In the winter here in New England, I find that our family is wanting warm food for breakfast. Partly because I turn the heat waaaay down at night to something in the high 50s, and party because it’s winter and our bodies are craving warm comfort food. So I make oatmeal. I make enough so that I have extra to pop into the dehydrator to make lovely cookies and bars for those days we’re out and about.
I usually just toss these together and don’t measure, just mix stuff in to taste, but I measured mostly this time around. Don’t feel obligated to make this my way — adjust it to your tastes and seasoning preferences. You could make a savory version of these for use as crackers or a sandwich bread using basil, oregano, onion, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Or a mexican version spiced with chili powder, cumin, lime juice, salt and fresh cilantro to top with guacamole, and indian version with curry, etc. The oats are a great blank palette and can go in many directions. The original recipe that got me started making this was in Kate Wood’s Eat Smart Eat Raw, but she used lots of olive oil. I tried it that way, then tried cutting down on the oil, then using coconut oil, but in the end I’ve concluded that I like them better without the fat. You may disagree.
First I made date paste. I don’t often do this, but wanted to try it for this recipe. Usually I just chop some dates and toss them in, or just use raisins. But today I made
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup water
Let dates soak for at least 20 minutes (I soaked mine overnight because I didn’t get around to making the oatmeal when I planned, and they really plumped up nicely — these are the deglets from the bulk bin at WF), then pour both dates and water into a food processor (or a blender if you don’t have one) and whizz it up.
I soaked the oats overnight, drained them and rinsed them with warm water so the oatmeal would be warmish. This time I had the kettle on so I used hot water since I was using steel cut oats and wasn’t focused on them being raw.
- 5 cups soaked oats
- 1/2 apple, diced
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3 Tbs date paste
- 3 Tbs maple syrup
- cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or other spices to taste
Blend these ingredients in the food processor until you reach a consistency you like. We like it sort of chunky, so we don’t puree it too long, maybe 30 seconds. I have made it into something smoother, but felt like I was eating wallpaper paste and have since left the oats a little chunkier. If you can find oat groats, great, use those. I have had a hard time finding them lately, so I have been using steel cut oats. Due to the way they’re processed, steel cut oats are not raw, but since we’re not 100% raw anyway, I don’t sweat the small stuff.
Once you’ve done with this step, add in the garnishes. Sometimes I do this in a bowl, mixing them in by hand to keep them whole, sometimes I add them into the food processor and whiz it for 5-10 more seconds.
- 1/2 apple
- 1/2 cup raising
- 1/2 pear
For our leftovers, I made oat bars and oatmeal cookies. I sprinkled the cinnamon on last and used that batch for the cookies since my honey is allergic to cinnamon. This way everyone can have a little oatmeal love, and not have a fit of sneezing on the side.
I sprinkled chia seeds on part of the oatmeal bars I spread on the dehydrator tray. The cookies were the perfect texture — crunchy on the outside, softer and chewier on the inside. The bars got a bit overdone because I left them going while we were out, so they were crunchier than I like, but were still snarfled within a day, so not too bad after all, I’d say.
Cookies ready for the dehydrator, and below, in the dehydrator with the bars and 2 bowls warming for the kids. You can see some escaped buckwheat groats on the floor of the dehydrator from our last batch of crunchies.
and all done! Inspired by the recent Olympics, Dante and Lucia made little Olympic figurines to support our breakfast of champions! Can you guess the events surrounding the cookies?
crunchy oatmeal bars ready for the road
getting up close and personal with some cinnamon oatmeal cookies
And what would a post about oatmeal cookies be without your friend and mine, the cookie monster. Cookie learns to ask nicely for — you guessed it! — oatmeal cookies: