Monday, March 28, 2011

Molly's Fav Ginger Oatcakes

Hey all,

I am so excited to share this recipe with you, because it has taken me about 5 trials to finally get it perfect. I came across this idea from the delish oatcakes found at our popular Student Union, of which I used to purchase every week as my small "treat" when I had to study for a long period of time. Baked from a local distributor, these dense oatcakes cost about $2.99 each and are a pricey treat for just 5-6 easy ingredients. Therefore, I made it my mission to recreate these cakes using some of the listed ingredients and having the personal satisfaction of saving a bunch of money.

And... Voila:
(350 degrees, 12-15mins)

1 cup organic whole oats
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw ginger, chopped
1/4 cup 50/50 organic butter & coconut oil
1.5 tbsp Brown Rice Syrup
1/2 cup flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp organic cane sugar
1 organic egg

Okay, so I lied.. I used 9 ingredients, but the egg and the sugar were just added recently and can be optional if you don't mind having a more crumbly, less sweet oat cake (which I sometimes do, especially if it's for breakfast). For the directions, make sure you soak the sunflower seeds in about 1/4 cup of water for 20+ minutes if possible, as it will help make the recipe more moist and allow the seeds to be digested easier. Combine the brown rice syrup, oil combo, egg, chopped ginger and seeds for the wet mixture. Next, add in the oats, flour, salt and sugar to create your "dough". Place the mixture into a muffin shaped pan to yield around 9 medium sized cakes. Keep the cakes in longer if you want them a big crunchy, otherwise, 12 mins should be a good cooking time.

So before I go into the health benefits of some of these ingredients, I first want to talk about why I'm using the word "organic" before many of the items. There has been a lot of debate over the importance of using organic ingredients versus conventional, and I'd just like to briefly share my stance on this topic and hopefully provide some information that some of you may not know.


Oats are by far the cheapest, quickest, and most versatile superfood available to Americans. You can buy organic whole oats in the bulk section of your grocery story for about $0.99/lb, making them essential to a low-budget grocery list. Many people have heard about the health claims of oats possessing the ability to lower blood-cholesterol and support a healthy heart, but let's look even farther to see how this is true. Oats are a rich source of protein (twice as much as brown rice!), magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and several B vitamins. Additionally, they contain several phytonutrients including polyphenols (fight off free-radicals), lignins and tocopherols (vitamin E). These properties help provide the body with long-term substantial energy and can aid in digestive concerns, appetite control, and lowering blood pressure. With their mildly nutty flavor, oats can be used in almost any recipe and taste especially delicious in baked goods. Mmmmm.

Historically, ginger has been used mainly to help relieve gastrointestinal issues and alleviate nausea and motion sickness. It contains many anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, allowing it to be helpful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory related conditions. Ginger has also been linked to being a good fighter against cancer, most notably colorectal and ovarian cancer. Similar to garlic, ginger possesses strong immune-boosting properties that can help fight off infections and keep the body feeling healthy and strong.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a great ingredient to use in any recipe, as they contain high levels of protein and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of vitamin E (to give your skin that extra "glow"), vitamin B1, magnesium, selenium, and folate. By incorporating these seeds with other omega-3 rich foods (like flaxseeds), you can help balance the essential fatty acid complex in the blood and even reduce high blood-cholesterol. (Black, 2006).

For the coconut oil, refer to my "Samoa" balls recipe to read up on that. I do want to mention, however, that the butter in this recipe is optional if you want to keep it vegan. Personally, I think the balance between the two is definitely worth it and having a small portion of organic butter every once in a while won't harm you (as far as I'm concerned). :)

If you can make the investment, try using the brown rice syrup (around $7 at your health foods store) or pure maple syrup, instead of resorting to artificial sweeteners or table sugar. These options are more natural sources that don't cause your blood sugar to spike.

That's all for now! I'll try to post some pictures of these guys soon, as I just baked up a storm last night (you'll see!)