Oats (Avena sativa) are unique among grains, in that they almost never have their bran and germ removed in processing. In the United States, “old-fashioned” oats refer to those that have been steamed and flattened; regular oats, quick oats and instant oats have also undergone the same process, just to different degrees — the more flattened and steamed, the quicker they cook and the softer they become. Scientific studies have shown that oats (and barley) contain a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan that is effective in lowering cholesterol. Research also indicates that oats contain a unique antioxidant — avenanthramides — that helps protect blood vessels from the damaging effects of LDL cholesterol.
Multigrain Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
• 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
• 1 cup stone-ground whole-wheat flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened or melted
• 1 cup coconut palm sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded or flake coconut
• 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or dried fruit like cranberries or cherries (or combination)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt.
3. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add oat mixture, then stir in pecans, coconut and chocolate chips. Batter will be very thick.
4. Using 1⁄4-cup measuring cup, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 16 minutes, or until edges are browned, rotating trays from upper to lower racks and front to back, halfway through baking time. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Looking for more whole grain recipes for baking? Check out Baking With Whole Grains to whet your appetite.
Karen K. Will is editor of Heirloom Gardener magazine, and co-author, along with Editor-in-Chief Oscar H. Will III, of Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions (New Society Publishers, 2013).