Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wicked easy recipes using baby oats!

This is the time of year when I find myself missing home (New England) more than usual.
View from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine
To combat this, I do a lot of "Autumnal" cooking/baking.  My homemade iced pumpkin spice latte tastes about the same as what can be had at a certain Seattle coffee shop...and is dynamite with a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

In the realm of baby food, I've made two new foods for the Nugster, who recently turned 8 months old.  I wanted to share a few easy uses for baby oats (oat flour).

(I make a lot of flour, since I follow a gluten-free diet.  Regular wheat flour would work fine in these recipes too, but oats are just so healthy!)

How to make your own oat flour:

I mill rolled oats into a fine powder in the food processor.  This is so easy!  Just scoop the oatmeal in, grind with a few pulses, and you're done!  

What to do with oat flour:
1. Drop small pieces of prepared fruit (I use cubes of frozen mango, and sometimes poached apples or peaches) into a cup of oat flour and shake.  When coated, serve fruit as easy to pick up finger food!      

2. Homemade (ridiculously inexpensive) baby cereal!  Just add milk or water, heat, let cool, serve.

3. Baked oatmeal cup cakes. (vegan, sugar & gluten-free)
Healthy, yummy, and they make the house smell so good!!
Also easy!  
Mix:  Equal parts oatmeal flour and water (or bm, milk, whatever liquid you are comfortable serving your baby).  
Soak overnight, which makes the oats more digestible.  
Next day: If you wish, stir in cinnamon, and "pour" into mini muffin tin. (I lined with silicone baking cups.)  
Top with fruit.  
Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes*.  When cool, cut into small pieces and serve as finger food!  
*Since I'm at high altitude, baking is a trial and error thing.  And if you're not much of a baker, don't worry!  It's not possible to undercook these, since the recipe doesn't use egg, and the oatmeal flour is edible raw. 

I served this as Nugster's 8 month birthday cake.  To his delight, I continued to serve them for weeks after, as part of his breakfast.  Let's be honest, there's nothing better than birthday cake for breakfast!

4. Baby pancakes. (vegan, sugar & gluten-free...but feel free to use the flour of your choice)
The ingredients.  Well, most of them.  I forgot to take a picture of the blueberries.
Mix: 3/4 cup Baby Oatmeal (Oat Flour)
       3/4 cup Rice Flour*
*You can use whole wheat flour in place of the rice flour.
       Optional: dash Sea Salt, dash Cinnamon
Add: 1 1/4 cup Water
        1 T Coconut Oil* (or applesauce or any other oil.  
 *Since coconut oil is a carrier for Nugster's vitamins, we know he is not allergic.  Because coconut oil is so healthy, we prefer it over other oils.  Infact, we use it to treat rashes, dry skin, cuts and scrapes, and even as a hair treatment!) 

Coat skillet in your choice of oil/spray.  Pour batter and add blueberries (or apples, banana, avocado, etc). 

Cook on first side until large bubbles form.
 Since the batter is thick,  when you flip it, let it cook for a minute or so, and then split the pancake with your spatula.  This way you can watch as the center cooks through.

Still wet in the center...but vegan, so no risk of illness from "raw" batter.
Your pancake should be a bit crispy on both sides, and soft in the center.  This recipe made 3 adult-sized pancakes.  Since Nugget is eating this as finger food, I cut each pancake into small pieces and froze half, put half in the fridge for the week, and set aside a few for this morning.  After the pieces cooled, Nugget gobbled them up!

Mmmm! Pancakes!
This recipe, if you add 2 T of sugar, or 1 T of agave, would make a fabulous stack of pancakes for that special vegan in your life.  Of course, sans sweetener would be ok too, but I've learned that most adult palates aren't accustomed to sugarless pancakes.


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