Last fall I discovered the Whole Grain Council’s “grain of the month” calendar and will be trying out a new grain each month, just because I needed to add another goal to my life.
I was really glad when I saw that January’s grain was oats. I’m familiar with oats. I like oats. I already had oats in my pantry. Before long, however, I was inundated with ideas. There’s an overwhelming number of things that can be made with oats. A quick search of my Evernote account yields 67 results.
The first, obvious, use for oats was oatmeal, but I’m not really going to spend much time on that. It’s warm, it’s delicious, it makes a great breakfast (I prefer mine with cranberries and walnuts.) I think that’s all I really need to say, though Holly just posted her 10 top bowls of oatmeal, if you need more ideas.
The next natural progression was granola bars. I intended to test drive several different recipes for this post, but for whatever reason, the past couple weeks have been sort of nuts. I did manage to make a batch of bars using this recipe from Good Housekeeping. I adapted them and used my favorite egg substitute instead of eggs, because I think putting eggs in granola bars is strange. I like the recipe because it’s fairly low in sugar and the ingredients list is short. The resulting granola bars were a little crumbly, but delicious and a perfect on-the-go breakfast.
This month’s challenge seemed like the perfect time to try out the oat bread recipe I’d been putting off. Like most bread recipes, it took several hours to complete the loaf, but most of that time was unattended. Unable to find oat flour, I ground some oats in my mini-blender and they worked perfectly fine. I was thrilled with the way the final product looked and even happier with the taste. Given the relatively low effort required and the great taste, I’ve already made plans to make this one again.
Early in my ponderings about how to best utilize oats, veggie burgers came to mind. Obviously, oats aren’t the main ingredient, but a lot of the recipes I have contain them. I decided to make a really simple burger without a recipe and they turned out surprisingly well, given my history of homemade burger failure. Brian said they were the best burgers I’ve made so far, so I guess this one’s a keeper!
Simple Bean Burgers
- vegetable oil
- 1 shallot diced fine
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
- 3 tablespoons quick cooking oats
- 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce I used Naturally Delicious Original Barbecue
- 4 rolls or buns
- In a lightly oiled pan, cook the diced shallot until it's soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, mash the beans using a potato masher or fork. The beans do not have to reach a uniform consistency.
- Once mashed to your desired consistency, add the barbecue sauce, oats and diced shallot to the beans. Stir until evenly combined. If the texture of the mixture doesn't hold together, add more barbecue sauce.
- Shape the mixture into 4 patties and cook in an preheated, oiled pan for about 4 minutes per side.
- Serve on rolls with your choice of toppings.
February’s grain is barley and I’ve already got some ideas in mind. Stay tuned!