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Recipe: Irish Oat Pancakes with Lemon Curd: Seared Steel-Cut Oats

Irish Oat Pancakes with Lemon Curd: Seared Steel-Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats, Irish oats and pinhead oats are oats that have been cut rather than rolled flat like their quick-cooking brothers. They require more time to cook and have a nuttier taste than rolled oats. Look for them in the bulk foods section of your grocery or co-op.

I have a love affair with breakfast food: poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, French toast topped with fresh fruit accompanied by tall glasses of grapefruit juice. They are some of my favorite things to eat. However, working from home with four kids that need to get on buses and be dropped off at preschool on time doesn't always lend itself to a leisurely, fresh-from-the-griddle breakfast. Not wanting to give it up completely nor limit breakfast foods to Saturday mornings and "breakfast for dinner," I compromise with things like smoothies and homemade granola with yogurt.

Sometimes, however, those things just don't satisfy my breakfast-loving self, and there are days that just call for more. More as in hotter, heartier, "take me through to lunchtime" more. Those days call for whole grains, seared and served with the topping of your choice. We make the oats ahead of time and store covered in the fridge until the morning we are going to eat them.

We prefer to make ours thinner so that they end up more like pancakes. My kids are intrigued when what usually comes in a bowl is transformed into a stack of golden brown delight and crowned with their favorite toppings.

Here are a few of our favorite toppings:

*lemon curd, fresh fruit (blueberries will do nicely!), powdered sugar

*strawberries and cream

*fruit compote

*pure maple syrup

*raisins, brown sugar and nuts

Irish Oat Pancakes with Lemon Curd

3 cups water

1 cup milk or almond milk

3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

½ teaspoon cardamom (you could substitute cinnamon if you prefer)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups steel-cut oats

4 tablespoons butter

Toppings of choice

Combine water, milk, sugar, cardamom and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add oats, stir and simmer for 30 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is cloudy and extremely thick. Grease a 15.5"x10" or a 13"x9" pan. Pour oats into the pan and spread into an even layer. Let cool to room temperature before placing in fridge.

When ready to sear, remove oats from the refrigerator and cut into squares. Heat griddle or frying pan to 350º or medium-high heat. Add butter to the pan and allow to melt. When butter is melted and bubbling, place oat squares in the pan. Allow to fry for 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown. Flip and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from griddle. Top and serve.

Makes 4-5 servings.


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