Thursday, June 28, 2012

In love with oat shakes

Every night before going to bed, I try to remember to think about what we'll be eating the next day, in case it's necessary to soak some nuts or whip something up to place in the dehydrator overnight.  It doesn't always work that way, and that's okay because it's easy to come up with a "plan B."  Now, I pretty much know to put the oats in water for next morning's breakfast.

Yesterday, while making our morning oatmeal, I accidentally used too much water and turned it into a shake.  As it turns out, "oat shakes" are a popular drink in South America and among health enthusiasts here in the USA.  It's thick and creamy, and it's one more alternative next time one of us is craving a milkshake.

This morning I made oat shakes again - on purpose this time - and it's so tasty and satisfying that I can't believe I hadn't heard of them before - or that they aren't a staple in the standard American diet.

Here's this morning's delicious recipe:

Banana Cacao Oat Shake for growing kids

2 cups oats,  soaked overnight in 3 cups of water  (240 calories)
4 medjool dates, soaked with the oats  (265 calories)
2 ripe bananas  (210 calories for two 7 inch ripe bananas)
1 tsp vanilla  (11 calories)
2 tbsp almond butter  (180 calories total)
2 tsp maca powder (40 calories)
2 tbsp lucuma powder (120 calories)
2 tbsp cacao powder  (48 calories)

water and ice

If this is for two servings,  this is approximately 377.5 calories each, (a full meal) for three servings it's 251.6 calories each. 

Note:  If using whole, raw oats, wash and drain them before soaking them overnight.  Portion size of raw whole oats for one person is 1/3 - 2/3 cups.  Blending with fruit and water to make a 12 oz. shake.  I prefer to puree the oats (and dates or soaked and rinsed nuts if using them)  with a minimum of water at first to get them very smooth before adding additional ingredients and water.

Place all ingredients in the blender, including the water the oats were soaked in.  Puree, then add a bit more water to make a very thick shake.  Keep blending until smooth and creamy.  At the end, blend in some ice or refrigerate until very cold.

Notes:  Depending on how much water you add, this recipe will serve two generously as a full meal, or three to four as a side beverage.  In two tall thick servings, it's a lot of food.  But it will stave off hunger for a while.  This one turned out rather sweet - I made it to the taste of an 11 year old,  and plan to gradually reduce the quantity of dates so that he doesn't notice the reduced sweetness.  For adults, try using half the dates or less.  You can always start with less, taste it while it's still in the blender and add more sweetener to taste if needed.  Soaked and rinsed almonds can be used to replace the almond butter, or almond milk to replace some of the water.  If you don't soak rolled oats, it's not a problem, but I think it turns out creamier when the oats are soaked.  I haven't tried whole raw or steel cut oats without soaking them first so I don't know how that would turn out.  The maca and lucuma powders can be omitted if you don't have it on hand.  Optimally, all ingredients should be fresh and raw.

Update from January 2013:  Since posting this in June 2012, oat shakes continue to be a regular part of our diet.  We no longer worry about soaking or sprouting the oat groats.  We simply wash them and use the Vita Mix blender to blend them in a small amount of liquid until they are smooth, then we add additional liquid until it reaches a thick shake consistency.  Sometimes we use the water and flesh from a young Thai coconut.  Often we use dates.  Sometimes we add blueberries or whatever fruit is in season.  We often add cinnamon.  I find that adding a small amount of rinsed and soaked nuts, or coconut flesh, or even avocado, helps give the meal longer staying power.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?