Oats are a hardy cereal grain able to withstand poor soil conditions in which other crops are unable to thrive. Oats gain part of their distinctive flavour from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned.
The oatmeal and oat bran are rich in dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble. These aid in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Oats help in slowing down the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal and also help in delaying the absorption into the cells.
The soluble fibre forms a gel like structure while passing through the digestive tract. This increases the viscosity of the contents of the stomach and small intestine, which in turn slows down digestion and prolongs the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This is especially desirable for diabetics and weight loss seekers.
Oats also have a good balance of essential fatty acids and are a good source of essential vitamins such as folic acid, thiamin and minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Regular consumption of oats also helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Oat and mushroom cakes with feta and apricots (for 4 servings)
150 gm rolled oats
50 gm chopped onions
150 gm chopped mushrooms
75 gm drained yogurt
10 gm corn flour
15 gm fresh thyme
50 ml olive oil
Salt – to taste
Crushed black pepper – to taste
50 gm roasted peanuts (broken into small pieces)
50 gm Feta
30 gm chopped dried apricots
Method of preparation: Roast the oats by tossing gently in a pan over moderate heat. Keep aside. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté till they turn translucent. Then add the chopped mushrooms. Add salt, pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer this to a bowl and let it cool down. Then add the roasted oats, drained yogurt, fresh thyme, broken peanuts and adjust seasoning.
Sprinkle the corn flour and gently combine to form a pliable mix. Form small flat cakes with the help of the palm and fingers. Pan-fry the cakes over moderate heat till light golden and crusty on both sides.
Remove from the pan and top the cake with a mix of crumbled feta and chopped apricots. Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig
Executive Chef Alok Anand