Ah Oatmeal. This amazing versatile grain. A bag of oatmeal flour can set you back quite a bit.
I make my own with my handy Ninja Food Processor. No this isn't sponsored. I am just shocked and amazed I found a processor able to actually keep up. So far I have been through 8, yes 8, pre-loved processors. The pre-loved part definitely contributed to the streak of bad luck you may say. Well generally I buy them from people who used it a few times to a never opened wedding gift. I am pretty good at buying used, making less waste while getting things I need. Why yes, I could just buy bulk oat flour. But I like saving money and DIY is the best option.
I use oat flour in a ton of things. From a thickener in smoothies and veggie burgers to recipes and egg subs. I'm all about flax seed egg replacement but oat flour is ridiculous cheap when you make it at home. We usually always have oatmeal also.
Today I will be sharing two of my favorite oatmeal based recipes, both showing how Oatmeal works as an amazing thickener.
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
2 cups of oat flour
1 cup of powdered sugar (replacement: sugar and cornstarch or arrowroot. If you aren't adding many liquid/juicy things, you can just add sugar and let your oat flour be the thickener)
1 cup of nut butter (I chose 1/2c of peanut butter and 1/2c of almond butter. You could make a vegan chocolate hazelnut butter, use pumpkin purée, etc.)
1/3 cup of syrup, I love black strap molasses but plain ole maple will work!
Optional: vegan protein powders, powder supplements, etc. just adjust moisture content.
I like to put this one in the processor. It's just easier. This is a tough dough, as in hard to stir. You want it dry but not falling apart or sticky. Too dry, add some water or almond milk. Too wet, more oat flour. Want more texture? Feel free to add quick oats, nuts, dried fruit. Whatever you like. We prefer a soft bar here at the Smart Pants house.
Press this into a pan that will hold it all. Pressing with force, so probably glass would be risky. I have used glass often but your call.
Chill in the fridge and slice! Done-zo!
I topped mine with an almond butter icing glaze. Simple:
1/3 cup almond butter
1 Tbsp flavored extract (I use my 'maple' made from fenugreek. Promise I'll get the extract blog up soon!)
3-4 Tbsp of powdered sugar
1 Tbsp of coconut oil
Divjne. Idk about your family, but mine don't like breakfast unless it's the weekend. Then I got all out and make all the things. But they have never said no to these bars! These barely last 2 days here. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days and freeze for longer storage.
everyone has their preference. Some like them soft, some like them with crunch. It's actually quite the issue here in the Smart Pants house. Shorts likes them all crunch. The Smart Guy likes them soft. Pants and Pantaloons don't care, it's a cookie. So I make them crunchy around the edges, soft inside. The amount of baking time will determine the texture. Longer Bake time, crunch. Shorter, soft. Easy peasy. I don't use a timer, I just let my kitchen-witchness take over and they always come out perfect! But keep an eye on them. Just a minute or two and they are not soft anymore. It's a delicate balance.
Easy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup of oat flour
1 cup of almond flour (this can be replaced with any flour; rice, coconut, whole wheat, white. All have worked well for me!)
1 cup of quick oats, whole
1/2 cup of softened coconut oil (or vegan butter if you have concerns about coconut oil, check my coconut oil blog)
1 Tbsp flavored extract (again, I love my fenugreek)
1 cup of sugar (any sweetener will do, I love my dried, powdered stevia from the garden. Avoid liquids though.)
1 tap baking soda (not powder)
pinch o' salt
4 Tbsp of syrup (again I love my black strap molasses!)
Cream your sweetener with your coconut oil or butter. Then add in all your dry. Form into balls. These balls shouldn't be sticky but they also shouldn't be falling apart.
Bake at 350 degrees, 5-6 for soft. You'll notice the edges getting brown. The center should be slightly soft but not the same light color as the dough. 8-9 for crunchy, all golden brown. Mine sit right in the middle at about 7 minutes for half and half.
Again, these will not last the day. Huge hit here!
So, make your own oat flour and get to adding! You will be amazed at the difference some oats can make!
Love and all the things oatmeal,
The Smart Girl in Pants
Who doesn't love free stuff?! Especially of the fruit, vegetable and blooming varieties?
Some of my favorite staples just grow on their own the next year. As long as I leave there spot or pot alone. Seeds drop and plants grow with no assistance from me. You know why that is? Plants want to strive. They aren't just going to lay there and die without a fight.
