What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Gluten Free Oats

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, What is it? Wednesday, Whole Grains 101

We are very excited to bring you What is it? Wednesdays! Every other Wednesday, we’ll explore a different ingredient or product in depth. We’ll be covering the benefits, uses and common misconceptions about each. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments and we’ll work them into the schedule. 

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These days, everyone knows someone who is trying a gluten free diet. One of the most common questions we field at Bob’s Red Mill is about gluten and oats. Oats have long held a mysterious place in the world of gluten free. Are they gluten free?  If oats are naturally gluten free, why is important that they be tested for gluten? AND, if oats are gluten free, why can some people tolerate them and others cannot? I’m going to try to clear this up for you today.

First, let’s go back to the start. Oats are indeed naturally free from gluten, the protein in wheat, rye and barley that many people cannot tolerate. Yep. If you walked into a perfect field of oats and picked just one groat, chances are pretty good that it would be completely gluten free. We don’t live in a perfect world, though. I’m sure you’ve heard of crop rotation, where farmers change out their crops from year to year to keep the soil active and keep the land fresh. It’s a basic part of farming. Oats, wheat, barley and rye are often grown in rotation cycles. Fields of oats will typically have a few wheat plants that sprout up, it’s just part of farming. That is one reason why oats need special attention to be gluten free.

Gluten Free Oats | Bob's Red Mill

The second reason that oats need extra precautions to be gluten free is plain old cross contact. At the most basic levels, we’re talking about grain commodities and these basic agricultural products move in huge batches from farm to truck to silo to truck to grain cleaning to truck to … well, you get the picture. There are really quite a few steps between field and table. More steps mean more chances for the truck that just delivered wheat to pick up oats and contaminate them during transit.

The third major reason that oats can easily contain gluten is that oat groats and wheat berries are strikingly similar, which makes the technology needed to separate the two very expensive. It actually involves a highly technical color sorter to make sure that wheat berries don’t end up in the oat groats. Many grain processors do not have that technology, after all it is much simpler to separate debris from grains. The demand is much higher for grains to be free from rocks and chaff than from each other.

Oats

Bob’s Red Mill removes all three of those issues by working with our suppliers and educating them on the risk of cross contact, as well as making sure they understand how very important it is to us that our oats are indeed gluten free. Additionally, we work with grain cleaners who use the specialized equipment I mentioned above to color sort the oats. Finally, our gluten free oats are tested for gluten upon arrival at our facility. After they pass that test, they are processed and packaged, where they are tested again to be sure they are still gluten free.

Why can’t some people tolerate even the purest of oats? Let’s step back a second. Gluten free or not, some people cannot tolerate oats. Period. Gluten, as we commonly know it, does not play into this. Oats contain a different protein called avenin. Avenin is similar to gluten and, like other proteins- gluten in wheat, casein in cow’s milk- some people just cannot tolerate it. To complicate matters a bit further, people who have celiac disease can find the fiber in oats challenging to digest. If they are new to the diet or do not typically eat fiber-rich foods, oats can be very demanding on the gut. This is why we recommend adding oats to a gluten free diet slowly.

That’s the long and the short of it. If you have further questions about gluten free oats, leave them in the comments and I’ll address them.

Check out our selection of gluten free oats here.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

The Rooster

by Cassidy Stockton in Birdspotter, Recipes

For the second year, we’ve teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

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Who doesn’t love a Rooster? Actually, probably a lot of people. They’re kind of noisy and mean, but they serve a good purpose. They protect their brood and sound the alarm if anything is amiss. They’re tough and mean business, so we’ve named this oatmeal creation after them. This is a mean, but delicious, breakfast perfect for keeping you sharp all morning. We know it sounds unconventional to turn oatmeal into such a savory Tex-Mex affair, but, trust us, it’s delicious.

The Rooster | Bob's Red Mill

The Rooster: To your favorite kind of oatmeal, add shredded cheddar (we really like it mixed in, but you can add it on top, as well), chorizo, black beans and a fried egg. Top with a drizzle of barbecue sauce, salsa and sour cream. 

