When I was a little girl I remember that my mother used to bounce me up and down on her knee, singing; “horses, horses I love horses, white and dapple grey. When I give them oats to eat, they leap 5 and 20 feet!”, with an extra big bounce at 20, accompanied with squeals of delight from me, and insistence on more bouncing.
What’s good for horses is also good for people, oats are a staple in my kitchen, used in a variety of dishes including the obvious porridge to start the day, through to bread, cookies, burgers and puddings including ice cream! Oats are delicious and versatile as well as very good for you.
What I've learnt...
Mornflake is the place to go to, to learn about oats. The Lea family has an impeccable oat based heritage; family owned Mornflake was established in 1675, and 15 generations and 340 years later is still family owned and still milling oats in Cheshire where the company was founded. I’d wager that there is not much that Mornflake do not know about oats, and over the years they have been at the forefront of technical innovations that make the oats in your cupboard both taste better and last longer.
Nowadays the company also makes a variety of oat based products – porridge pots, various granolas and a range of gluten free products (oats are naturally gluten free, but the fields they grow in need to be carefully picked to remove any gluten containing plants that can be mixed up with the harvest). When I visited the factory was baking granola and the enticing smell of chocolate and vanilla was heavy and sweet in the air.
As well as an impeccable oaty heritage, Mornflake also have impressive environmental credentials; just 0.001% of their waste is sent to landfill and they sustainability generate their own electricity. To help counteract the decline in oat farming they contract grow their oats with British farmers, giving security and a boost to the agricultural economy.
To celebrate the glorious and tasty oat I’ve made three different dishes, all packed with Mornflake oats suitable from breakfast to dinner.
Oatbran Banana Pancakes
A simple protein packed recipe for American style breakfast pancakes filled with oats. Make the batter in advance and keep in the fridge overnight for a speedy breakfast.
What you'll need:
2 small Bananas
2 large Eggs
120g low fat natural Yoghurt
120g Mornflake Fine Oatmeal
½ tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Baking powder
knob of ButterHandy TipView the full recipe here
Make it gluten free oatmeal by grinding gluten free oats to flour in a spice grinder.
Toasted Oatmeal and Apricot Ice Cream
This ice cream is packed with nutty and biscuity flavours thanks to the addition of a handful of toasted oats which pairs very well with the apricots. Add your choice of dried fruit, or swap in some fruit puree.
What you'll need:
300ml double Cream
6 Egg yolks
½ cup/ 110g your choice of Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla essence – optional
50g Mornflake Medium Oatmeal (or any of your favourite Mornflake Oats)
100g dried Apricots
Carrot Cake Flapjacks
150g ButterView the full recipe here
75g runny Honey
40g soft light brown Sugar
225g Mornflake Gluten Free Porridge Oats (you can use a mix of regular and jumbo)
1 small Carrot peeled and grated
1 small Parsnip – peeled and grated
zest ½ a Lemon – finely grated
1 tsp round Cinnamon
20g Sunflower seeds
20g Pumpkin seeds
40g flaked Almonds
Helen's Recipes Created in the Mornflake Kitchen