8 Great Uses for Oats (Beyond Oatmeal)

Photo Credit: Allyson Kramer

Oats are a vegan superstaple due to all the great ways you can enjoy them. With these 8 fabulous uses, you'll see that a bag of oats is good for so much more than oatmeal.

  1. Oat Milk: This creamy non-dairy milk is one of my favorite ways to utilize oats' sweet flavor and lovely texture. Oat milk is easy to make: simply whiz about 1 cup oats with 3 to 4 cups water in a blender until smooth (add more or less depending on how thick you like your milk). Chill and serve as you would any non-dairy milk.
  1. Burger Binder: An easy way to bind together veggie burgers, such as black bean burgers, is to use oats! After you have made your burger base, toss in a handful of oats to add a great texture and a bit of binding power to the burgers. The oats help "set" the burgers as they bake, making for a more tender, and less crumbly veggie patty.
  2. Alternative Whole Grain Flour: Oats can easily be ground into a delicious and versatile flour, which can then be used in anything from fresh baked breads, to cookies and cakes, and so much more. To grind oats, simply whirl them through a coffee grinder, food processor, or high speed blender until they transform into an evenly ground flour. Substitute up to 2/3 of the amount of all purpose flour called for in recipes with your fresh ground oat flour.
  3. Stew Thickener: Use oats, whole or ground, as a thickener for stews by simply tossing in a tablespoon or two of oats or oat flour to your stew or soup after it has been cooked and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened. This works especially great for chili!
  1. Smoothie Booster: There's no more efficient of a way to add bulk to your breakfast smoothie than by adding a spoonful or two of oats. For a delicious and nutritious start to your day, try a smoothie made with a frozen banana, a handful of berries, a small scoop of nut butter, and 2 tablespoons oats blended with cold nondairy milk.
  1. Granola Base: Of course, we can't discuss the joys of oats without mentioning homemade granola! It's so easy, you may be tempted to never buy store-bought again. This basic recipe is a great start and can easily be made vegan by subbing the honey with agave or maple syrup.
  2. Pie Crust: If you're looking for an easy pie crust that packs a bit of nutrition, look no further. Oats can be used in place of crushed graham crackers in traditional cheesecake crusts, by mixing about 1 cup of them with 3 tablespoons melted margarine or coconut oil and pressing into your pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. For an even simpler method, sprinkle some toasted oats on the bottom of the pie pan and pour the cheesecake right over top and bake as directed.
  3. No Bake Cookies: It's hard to resist a fresh batch of no bake cookies, and oats are a crucial part of making these delicious morsels. I like to keep a bag of rolled oats around so I can easily, and quickly, whip up a batch of cookies whenever the craving strikes and I'm not in the mood to bake!