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Buttered Oats Brittle

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, Recipes

I’ve been saving this one for the holidays. I love making edible gifts for friends and family during the holidays and I’m always looking for special recipes that will make the recipients feel loved. This recipe fits the bill perfectly. Developed for our Spar for the Spurtle contest by Carl Youngmann, it is super easy, delicious and very special. Instead of nuts, Carl used toasted steel cut oats. The toasted oats bring a nutty flavor and a bit of whole grain nutrition to the candy, though who is thinking about nutrition when they’re eating brittle, I don’t know. With the price of nuts these days, think of how inexpensive, yet classy, this recipe is for gift giving.

Make a batch, put it in little jars or cellophane bags (get tips for stunning homemade edible gifts here) and take one along whenever you have a holiday gathering. A small, edible gift is a perfect host gift and they are a wonderful way to show how much you appreciate their efforts. Teachers, mail carriers, the receptionist at your office—all people who would appreciate a small token during the holidays. Or, you could just make a batch and enjoy the whole thing yourself. I wouldn’t blame you.

Buttered Oats Brittle | Bob's Red Mill

Buttered Oats Brittle

Contributed by Carl Youngmann

Combine butter, salt and oats in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Stir oats until toasted, about 6 minutes. Set aside. Place sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Allow sugar to melt, stirring as needed, about 6-8 minutes. As soon as sugar is liquid and golden, fold in toasted oats working quickly. Add baking soda and stir to incorporate. Pour immediately onto a non-stick, heatproof surface such as a silicone sheet. Spread thin. Allow to cool. Break into bite-sized pieces and enjoy.

*Use our gluten free steel cut oats to make this recipe gluten free.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

The Birdwatcher

by Cassidy Stockton in Birdspotter, Recipes

For the second year, we’ve teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

Did you eat too much last week? Make up for it by enjoying “The Birdwatcher.” Simply top your favorite oatmeal with blueberries, 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and a dollop of low-fat gut-lovin’ Greek Yogurt. Yum! Want to go even further? Sprinkle on some chia seeds for a breakfast that would make your doctor smile.

The Birdwatcher | Bob's Red Mill

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

The Love Bird

by Cassidy Stockton in Birdspotter, Featured Articles, Recipes

For the second year, we’ve teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

The love bird… share a bowl of oatmeal with your sweetie (or keep it all to yourself, we won’t tell). Oatmeal is warm and filling, take it to the next level by topping it with decadent strawberries and creamy Nutella. Add a dollop of whipped cream for a sinful, yet delightful breakfast or dessert. Brew a pot of coffee or tea and cuddle up with The Love Bird while counting the birds at your feeder. Our guess? They’ll be jealous.

The Love Bird | Bob's Red Mill

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Birdspotter Recipe of the Week | Bob's Red Mill

Swan Song Oatmeal

by Cassidy Stockton in Birdspotter, Recipes

For the second year, we’ve teamed with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to bring bird lovers the ultimate birding photo contest. Each week we’re giving away prizes and sharing some of our favorite recipes, perfect for fueling a healthy, happy day of watching birds. Check back here each week for a great recipe, and don’t forget to vote on your favorites and enter your own photos in BirdSpotter!

This recipe is simple, but utterly delicious. Oatmeal is the perfect food to enjoy while sitting at your feeder and documenting birds. Savor the delicious flavors of peaches and cream as you track the inbound traffic at your designated Project Feederwatch feeder.

Swan Song Oatmeal | Bob's Red Mill

Swan Song Oatmeal

Take your favorite oatmeal (pictured here using our Oat Bran) and top with fresh sliced peaches if you have them (canned or frozen if you don’t), a splash (or more) of heavy cream and top with toasted or candied pecans.

For more inventive oatmeal toppings, check out bobsredmill.com/oatmeal.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Oatmeal

Happy National Oatmeal Day

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Recipes

I don’t think there is a holiday more suited to Bob’s Red Mill than National Oatmeal Day. In honor of this amazing holiday, here are 5 of our favorite ways to enjoy oatmeal for every meal of the day.

