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These homemade healthy oatcakes are made with simple, natural, and wholesome ingredients. The perfect gluten-free and dairy-free snack!
I discovered oatcakes when I first moved to the UK what seems like a lifetime ago.
Oatcakes are originally from Scotland and were baked as a long-lasting alternative to bread. Nowadays, they are often used to accompany cheese, but I find them great on their own, or with some delicious hummus as a healthy snack. (Please Scottish friends, forgive me!).
If you have never tried oatcakes, they are similar to crackers but more crumbly.
I find the version that you buy in the supermarkets too buttery, and a few months ago I decided to try to make my own healthy oatcake version.
Oatcakes are very easy to prepare and you should definitely try to make them.
They are normally made out of a combination of 5 simple ingredients:
- raising agent
What are oatcakes made with?
Of course! The start ingredient in oatcakes is oatmeal! Oatmeal is essentially the inside of the oat grains, minus the inedible outer husk, that has either been grounded or chopped. There are different degrees of grounded oatmeals. I prefer medium oatmeal, as it keeps my oatcakes crunchy, but still crumbly and crisp.
If you don’t have oatmeal, you can also blend some rolled oats in a food processor or a blender until they form a coarse flour.
The traditional Scottish oatcakes are made with lard, and more recently, butter. In some original recipes, fat should be half the weight of the dry ingredients. As you can imagine, that makes the oatcakes somewhat unhealthy!
By reducing the fat quantity, you can make a much healthier but still delicious alternative. I love my oatcakes with extra virgin olive oil. I admit they are not traditional at all, but I find that olive oil is a great vegan option for my recipe.
I am not sure about adding a rising agent to oatcakes, as they don’t really need to rise. The traditional recipe includes a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, but I found that it really doesn’t make much of a difference!
You will need hot water to create a dough and bind together the dry oats.
You just need a pinch of salt for the traditional recipe, but if you want to make some special oatcakes you can try adding different flavors:
- fresh or dry herbs
- seeds (sesame, poppy seeds)
My healthy oatcakes recipe
In my version of oatcakes, I am going for a vegan alternative, using extra virgin olive oil as fat and a bit of fresh rosemary to give them a Mediterranean twist.
I have a serious problem with these oatcakes: yes, they are very healthy, full of fiber and good fats but every time I make them, I can’t stop eating them!
How to make oatcakes
This oatcake recipe is extremely simple, but there are a couple of tips that will help you to get it perfect every time.
The steps are:
- Blend oats (if using rolled oats)
- Add extra virgin olive oil, salt, and rosemary to the oatmeal.
- Boil the water, add it to the oatmeal and knead until the oats have absorbed the water and a ball can be formed
- Roll out (approx 3mm thick) and cut into circles using a cookie cutter.
Different types of oats can absorb water in different ways. If your dough is too crumbly or too soft, just add more water or more oatmeal one tablespoon at the time until you reach the perfect consistency.
What is the perfect consistency, I can hear you asking? You need to be able to form a ball, but the dough doesn’t have to be too sticky. I normally find it quite hard to roll it out without it breaking a bit. You want it to be crumbly but enough to hold together.
I use some baking paper to help rolling and cutting the dough. By rolling the dough on baking paper, I can easily remove the oatcakes without having them sticking to my work surface.
Make sure you cook your oatcakes on a flat baking tray to keep them perfectly in shape. Once they are in the oven, you also need to watch them during the last 5 minutes as they can darken quite quickly. I normally set the timer at 15 minutes, and then check them and remove them only when they reached the perfect golden even color.
Healthy Oatcakes with Rosemary
- 3 1/2 cups medium oatmeal (or rolled oats)
- 1 cup water
- 3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- If you are blending your own oatmeal from rolled oats, simply place the rolled oat in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a coarse flour.
- Mix the oatmeal, finely chopped fresh rosemary, and salt in a bowl, and add the extra virgin olive oil.
- Bring the water to the boil and add it to the bowl. Mix with a spoon and let it cool slightly. Then use your hands to form a dough. Feel free to add a bit more water if the dough feels too crumbly. Just add it a tablespoon at the time.
- Roll out the dough until very thin (3mm) and cut in circles with a round cookie cutter ( I used a 3 1/16 in - 78mm cookie cutter). If the dough is a bit sticky, I normally roll it out on a baking sheet, to avoid using additional flour.If the dough is too crumbly, don't add too much water. Simply roll out a quarter of the dough at a time.
- Place the circles on a flat tray covered with a baking sheet, no extra grease required.
- Bake until golden brown, for 15-20 minutes. If your oven doesn't cook evenly, make sure to turn the trays half-way through baking. Keep a close eye on the oatcakes in the last 5-8 minutes, to avoid overcooking them.
- When the oatcakes are ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Nutritional values are per oatcake.
- Oat is naturally gluten-free but if you want to ensure the oatcakes are completely gluten-free, please remember to check that the oats you buy are certified gluten-free.
- You can store your oatcakes for over a week in an airtight container, once they are completely cool (but they never last that long)!
Have you tried this healthy oatcakes recipe?
Let me know what you think in the comments!