Oatcakes: Making Them, Eating Them, Health and Nutritional Properties!

Are you interested in the possibility of adding more oaty goodness to your diet? Maybe you’ve read about the possibility that a greater preponderance of oats in the foods that you ingest on a regular basis might have a beneficial effect on your levels of heart health, or perhaps on your management of blood sugar level problems?



But if so, what form could or should you eat your daily oats in? After all, not everyone likes porridge… some of them even going as far as to describe it as some kind of glop, glue or gruel! There are lots of other oaty options out there, including muesli, commercial oat bars, crunchy oat cereals, oat bran and oatcakes.

If you decide that oatcakes are the perfect healthy snack for you, then there’s always the option of making your own. It’s really super-easy! You can find a dozen (or a dozen hundred) recipes to do just that all over the web. However, for myself, I generally don’t even bother. I find that a bowl full of (quite cheap) porridge oats, a couple of ounces of melted margarine, oil or some other form of shortening and a pinch of salt, mixed roughly and moulded together into a dough with a little cold water, does the trick nicely. Once the dough is formed, I will just sprinkle a little flour (or some more oats) on a clean kitchen counter, and roll it out thinly then cut into squares. (This nicely solves the problem of having to re-roll. No pastry scraps, no re-rolling!) I bake the end result on greased baking sheets at around 200 degrees Celsius for maybe ten or fifteen minutes. (But keep an eye on them: they burn easily and fast.) I also find that the addition of a little extra salty flavour, perhaps in the form of a teaspoon of miso or Marmite, or perhaps a little barley malt, improves the flavour and reduces the blandness of the crackery snacks.



What if you don't want to make your own oatcakes? There are multiple brands and types of oatcake out there: just take a look and find one that suits your tastes and requirements. You can find fine oatcakes, coarse oatcakes, sweetened, flavoured, cheesy, salt-free and numerous other types! How about some interesting nutritional facts about this tasty snack? To take one example (which is that of Nairn's rough oatcakes and taken from their website) this particular commercial oatcake contains 10.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, 16.3 grams of fat, 57.7 grams of carbohydrate and 7.5 grams of fiber. (As well as 418 calories!) Food for thought!


References.

[1] Nairn's Oatcakes. 'Organic Oatcakes'. http://www.nairns-oatcakes.com/our-food/oatcakes/organic/ Nairn's Oatcakes Website. 2010. Available at <http://www.nairns-oatcakes.com/our-food/oatcakes/organic/> Accessed on 01/03/2011.

[2]Lammert, A., Kratzsch, P. Selhorst, J., Humpert, P.M., Bierhaus, A., Birck, R., Kusterer, K., Hammes, H.-P. Clinical Benefit of a Short Term Dietary Oatmeal Intervention in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Severe Insulin Resistance: A Pilot Study Experimental Clinical Endocrinology And Diabetes. 2008; 116(2): pp 132-134

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