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Would You Know What an Oatcake Is?

By David Saunders | UPDATED: 14:42, 01 December 2019

Despite youngster’s being the country’s largest group of diners – with 17 million millennials making up almost a quarter of the UK population, a new study by Nairn’s showed that over 35% of 16-24 year olds don’t know what an Oatcake is!

The youngster’s guide to the humble Scottish superfood

Are you one of them? If so, we’ve come up with a handy guide to tell you all you need to know. Big fan of oatcakes already? You may be surprised by how super they really are:

Oatcake 101

The youngster’s guide to the humble Scottish superfood

Are you one of them? If so, we’ve come up with a handy guide to tell you all you need to know. Big fan of oatcakes already? You may be surprised by how super they really are:

So, what is an Oatcake?

An oatcake is a type of flatbread similar to a cracker or biscuit made from wholegrain oats.  Oatcakes have a nutty, wholesome flavour and can vary widely in texture, depending on the type of oatcake and whether the oats are ground or not.

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Historically, Oatcakes have been a staple of the Scottish diet since at least before Roman times and probably long before.  Oats were the only grain to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Highlands and when Scottish Clans were travelling, it is reported that soldiers would carry a sack of oatmeal and a metal plate. They would heat the plate, on a fire, mix some oatmeal with water and make a ‘cake’.

Benefits

Oatcakes are packed full of beneficial health benefits:

  • They’re filing, low-cost and versatile.

  • They’re also one of the best sources of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre you can find. They promote regular bowel movements and regulate blood sugar, meaning you can avoid those horrible afternoon dips in energy and performance; Nutritionist Cassandra Barns can’t get enough of them; “The oats in oatcakes provide gentle fibre, which not only helps us stay regular, but also ‘feeds’ the friendly bacteria in the gut. These bacteria then make a substance called butyrate, which helps keep the lining of our stomach.”

  • Oatcakes are a natural source of energy. Because wholegrain oats are not highly processed it takes a while for our digestive system to break down and absorb the carbohydrates, the result – slow release energy, which can help, fill you up and stop you feeling the peaks and dips of a blood sugar rush.

  • Wholegrain oats are also good for your heart as they’re a rich source of beta-glucans, a rich source of soluble fibre, proven to help reduce cholesterol as part of a healthy, balanced diet. As well as reducing cholesterol, oats can help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

How do I eat them? 

Oatcakes are perfect any time of day and can be enjoyed in many different ways.  They can be paired with a sweeter topping to satisfy a sweet tooth, or with a savoury topping, or why not use as part of a cheese board,

What’s great about oatcakes is they can be a blank canvas for anything that takes your fancy.. need a filling snack? Try Cheese & Pickle, or want a pre/post gym protein boost? Top with peanut butter and banana Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese, Cucumber & Hummus and Banana & Chocolate Spread.

Tempted?

Nairn’s, the leading producers of oatcakes in the UK, have a delicious range of oatcakes. From the original Rough and Fine Milled to the Rye & Quinoa. Or why not try their Cracked Black Pepper Oatcakes (£1.25, Sainsbury’s) or Fruit & Seed Oatcakes £1.40, Sainsbury’s) for something a little different.

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