Oatmeal and Wild Herbs

Oatmeal and Wild Herbs

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oat flakesMy daughter’s been on a bit of an oatmeal kick lately. She already eats a handful raw with nuts and dried fruit every morning while her brother makes himself porridge every workday. But we were talking about bread alternatives when the subject of the original scottish bannock came up. It was originally made using oats or barley long before it was brought to Canada. You can find recipes for scottish oat cakes, which are a type of cracker reminiscent of rice cakes. I have to try this at some point because I miss my rice cakes something fierce and have been wondering what to do. But you can also find recipes for bannock, some with and without oatmeal. Oatmeal bannock looks more like cornbread than what we’ve come to understand as bannock otherwise, but cooked in a very similar manner.

Personally, I’ve made oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal bread, and discovered that it makes a very fluffy oatmeal/curly dock seed pancake too! While on the search for varioius binders to try to make a dock bread loaf, I ran across a recipe for oatmeal spinach pancakes!  Spinach is readily swapped out for lamb’s quarters or fresh nettle in the wild. Just toss in the same amount of leaf to whatever recipe you’re looking at.

I have my own recipe for pancakes that doesn’t call for egg, milk or oil.

Pancakes n sausages on the bbqPancakes – No egg, milk, or oil!


2.5 cups of flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 to 3 cups water depending on humidity, elevation, and type of flour used


1. Preheat frying pan at medium heat.
2. Stir all dry ingredients together in a medium to large bowl.
3. Add water.
4. Immediately stir everything together by hand or with a hand mixer.
5. Scoop half cup of batter into pan and wait for bubbles to form on the surface. When the entire surface is bubbling and the edges are starting to lift, flip the pancake onto the other side. Wait a similar length of time. Take a fork and flip open a small area in the middle of the thickest part of the pancake to check for doneness. Transfer to warming plate and cook the next pancake.

Swapping out the wheat flour for oatmeal flour makes incredibly fluffy pancakes! Going half oatmeal, half curly dock seed tamps that down a bit, but not by much. Much like the link above, this recipe goes well in a well-oiled waffle maker. My electric wafflemaker is teflon, and this recipe doesn’t work at all in that! It sticks rather badly in spite of the teflon! (Remember too, that teflon is NOT healthy for you!) But this same recipe works well in my cast iron stove top waffle maker! When the cast iron waffle maker was gifted to me, the teflon electric unit when back into the cupboard and so far, as stayed there! I might toss it at some point, but back to the topic. The author of the above linked oatmeal spinach recipe has also put a cup’s worth of grated zuchinni in her porridge and claims you can’t taste it! Considering zucchini has been listed as a replacement for banana as a binder in baking, this could be useful.

I haven’t tried this yet with other lifters such as baking soda and vinegar. I have accidentally put baking soda into the pancake batter in the past, and we’ve all regretted it! Of course that was without the vinegar, so not sure if the vinegar would counteract the terrible flavour of baking soda or not. Four tablespoons of sugar certainly don’t! The sugar doesn’t have to be added as I’ve forgotten it a few times and it didn’t seem to impact the resulting texture much. It does make it nice for use with syrups or jams and such however. But if you found yourself fresh out of sugar and needed to bake, you could make this recipe without the sugar just fine.

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