Who Knew Oatmeal Was So Versatile!
I love this book. Kathy Hester takes a very practical approach and for every recipe she provides the reader with alternatives. If it calls for Pastry Flour, for example, you are given the alternative of a gluten free mix. And if you don't have a squash, she suggests looking in your pantry for that can of pumpkin you've got hanging around.
The first recipe that caught my eye was the one for making your own instant oatmeal. Ahhh. I'm so happy. My kids love instant oatmeal. Probably because it's so sweet. But here was a recipe I can totally get behind. One where I can use organic oats and only natural ingredients. Better yet, this recipe is so easy that my teen daughter makes it. Pulling together what she wants. I mean, Oats, Sugar, Stevia and a dash of salt. How easy.
The recipes are organized in a way that works for me. The first section is for DIY staples like the instant oatmeal I mentioned. What amazed me was how many ways oatmeal could be used that I hadn't considered; like biscuits, roti, gravy and even pepperoni crumbles that you can use on pizza. I thought these recipes were very clever.
The next set of recipes build on ones you might be familiar with. Pancakes, waffles, scones, and variations of breakfast and snack oatmeal like Lemon Raspberry 'Cheesecake' Oatmeal.
These warm weather oatmeals are followed by cool weather recipes, like smoothies and shakes.
The next section covers granolas and bars, the one after that soups and savory stews. After that you'll find recipes that cover lunch and dinner and even desserts and beverages. Who knew? There's Bourbon Oated Shortbread for example. Yum.
The final section delighted my daughter. She loves to make her own makeup and scrubs and this book had a number of recipes which she is trying.
And I should note finally that there is even one recipe for Fido and one for kitty: Peppermint Puppy Cookies and Catnip Kitty Treats.
There are things I look for in cookbooks. The first has to do with appearance. Because I'm old I need a font that is easy to read, and I also really like photos. OATRAGEOUS delivers. The pages are well laid out and nearly every recipe has a drool worthy color photo.
The other things I like are recipes that are versatile. Kathy Hester delivers there too. The basic idea behind these recipes are to use natural vegan ingredients, but she is constantly pointing out alternatives you can use. Enough so that I feel pretty confident in making my own switches.
Most of the ingredients in these recipes are ones you are probably not going to have a problem getting at the grocery store. The one item I know we don't have locally are Meyer Lemons. In fact, I've never heard of this variety. But in general we are talking regular spices and items like non-dairy milk, coconut oil, stevia, agave nectar and the like.