The Texan | Bob's Red Mill

1. The Texan: Get serious about oatmeal. First, mix shredded cheddar cheese (we like Tillamook’s Vintage Extra Sharp) in with your oatmeal so it gets all cheesy and delicious. Then, layer crumbled chorizo, black beans, salsa and sour cream. On top of that, add a fried egg and drizzle your favorite barbecue sauce over the whole thing. A savory bowl of fuel sure to keep you going all morning!

Oatmeal Cookie | Bob's Red Mill

2. Classic Oatmeal Cookies: Whole grains are great on their own, but they’re even better in cookie form!

Sally's Apple Crisp Granola Bars | Bob's Red Mill

3. Sally’s Apple Crisp Granola Bars: On the go fuel perfect for whatever activity you have planned.

Italian Pinhead Torta | Bob's Red Mill

4. Italian Pinhead Torta: The winner of the Speciality Award at the 2012 Golden Spurtle, this dish is a perfect dinner solution- quick, easy and absolutely delicious.

Romancing the Bowl | Bob's Red Mill

5. Romancing the Bowl: Breakfast or dessert, this oatmeal creation is sure to be a hit. Top your favorite type of oatmeal with sliced strawberries, Nutella and a dollop of whipped cream. YUM!

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Meatless Mondays: Caledonian Dolmades

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

This fun twist on traditional dolmades wraps blanched kale leaves around our steel cut oats flavored with dried cherries and pistachios for a delicious appetizer or on-the-go snack. A Spar for the Spurtle finalist, Camilla Saulsbury, author of Power Hungry, says these are perfect for toting along on your next hiking adventure or fueling up before a big ride. For a delicious Mediterranean dinner, pair these with a Greek salad, fresh hummus, warm pita bread and a bowl full of assorted olives.

Caledonian Dolmades

Caledonian Dolmades

Camilla Saulsbury

This recipe can easily be made gluten free by using our gluten free steel cut oats. Make it vegan by using a non-dairy yogurt or skipping the sauce altogether. 

Makes 20 dolmades

  • 1-3/4 cups Steel-Cut Oats, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil or Virgin Coconut Oil, divided use
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped Scallions
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh Ginger
  • 2-1/4 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Cardamom
  • 1 cup dried Tart Cherries, chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic Salt (preferably organic), divided use
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked Pepper
  • 3/4 cup roasted, lightly salted Pistachios, chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh Mint Leaves, chopped, divided use
  • Grated zest and juice of 4 medium Limes (or Lemons), divided use
  • 20 large Kale leaves, tough stem trimmed off, blanched (see tip)
  • 2/3 cup plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup well-stirred Tahini
  1. Drain the oats. Reserve 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, ginger, cumin and cardamom; stir-fry 1 minute.  Add the drained oats, cherries, reserved liquid, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the garlic salt, and pepper to skillet; stir-fry 5 to 6 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in pistachios, all but 2 tbsp of the mint, lime zest, and all but 2 tbsp of the lime juice.
  4. To make the rolls, place the kale leaf veined side down, and put a heaping spoonful the filling in the middle. Fold the leaf from the bottom over the filling. Tuck one side of the leaf over (the other side will remain open). Roll the leaf into a tight roll, and press slightly to seal the top of the leaf to the roll. Place on a serving platter, with the top of the leaf tucked down. Repeat with remaining rolls; lightly brush with remaining olive oil.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the tahini and yogurt with the reserved lime juice and garlic salt; thin with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until smooth.
  6. Serve the dolmades with the tahini-yogurt sauce!

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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BRM Oatmeal Group Header

20 Stellar Ways to Top Your Oatmeal {Giveaway}

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Featured Articles, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

Everyone knows oatmeal is good for you. We’ve touted its health benefits here and here. We’ve walked through all of the different types and how to make the perfect bowl of steel cut oats. We’ve shared loads of recipes, but this is the first time we’ve really delved into how to make oatmeal really special for you and your family. We often hear that folks don’t like oatmeal. Well, sure, a gloopy mess of oats is rather unappealing. That’s why we want to remind you that we offer many different types of oats- each one with a unique texture sure that is sure to hit the spot.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

Take your oatmeal of choice and pick one of these toppings, or try them all, and treat yourself to a delicious breakfast. Some of these toppings might seem absurd and some seem downright unhealthy. Take a step back and open your mind. Forget what you know about oatmeal and think about oats as a canvas for all types of flavors. And remember, we don’t suggest eating The Ice Cream Social every day, but once in a while. A little indulgence is good, after all, you are still eating a bowl of oatmeal.

Check out all of the recipes here and download a handy calendar to keep on the fridge for when you need a little extra inspiration. 

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

The Jet Setter: You’ll be ready to take on any day by topping your oats with a shot of espresso, chocolate covered espresso beans and whipped cream, but you’ll probably want to skip this one for the kiddos.

Peaches and Cream: Turn your oats into a Southern favorite with sliced fresh peaches, heavy cream and toasted pecans.

The Gilgamesh: Take a culinary journey by topping your favorite bowl of oatmeal with pistachios, chopped dates, a drizzle of honey, milk and a dash of cardamom (or cinnamon).

The Alaskan: Try smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and fine red onion for a delightful breakfast.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

Romancing the Bowl: Top your oatmeal with a tablespoon of Nutella® brand hazelnut spread, add some halved strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream to be ultra-decadent.

The Old School: Top your oats with brown sugar, a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt.

The Truck Stop: You don’t have to be a trucker to eat like one. Top your favorite oatmeal with a fried egg, ham or sausage, shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce (we like Sriracha).

The Ice Cream Social: For a decadent breakfast (or dessert), add a small scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chopped peanuts and a maraschino cherry (of course).

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

The Elvis: To your favorite oatmeal, add a tablespoon of Peanut Butter, 1/2 of a sliced banana and two crispy strips of bacon.

The Camper: Smores aren’t reserved for a campfire anymore. Top your hot oats with crumbled graham crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallows.

The Power Lift: Power up for your day with 5 egg whites, steamed spinach and toasted hemp seed

The Texan: Make your oats with a Texan-flair by adding crumbled chorizo, black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, a drizzle of BBQ Sauce and top it off with a fried egg.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

Carrot Cake:  Make your oatmeal reminiscent of carrot cake with shredded carrots, walnuts, raisins and brown sugar.  Top with a scoop of cream cheese frosting, if you have it for a true carrot cake experience.

Doctor’s Orders: Oatmeal topped with blueberries, a big dollop of gut-lovin’ non-fat Greek yogurt, and two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

Get Your Goat: Goat cheese, sliced pear, walnuts and honey are a decadent and decidedly healthy addition to your favorite oatmeal.

The Crunchy Granola: Start your day off right by topping your oatmeal with chia seed, goji berries and a drizzle of agave nectar.

20 Ways to Top Your Oatmeal

The Hang Loose: Turn your bowl of oats tropical by adding coconut flakes, pineapple chunks and chopped macadamia nuts.

Oat Couture: Make breakfast classy by adding dried cherries, crème fraiche and a balsamic reduction to your favorite bowl of oats.

Thai-Me-Up Oats:  All the flavors you love from Thai food come together for a sweet and spicy breakfast- sprinkle red pepper flakes over a dollop of peanut butter and a healthy helping of shredded coconut.

Oats-Over-Parma: Take a trip to Italy with prosciutto, Parmesan and sun dried tomatoes.

WIN IT! We want to give five lucky folks a chance to try all five of these oatmeal varieties. To enter, follow the prompts below (be sure to click on the “leave a comment” to see what the secret question is, then click on “I did it”) and we’ll select five winners at random from all who enter by 11:59 pm on 10/14/13.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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2013 Golden Spurtle Recap

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Featured Articles, Golden Spurtle

The 20th annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship took place this past Saturday in Carrbridge, Scotland. While our Spar for the Spurtle Champion, Paula Todora did not win, our team did have a lot of fun. And that, folks, is what it’s all about. Here are some of the wonderful photos we received at the home office. Enjoy!

 

Read more about who did win at the Golden Spurtle here.

See all of our photos here. 

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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