat flour with oat bran. Nothing else changes. You have eaten my baguettes, repeatedly, and no one has ever guessed that they are actually oat-rich health food! Same with my chocolate chip cookies and pastry dough. The advantage of oat bran over whole oats is that it is water soluble fibre and just merges with the wheat flour.

    PS your Rhubarb Frangipane tart is just about the prettiest thing I have ever seen! And I mean that in a decent, manly way…..

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    1. After 51 years it is too difficult to change! And thanks for the thoughts on the rhubarb tart and it was indeed yummy! Tony went on a Marcus Waring course on Thursday and so tonight we are having rack of lamb, courtesy of Tony!

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