The overall goal of having an emergency food pantry is to have a wide array of nutritious foods stored away in order to carry us through an emergency. Oats are one of the best plant-based proteins out there. And, because they are versatile, readily available, and cheap, they are a favorite for those stocking their prepper pantry. Further, oats are a great source of iron and can reduce cholesterol.
In a previous article how to stock a prepper pantry, I wrote:
Over the years, I have made recommendations for the best types of foods to put in your pantry, how to save on emergency food stores by learning how to can and dehydrate your own food sources, as well as providing the best rules to go by when creating an emergency food pantry. Ideally, you want the food you put in those coveted pantry spots to be versatile and serve many uses.
I like to start with shelf stable basics like wheat berries, rice, an assortment of beans, dry milk powder, peanut butter, drink mixes, etc., and then add-on to my pantry with home canned and dehydrated foods. This creates layers of different types of short and long-term food stores and gives me more functionality in my pantry. Having layers of different food sources as coincides with the prepper rule of having back-ups for your back-ups.
From a nutritional standpoint, adding this popular health food staple to your meals will add additional nutrition, lots of protein (17 grams), and help you feel more full thanks to the 10 grams of fiber it has. As well, it is a natural means of reducing stress. You can literally eat your stress away! Since oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, it causes your brain to produce serotonin, which creates a soothing feeling that can help you ease stress.
Many are looking at sustainable gardening as a way to supplement their grocery budgets. Here’s a great grow guide to try your hand at growing oats.
In a previous article that listed 16 ways to use oats, we highlighted different ways that oats can be used including how to make your own oat flour to use in smoothies and for gluten-free baking, making oat milk, a milk alternative (get the recipe here), and how to make a delicious oat pie crust (think granola) but we wanted to list a few more incredible ways to utilize oats in the pantry.
- Oat Kvass – Oat kvass is a fermented probiotic drink that is very popular in Russia. Here is a great recipe for apple infused oat kvass.
- Hearty oatcakes – While the traditional oatcakes from Nova Scotia are crispy like a sweet shortbread, these are soft and chewy. I made this oatcake recipe and my kids raved about it!
- Breadmaking – As mentioned above, oat flour is great for making gluten-free bread. Here is one of my favorite recipes.
- Protein bars – These health bars have long been a popular source of the macronutrient, especially for athletes and those who tend to be more physically fit. Here is an easy 4 ingredient protein bar you can make today!
- Protein bars or energy bites – Make a healthy snack for your hiking trip or for your favorite athlete. Get the recipe here.
- Animal treats – Did you know that you can add some oatmeal to your dog’s kibble for added nutrition? Oatmeal is an approved food you can give your dog. Read more here. Livestock like goats, horses, and chickens love oats too! Here is a recipe to make homemade suet treats for chickens.
- Facemasks – Oatmeal is also great for acne-prone skin because it absorbs oil from the skin’s surface. All of which makes oatmeal a perfect ingredient for facial masks. Try this facemask: Combine 1/2 cup warm water and 1/3 cup oatmeal. After the water and oatmeal have settled for two or three minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and one small egg white. Apply a thin layer of the mask to your face, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water.
- Exfoliator – Oats also make a great natural exfoliator for the skin. Oats have a gentle, smoothing effect on the skin. The simplest way to use oats as an exfoliator is to mix together 1 tablespoon of the ground oats with just enough water to make a paste. Gently massage the oatmeal mixture into your face and neck area. Let the facial treatment rest on your face if you added either the honey or the yogurt to let the benefits sink in. Here is an exfoliating scrub you can make with oats and brown sugar!
- Anti-itch relief – Adding a cup of oatmeal to a tepid bath is a wonderful way to relieve irritated skin from poison ivy and other skin irritations. Here are a few more ways that you can read about. Additionally, this anti-itch remedy can also be used for pets too.
- DIY heat pack – Oats can also be used as a filling for heat packs. Simply fill a cloth bag or pillowcase with oats and heat it up for 30-seconds in the microwave. Tip: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add some aromatherapy to your pack.
What are some of the ways you use oats? Share a recipe for the community!
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