With today officially marking the start of National Picnic Week, we've got your healthy al fresco feasting covered with 5 delicious oat recipes the whole family will enjoy. Each of the recipes can be easily prepped the night before and with minimal finger fuss when eating.
The staple of any good picnic as we all know is the sandwich and we've got the perfect oat loaf on which to build the ultimate picnic sandwich
SEEDY BUTTERNUT AND SAGE SODA BREAD
Soda bread is easy to make and bakes quickly providing a wholesome loaf of bread in under 45 minutes - no proving necessary. Amazing served warm straight from the oven with lashings of butter and jam.
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Makes 1 loaf
75g (3oz) White's Jumbo Organic Oats
250g (9oz) wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
300g (10oz) plain flour, plus 1 tbsp.
1 tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g (5oz) peeled and deseeded butternut squash, coarsely grated
4 large sage leaves, finely shredded plus 3 to garnish
450ml (16fl oz.) buttermilk
2 tbsp. mixed seeds
1 tsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200*C/fan oven 180*C/Gas mark 6.
Reserve 1 tbsp. of the oats and set aside. Place both flour's, remaining oats, salt, bicarbonate of soda, butternut squash and shredded sage into a large bowl and mix well. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. The mixture should be soft and spongy.
Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very lightly -just enough to shape into a 20cm (8inch) circle. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Mix together the reserved oats and mixed seeds and scatter over the dough. Using a sharp knife score a deep cross into the top of the dough.
Dip the remaining sage leaves into the olive oil to coat evenly and arrange over the top of the dough. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes until well risen and when you tap the base of the bread it sounds hollow.
Our oat muffins are an ideal healthy snack for adults and kids alike and any leftovers (although we doubt there'll be any) can be easily frozen until the next outing. A perfect picnic accompaniment, try swapping cherries for 1 large banana or for those with a slightly sweeter tooth, try adding chocolate chips or raisins, about 75g.
CHERRY, YOGHURT & OAT MUFFINS
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
175g (6oz) plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground mixed spice
50g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
100g (4oz) White’s Jumbo Organic Oats
50g (2oz) butter, melted and cooled slightly
225g (8oz) greek style yoghurt
125ml (4 fl oz) semi skimmed milk
1 large egg
4 tbsp orange blossom honey
200g (7oz) fresh ripe cherries, pitted and quartered
1. Preheat the oven to 200*c/ fan oven 180*c/Gas mark 6. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice, sugar and 75g (3oz) of oats.
3. Whisk together the melted butter, yoghurt, milk, egg and honey until smooth. Stir in three quarters of the cherries and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and divide the mixture between the paper cases.
4. Scatter over the remaining cherries and oats. Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
5. Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Oat Pots make a great dessert option for picnics and can be layered with lots of seasonal summer fruits. Strawberries make a great pairing with our White's Apple, Cranberry and Raspberry Granola. Even better the leftovers can be whizzed with a little milk to make a delicious smoothie
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus cooling time
Cooking time: 2-3 minutes
100g (31/2oz) White's Apple, Cranberry & Raspberry Granola
225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered if large)
100g (31/2oz) raspberries
100g (31/2oz) blueberries
2 tbsp. agave nectar
1 lemon - juice
225ml (8fl oz) Greek-Style natural yoghurt
1 tbsp. fresh chopped mint plus a few fresh mint sprigs to decorate
1. Place the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries into a saucepan. Drizzle over the agave nectar and lemon juice and heat gently for 2-3 minutes until the fruit is warmed through and begins to release their natural juices. Set aside and allow to cool.
2. Spoon three quarters of the compote into 4 individual glasses. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the granola. Mix together the remaining granola, yoghurt and chopped mint and spoon over the top of the fruit. Top with the reserved fruit and sprinkle over the reserved granola. Decorate with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.
Another great accompaniment to any picnic is Houmous. This fresh, vibrant and zingy houmous is the perfect dip with crackers and crudites. We've gone the whole hog and made our own cumin oat crisps. For the more adventurous, planning a picnic BBQ, spoon the houmous on top of burgers for added flavour- it will pack a punch and be a sure winner as part of any family or adult only picnic.
BEETROOT HOUMOUS WITH TOASTED CUMIN OAT CRISPS
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
25g (1oz) White's Oatbran Fine Cut
250g (9oz) cooked beetroot in natural juices, drained and chopped
400g (14oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lemon- juice
2 tsp ground cumin
Small handful fresh mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
2 tbsp. creamed horseradish
125g (41/2oz) White's Speedicook Oats
50g (2oz) plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
100g/31/2oz unsalted butter
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
2 tbsp. mixed seeds
Large pinch cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. natural yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/fan 170*C/gas mark 5. Place the beetroot into a food processor with the chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, mint leaves, horseradish sauce and oat bran and whizz to a smooth puree. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Place the oats, plain flour, baking powder, butter and fennel seeds into a food processor and process to a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 50ml (2floz) cold water and mix to a dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet and press the mixture into a rough rectangle about 2mm thick. Sprinkle over the toasted cumin seeds, mixed seeds and cayenne pepper and bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool completely before breaking into pieces.
3. Spoon the beetroot houmous into a serving bowl and swirl with the natural yoghurt if liked. Scatter with the fresh mint to garnish and serve with the oat crisps.
Use fresh raw beetroot if liked simply trim the stalks from the beetroot and place into pan of boiling water, cover and cook for 30 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle peel and chop into chunks before using as above.
OAT STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE TART
No picnic would be complete with strawberries and cream. This rich buttery oat case with a creamy filling and topped with ripe plump glazed strawberries is a classic- perfect for any summer picnic or party
Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus chilling time
Cooking Time: 22 minutes
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g White's Organic Jumbo Oats
300g full fat cream cheese
400g fresh ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
finely grated rind & juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp strawberry jam
1. Preheat the oven to 160*C/fan 140*C/Gas mark 3. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the oats and flour and mix to a soft dough. Spoon into a deep 20cm/8in fluted loose bottomed flan tin and press evenly up the sides and into the base using the back of a spoon. Chill for 30 minutes.
2. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and while still warm use the back of a metal spoon to re-press the crust into the base and sides of the tin. Allow to cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, mix together the cream cheese and lime zest until smooth and spread over the biscuit base to cover. Arrange the strawberries over the top to completely cover the filling.
4. Heat the jam and 2tbsp lime juice. Sieve and brush over the strawberries to glaze. Serve immediately.
The oat base for this tart also makes great cookies. Simply make up as above, divide the mixture into 15 equal sized pieces. Roll into balls and place evenly spaced apart onto a couple of lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with your fingertips and then bake as above for 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.