What are your favorite ingredients in bread, soap or chicken feed? I know mine: oats, milk, honey and eggs. It sounds like a great bread recipe too! To me, oats are a timeless ingredient. Always appealing. On the farm we make oats into all of the above. The protein, vitamins, calcium and fiber found in oats are bonuses nutritionally. Oats can act as a wonderful exfoliator in soap if you use flaked, rolled or pulverized oats. Oats in soap can also be very soothing (think of a very popular bathing product) and with no essential oils, in my opinion, it is equal to our egg soap.
WEB MD reports, "oatmeal binds to your skin and forms a protective barrier. It also helps hold in moisture and ease inflammation. If that isn't enough, it cleans your skin too. People have used it for centuries to ease irritated skin." (https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/colloidal-oatmeal-baths) FYI pulverized oats are often called colloidal oatmeal when suspended in a liquid.
In recipes, I generally do not use quick cooking oats. I use the old fashioned oat groats (also known as Irish Oats or steel cut oats). They make take a little more preparation but you will lose the gummy/sticky texture and there is something for me about going back to basics. I prefer fresh and organic ingredients if possible. Raw oat groats find their way into many recipes here on the farm after being flaked or pulverized. No time for that? There are oats available in every grocery store, ready to use.
The chickens on the other hand can easily consume oat groats or flaked oats. A warm mash for them is just the ticket for the cooler months or if one of your flock is under the weather. They are full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. To simplify this mash, a person could cook them overnight in a crock pot and have it chicken giving ready in the morning. Making your own chicken complete feed is also an option. Oats are a popular ingredient. Make sure that you calculate out the other ingredients too so that you have a healthy balance. As you may or may not know, kitchen scraps are a great adjunct to a feeding program but be mindful that you include chicken friendly scraps. This requires some homework.
Oatmeal soap is a treat. We make a soap called, The Big Oat Goat. It includes pulverized and flaked oats for a gentle exfoliator and goat's milk. It's a delightful bar of soap with no essential oils with the goal of being sensitive skin friendly. It's been a popular variety here and will be a staple as we continue our 22nd year of creating handcrafted soap.
Oatmeal bread provides energy and may be a great breakfast choice. There is some commentary about benefits for cholesterol, blood sugar and constipation. Did you know that oats contain no cholesterol? Bonus! They are also low sodium and easily accessed.
Incredible oats. Soap. Chicken feed. Oat Bread. Staples here on the farm. Wonderfully versatile. Easily accessed. A win for anyone thinking about making a simple change in the new year.
Favorite Oatmeal Bread Recipe (Makes 4 loaves)
350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes
5 cups hot water
2 cups uncooked rolled oats
4 tsp salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup honey
Add oats to hot water and soak for 30 minutes.
After soaking, add other ingredients to mixing bowl. Blend. You may reduce or OMIT honey.
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBS active dry yeast
Mix in 5-7 cups of whole wheat flour until sides of bowl are clear. (Depending on your oats, you may need to reduce whole wheat flour by 1-2 cups as needed...watch the sides of your mixing bowl). Knead for 8 minutes. Shape, let rise, bake and cool.