By Shel Zolkewich (@shelzolkewich)
WINNIPEG — A bag of oats can take you through the day. Start with oatmeal in the morning, bake up a loaf of bread at midday and finish dinner with a sweet cookie. The point here is that oats are versatile. They’re also nutritious and downright tasty. And here in Manitoba, we’re lucky to have plenty of farmers who grow them.
Donald and Amy Nikkel have an 80-acre farm near Lundar. They grow oats and market them under the brand Rolled Naked Oats. Wondering about the naked part? All oats have hulls that need to be removed before we can get to the good stuff. Hulled oats require heat processing to stabilize the enzymes that are activated in the dehulling process. Naked oats are a variety that loses their hulls in the field, returning nutrients directly to the soil. They can then be rolled without any industrial heat treatment. The Nikkels just received organic certification for their product.
There are endless ways to used Rolled Naked Oats—from granola, crisps and cookies to breads, pancakes and veggie burgers. I was in the mood for something sweet, so I consulted that old standby—The Carillon Centennial Cookbook—for an oatmeal cookie recipe.
I started with the Coconut Oatmeal Cookies as submitted by Mrs. Deidre Bollman from Carberry, then made some substantial changes, including ditching the shortening and instead using half butter and half canola oil. I added more of the things I love too. The cookies are more crumbly than chewy with surprise hits of flavour thanks to a few added ingredients.
Over the Top Oatmeal Cookies
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups Rolled Naked Oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup coconut, shredded or flaked
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup Hershey Skor pieces
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cream together butter, canola oil and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients, including chocolate chips, Skor pieces and coconut. Add to wet ingredients. Drop by tablespoon onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 12 to 14 minutes.
Naked Oats from Adagio Acres