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Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and www.CarolFenster.com

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Spurtles, Pinheads, and Scotland

Confused by the title of today’s blog? Let me explain: A spurtle is a wooden stick used to stir porridge; pinhead is a Scottish term for steel-cut oats. As for Scotland: how would you like to have a free, all-expense paid trip to that marvelous country, plus $2500 spending money—courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill?

Carol Fenster's oat bars use gluten-free oats and oat bran from Bob's Red Mill..

Oat bars use gluten-free oats from Bob’s Red Mill

All you have to do is enter the Bob’s Red Mill contest called “Spar for the Spurtle” and be the winner. You have to use Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats, and since there is a gluten-free version of these hearty oats, there’s no reason why a gluten-free recipe can’t win.

The details are  at Spar for the Spurtle Rules but basically you submit a recipe and video by July 22, 2013. If selected, you compete at Bob’s Red Mill headquarters in Milwaukie, OR for the chance to represent them at the Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship this fall in Scotland. By the way, I’ve been to Scotland and it is fabulous so I know you will like it!

Why do I care about oats or this contest? I have no financial interest in the outcome of this contest, but I would love to see a gluten-free winner. I grew up eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast. Yes— Every. Single. Morning. Fortunately, I love oats!

For a long time, oats were off-limits for gluten-free folks. That’s because—while oats are inherently gluten-free—they were contaminated by wheat in the field and manufacturing plant. But now Bob’s Red Mill (and several other gluten-free companies in North America) offers a full range of gluten-free oat products—including gluten-free steel cut oats—so we can indulge in this important whole grain. The Whole Grains Council suggests 3 to 5 daily servings of whole grains and oats qualify as a whole grain. It only takes one-half cup to equal a serving, by the way.

Matthew Cox, marketing director for Bob’s Red Mill, won the Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland in 2009 with his Oregon Orchard Oat Brulee and it is absolutely delicious. In 2012, Laurie Figone represented Bob’s Red Mill at this International event with her Italian Pinhead Torta. Although Bob’s Red Mill didn’t bring home the spurtle last year, Laurie’s dish was a creative, delicious way to use oats in a “non-breakfast” way.

There are many ways to get steel-cut oats into your diet, whether you enter the contest or not.

Make it your goal to get more oats into your diet. Here are some ideas to get you started.


[1] Add uncooked oats to smoothies as a thickener

[2] Add cooked oats to soups and stews as a thickener

[3] Use cooked oats in muffins, quick breads, and yeast breads

[4] Use it in casseroles, as did last year’s winner Laurie Figone with her

[5] Use oat flour as part of your flour blend in breads, muffins, quick breads, bars, and cookies; grind your own from steel cut oats with a small coffee or spice grinder

[6] Replace mashed potatoes with cooked oats as a base for gravy, sauces, and eggs

[7] Make pilaf from oats rather than rice

[8] Make oats the basis for dessert such as these Blueberry Walnut Oat Bars

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