Don’t get us wrong. We’ve got nothing against a good, old-fashioned bowl of oatmeal (or porridge, if you’re living outside the states!). We still believe there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a warm bowl of oats to jumpstart the morning. But in these unusual times, we love oats for their versatility as much as for their dependability. So let’s look at some creative ways to use rolled oats in your favorite recipes, to replace perishable staples, and as an easy way to up the nutrients in any dish. 

When stay-at-home orders began to roll out across the country, shelf-stable staples were the first thing to fly off the shelves. While celebrity chefs launch podcasts to teach creative ways to use up all of those beans in your pantry, we’re here to help you put your oat stockpile to work.

Didn’t get to the grocery store before the shelves got wiped out? We can help! Northerly’s oats are available through our website, or on Amazon Prime. We’ve been working around the clock to ensure families around the nation can keep stocked up.

 

Benefits of cooking with oats

 

Of course, oats are most well-known for their health benefits. Not only are they part of a heart-healthy diet. But they also contain the fiber and nutrients to keep you full, reduce stress and inflammation, and even improve your mood. But as a staple food, they’re also incredibly versatile. They’re well-suited for daily eating, offer unique nutritional benefits, and can keep in your pantry for up to two years after their package date. 

 

Shelf-stable

 

When they’re stored properly, your rolled oats generally stay at best quality for 18 to 24 months. To maximize the shelf life, you can store your oats at room temperature in an airtight container. Even more importantly, they’re shelf-stable food that can be used to replace or in place of perishable food items like milk and eggs in various recipes. 

 

Versatile

 

Oats can be used in their whole form or blended into a flour for a variety of applications. They can be added to different recipes to make other ingredients, like ground beef, last longer. Or they can be eaten on their own, hot or cold, savory or sweet. They can even be added to shakes and smoothies for extra fiber and as a source of vegan protein. 

 

Nutritious

 

Rolled oats boast a long laundry list of health benefits. But when you consider all of the different micro and macronutrients together, they create a powerhouse. Not only do they help with systemic inflammation, but they also support gut health and can even boost your day-to-day mood. Stressing about the current state of the world? With their blend of fiber, Vitamin B, and tryptophan, oats can take the edge off and help you relax. Plus they’re something that the whole family can eat.

 

Ready to use your stockpile of rolled oats?

Whether you’re looking for creative, shelf-stable ways to replace perishable foods, or just looking to get creative with your emergency food supply, we’ve got you covered. 

 

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Bread

 

As people across the nation shelter in place, we’ve suddenly got more time on our hands. One avenue people are—perhaps unexpectedly—channeling their energy into? Baking bread. Baking during stressful times is nothing new. In fact, over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of “anxiety baking” and “procrastibaking” as Millennials turn to the kitchen as a way to manage daily stresses. 

 

If you’re not quite ready to work with that sourdough starter, we’ve got you covered. We tracked down an easy oatmeal bread recipe that serves up two delicious loaves of old-fashioned bread. This bread is low-calorie and fiber-rich. Plus, the only perishable item you’ll need is milk. Instead of stocking up on store-bought loaves, you can keep the shelf-stable ingredients on hand for when you’re ready to use them.  

 

Don’t have milk on hand? Check out our almond milk recipe below to make this no-knead, yeast-free, gluten-free bread instead. 

 

Savory Oat Bowls

 

Though many of us tend to think of oats as the perfect vehicle for brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, they’re a versatile whole grain just like any other. Just think about how delicious other creamy grains like polenta, grits, and risotto are when topped with savory add-ins. Try sundried tomatoes and feta. Or smother your oats with balsamic vinegar, arugula, and goat cheese. There are endless combinations of ingredients you can layer on your oats and top with a poached egg. 

 

While the applications for savory oat bowls are limited only by your imagination—hello, jambalaya oats—most recipes tend to stay in the breakfast lane. One of our favorites is as delicious as it is simple. All it takes is some sauteed kale, avocado, soft boiled eggs, and green onions to make a satisfying, savory meal. For something a little more decadent, this cheddar and fried-egg oatmeal is nutrient-packed comfort food. 

 

Sesame Oat-Crusted Chicken

 

Whether you want to shake things up on the dinner table or you’re looking for a fun lunch recipe for the kids, sesame oat-crusted chicken is a proven family favorite. They’re also a perfect party snack for when we all get back to our normal social lives. 

 

Not only are oats a healthier option to coat your favorite protein than refined flour, but they also up the crunch factor. Plus, by making DIY chicken strips, you’re avoiding all of the preservatives and fillers that come in the chicken you find in the freezer aisle. 

 

Eat them as-is with your favorite dipping sauce, add to your salad for a protein boost, or serve them alongside a heaping side of roasted vegetables. No matter how you put them on the plate, they’re sure to shine. Don’t have any chicken? An oat-crust will taste just as good with steak, fish, pork chops, or even seitan and tofu. Try it with your protein of choice, and let us know how it goes!

 

DIY Oat Milk

 

In the last three years, oat milk has become increasingly popular. It’s displaced old dairy-free favorites like almond and coconut milk because of its flavor and texture, which closely resemble cow’s milk. Plus, as Healthline notes, “Oat milk is unique in that it’s free of many of the allergens found in other types of milk. Plus, it contains beta-glucans — a soluble fiber that may offer heart health benefits.”

 

Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make at home on an as-needed basis. While you can buy shelf-stable oat milk in the store, the clock starts ticking once you break the seal. When you DIY, you’ve got just the right amount every time you need it. Check out our Instagram (@northerlyfarms) for an easy how-to on making your own oat milk. 

 

Bonus: Oat Flour

 

All it takes to make oat flour is oats, a food processor, and a few minutes. Oat flour has all of the nutritional benefits of whole oats. Plus, since oats are naturally gluten-free, you can use oat flour in place of traditional flour. (Please note: if you have Celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity, make sure your oats are certified gluten-free. While oats don’t naturally contain gluten, they can be processed in facilities that also process gluten.) Not to mention, it’s a lot more cost-effective than buying oat flour at the grocery store. Two cups of oats will make the equivalent of one cup of oat flour, depending on how finely it’s ground.

 

Our favorite ways to use oats

 

Of course, this recipe roundup only scratches the surface when it comes to using rolled oats in the kitchen. You can toss them into a protein shake, sprinkle them over a parfait, or add them to your favorite baked goods. And that’s our favorite thing about cooking with oats: the only limit is our creativity! If you try any of these recipes (or want to show us something you’ve dreamed up) using your Northerly rolled oats, we’d love to hear from you. Tag us in your posts on Instagram or Facebook @northerlyfarms. 

A bowl of oats; creative recipes and ways to use rolled oats
a sheet of almond and cranberry granola; ways to use rolled oats