Some of my plants I like to gather actual seeds from. Morning glory is one. If I can start morning glory all over the place, I think I would be in paradise. Toss a couple of moon flowers in the mix and yes! I'm a sucker for those!
For veggies and gourds, just leave them be. Bury them if you want but what I do is leave the imperfect fruit for the bugs. Whatever they leave behind blooms next year. Half for me, half for nature! Sharing works because I have 13 (yes, my lucky number!! And it has been a very good year!) free heirloom tomato plants, three morning glory vines, several flowers, many more herbs, leeks, mints of all kinds (that never goes away...), lemon grass and so much more. Even when I swore I wouldn't garden this year, the garden goes any way!
For sharing with friends, I usually share whole fruit, flower seed pods and veggies dehydrated! This is a huge hit for my rare pepper plants!!! Makes a grand power! Simple. I don't do anything crazy. I try to stick with the simulation of nature. Of course, follow guidelines on properly dehydrating and storing your collections. This can be one of the EASIEST ways to save those little babies for next year! Of course, not all seeds are viable but there's a quick and easy test for that too! Stay tuned!
So, keep that in mind with this years crop! Save some of your own!
Some call this lazy, I call I Smart,
The Smart Girl in Pants
I have been making this dough for years. I'm not doing to date myself but I was 18 when I started making this dough. Why? I wanted pizza and was low on funds (since 15 I was a teen that went to school full time, worked 20+ hours a week and took college classes) and generally creative at heart. Not to mention too stubborn to ask for help and too creative to settle for junk. This recipe got me through those last few days until pay day! All the meals! And it's cheap. Win win.
Again, not to date myself but back in my day, if you wanted a recipe, you looked in a cook book. All the pizza dough recipes from the books were overly complicated. This was something I learned over the years of tweaking this recipe.
Generally, any recipe will work. Just adjust the feel of the dough. It's better to be sticky then too dry.
All The Things Dough
3 cups of flour (any type)
1 1/2 cup of warm water
2 Tbsp yeast or one packet of yeast
1/2 cup of oil
1/4 cup of sugar or 3-4 Tbsp of liquid sweetener (maple syrup probably)
Optional: corn meal
Bloom your yeast in your warm water. Mix in the yeast until dissolved and add your sweetener of choice. Nothing fake here. No pink packets. That will harm the yeast. Either real sugar, maple syrup or honey (honey is not vegan, but it is an option for those who have it on hand). This feeds the yeast to wake it up more fully. Unlocking the potential of that yeast! You can go without it.
The water should be little above room temperature. Warm to the touch. Not hot, hot water will kill your yeast.
Blooming will be complete when the top of the water looks like foam of a root beer float, best comparison I could think up because I foolishly forgot to take a picture.
Once you have bloomed and active yeast, you can add the rest. I start with the oil, to coat everything. I don't know if it really helps but there ya have it. Add your flour and go to town! What I really love doing, to help activate the gluten (if you are using gluten rich flour) is to add a bit of flour until it's like a paste. Mix like crazy, either by hand or with a mixer. For about 5-6 minutes. This will make your dough extra stretchy and pizza dough like.
Add the rest of the flour. If it's moist and too sticky to work with, add more. If it's dry, add more oil, not water. Oil your hands and get to kneeding. Kneed for another 5-6 minutes. I do not generally use mixers for this dough. I don't know, I just like making a mess and getting my hands dirty.
Let this rise rise once until doubled. Punch down and kneed well. Then form into whatever meal you would like. Generally I make double of this recipe and really go to town. This one recipe can make 2 batches of cinnamon rolls, 2 medium pizzas, 2 dozen donuts. I could keep going. If you make pizza, corn meal and garlic powder under the crust makes it INCREDIBLY yum!
The beat part about this is that you can add in ingredients by kneeding them in for different flavors. Kneed in rosemary and vegan butter for the rolls. Add in vanilla extract for the cinnamon rolls. You get the idea.
From this double batch I made:
-one medium pizza
-cobbler with maple cinnamon roll crust
-12 rosemary dinner rolls
-small loaf of bread that made 2 exquisite breakfast sammys
-6 Tofu wellingtons
This is really the only recipe I still always go back to. It's my good ole reliable. I should give it a name... all the things?
Give it a shot!
I have used this with a blend of coconut flour and almond flour. Of course, expect no stretch (no gluten to stretch) but adding a bit of cornstarch could help!
Time to make all the things!
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants