Having issues with gluten, I am always on the lookout for foods that can make a good, healthy substitute for bread, crackers, cookies, etc. I am a huge fan of Lundberg Farm rice cakes but when you are looking to pack more compact, calorie dense food for the trail, rice cakes don't work so well.
Recently I had the brainwave of trying to make oat cakes. There are a ton of recipes online for these things, so I found something that looked good and adapted some of the ingredients to make it a little healthier.
The recipe as it stands makes an oat cake that is fairly neutral in flavor and can be eaten with sweet or savory things, much like bread. However, by adding dried fruit, a little more sweetener, and even some chunks of chocolate, you can have a very delicious oatmeal cookie as well.
These things are very dense, packed with calories, protein, and fiber - A little goes a long way. They are also somewhat dry, not quite like a biscotti, but close. I think that it would also be fairly easy to prepare these right on the trail by pan frying instead of baking, but I haven't tried that yet.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon sweetener (we like to use date sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, whatever your fancy)
- boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together.
Add the nut butter to the dry ingredients and mix it through as evenly as possible.
Add a little boiling water (approx. 1/2 cup at first) and knead it in. Gradually add a little more as you go, continuing to knead until you have a big ball of sticky dough (but not runny!). As you continue to knead, the oats will absorb the water and it will become less sticky. Keep doing this until the ball of dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Figuring out the right amount of water to use is somewhat of a trial and error thing but is easy to remedy by adding more oats or more water as required to get the right consistency.
Once the dough is the right consistency, pull off 1/4 cup size chunks, press them into a cookie shape approximately 1/2 inch thick and lay them out on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 7 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 5 - 7 minutes. When done, they should be lightly browned on both sides.