Friday, January 18, 2008
Leftover Oatmeal Transformed
After going through the trouble of making yogurt to save a jar of whey, buying from a co-op 50 pound bags of organic oat groats, rolling it into oatmeal, soaking the grain overnight in the whey mixture, cooking it and adding organic butter and coconut oil... I can not bear to throw the stuff away. It goes against every frugal, there-are-children-starving-in-this-world and...don't-you-know-how-hard-Dad-worked-to-pay-for-it bone in my body to just toss it.
So the experiments began. I would add the oatmeal to my bread dough, but never could get it to stay light. I journeyed through adding it to homemade pancake batter, homemade biscuit dough and cookie dough. Some of those experiments were fair, but we were still searching for *just* the right use for this pale, cold and slimy bit of what could potentially be yummy-healthy goodness.
Enter Peanut Butter Bars. An old La Leche League cookbook recipe I made in ages past called for rolled oats, soaked in boiling water for a bit before adding to the recipe. I looked at the leftover oatmeal and thought,"This has been in boiling water quite a bit...let's try it." So, without further adieu, we share with you our new, tried-and-true, we'd-almost-make-extra-oatmeal-just-to-have-for-this...recipe.
Peanut Butter Bars with Leftover Oatmeal
2 cups leftover oatmeal, cold and slimy is fine
1/2 cup butter, softened (coconut oil is also yum)
1 cup sweetener...sugar, sucanat, etc....(or honey- if you half the amount, and it doesn't get the batter too moist)
1 cup whole grain flour...wheat, spelt, etc....(Yes, these work with rice flour if you need!)(maybe a bit of extra flour if you used honey to sweeten)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup peanut butter (we like this better doubled)
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter, sweetener and eggs in a bowl. (The boys like to squoosh this with their well-washed hands.) Add oats and other ingredients; mix well. Spread into greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake at 350' for 10-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack; cut into bars. Yield 18(small) servings.
We have also served this hot, scooped into bowls with cold milk either on top or in a glass beside. It is so yummy for breakfast. The texture seems to be a bit different each time we make it, my guess is because of the varying amount of butter and sugar we add to the original oatmeal pot. It makes great snack bars, or with a few chocolate chips mixed into the batter, a very rich dessert bar for crowds. (We have found that tripling this makes two very full jelly-roll pans full.)
For more frugal ideas, head over to Crystal's place for her Frugal Friday post!