Oatcakes themselves are a very healthy and nutritious dish. They are a great source of fiber and healthy whole grains, and they are extremely low in calories and fat. Unfortunately, the overall nutritional benefits of these cakes really depends on their accompanying filling. Traditionally, they are filled with bacon, cheese, sausage, tomato and other “savory” fillings; some places will even serve them with additional bacon drippings as a “dipping sauce”!!!
When I make this dish for dinner, I like to roll them around turkey bacon, low fat shredded cheese, sliced tomato, mushrooms and spinach (NO drippings on the side, please). But for breakfast, I like to to go the sweeter route and fill them with fresh fruit, natural peanut butter, applesauce and cinnamon, fruit preserves and fat free cream cheese, or fat free pie filling (blueberry is my favorite!). You can get really imaginative with your fillings – both sweet and savory – so experiment with a plethora of combinations until you find your favorite (or even eat them plain – they’re delicious oat flavor is wonderful on it’s own).
NOTE: Oatcakes freeze very well and are probably one of the best microwave foods in the world, so you may want to double the recipe and freeze them for later in the week. Simply microwave the cakes for about 30 seconds to soften them to a “rollable” texture, then wrap them around the fillings of your choice, roll them and microwave the whole roll on full power for about 1 – 1/2 minutes. You can also grill them, or eat them cold.
The Scottish versions of oatcakes are more like a cross between a cracker (or shortbread), and are much smaller and crisper than their English counterparts. The “Staffordshire” style oatcakes would be more akin to American pancakes, johnnycakes, crepes, or blintzes.
1/2 cup uncooked oats (quick cooking oats will work, but not “instant”)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
Stir oats in heavy skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove the oats from the heat and place them in a medium bowl; allow the oats to cool for 5 minutes. Once the oats have cooled, stir in the flour, baking powder and sugar. Combine the milk and yogurt in a small bowl and stir into the flour mixture just until all ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.)
Coat a nonstick griddle or heavy skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat until hot. Drop the batter by scant 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle and quickly spread the batter to form round cakes (about 4-5 inches around) . Cook for 2 minutes or until the top is covered with bubbles. Flip the oatcakes over and cook for 2 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
Makes 4 servings (3 oatcakes per serving). Per serving: 177 calories, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, less than 0.5 g added sugar, 8 g protein, 76 mg sodium, less than 0.5 mg cholesterol