Michelle Darmody: How to use oats for summer baking

Oats are inexpensive, healthy and can be delicious
Michelle Darmody: How to use oats for summer baking

If you find porridge heavy or too warm for these summer mornings, try Bircher muesli.

Oats are one of Ireland’s wonderful edible assets. They are inexpensive, healthy and can be very tasty. Oats, in various forms, have been a staple in the Irish diet for centuries, having been brought to the island by the ancient Celts. As a grain it tolerates rain quite well, so is very suited to our climate.

We eat porridge year-round in our family. I sometimes veer towards granola and yoghurt for a few days, or some toast and marmalade, but inevitably by the end of the week I revert back to a bowl of creamy porridge.

Fresh berries and honey, prunes and dates with chopped roasted nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup, are all delicious additions and a good accompaniment to a morning coffee. If you find porridge heavy or too warm for these summer mornings, Bircher muesli is a good alternative.

Here it is made with blitzed red berries and apple juice as the base. I use a tart, cloudy apple juice and it works well.

At times there is leftover porridge in the pot, and the cookie recipe is a terrific way to use it up. You can add other dried fruit instead of dates if you wish. Dried cherries are particularly nice.

Porridge and date cookies

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

When there is leftover porridge in the pot, this cookie recipe is a terrific way to use it up.

Porridge and date cookies

Servings

8

Preparation Time

20 mins

Cooking Time

17 mins

Total Time

37 mins

Course

Baking

Ingredients

  • 150g soft butter

  • 120g light muscovado sugar

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 300g plain flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder, sieved

  • 200g cold leftover porridge

  • 100g medjool dates, destoned and chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line two flat baking trays with parchment.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the eggs adding a spoon or two of flour as you do, to stop the mixture curdling.

  3. Mix the flour and sieved baking powder and add this to the batter. Stir in the leftover porridge then the chopped dates.

  4. Spoon about 16 dessert spoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays and bake for about 17 minutes until golden. Once cool enough to handle transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Berry bircher muesli

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

Try this for an easy, healthy breakfast or snack.

Berry bircher muesli

Servings

4

Preparation Time

7 hours 0 mins

Total Time

7 hours 0 mins

Course

Dessert

Ingredients

  • 200g ripe berries

  • 150ml cloudy apple juice

  • 100g porridge oats

  • 20g chia seeds

  • 1 eating apple, grated

  • 1 tsp honey – or more if you prefer

  • a small handful of mixed seeds

Method

  1. Blitz half of the berries with the apple juice.

  2. Stir in the porridge oats, chia seeds, grated apple and honey until well combined. Leave in a covered container in the fridge overnight.

  3. You can stir a spoon or two of natural yoghurt or a little more apple juice if it has become too solid or if you prefer smoother muesli.

  4. Scoop into four bowls and dress with the remaining berries and a sprinkling of seeds.

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