So I planted some oats, wheat, barley and rye this season just for the fun and to see if it was worth me growing these grains for myself and my menagerie and I’m very pleased to say it is a definite a big fat HELL YER….. for the oats anyway the jury is out on the other grains yet.
I have been watching with anticipation these grain grow, healthy and strong and at first I had them fenced off from my poultry but once they started getting the seed head I let my girls into them and as luck would have it they are quiet content to just scratch and search for insects around the grain stalks not creating enough damage to worry about which is great!
Next time I won’t mix the grain up I will keep the different grains in their own areas as they all ripen at different times so I had to go through and pick the oats well before the wheat and other grains were ripe, lesson learnt.
I couldn’t let them fully ripen there in the garden as I’m having to fight the local parrots and now the sparrows off with my spade….. Bloody things, I will be blogging on skewered BBQ sparrow shortly….. You think I’m joking, I’m not!
Anyway I tied and hung the oats to dry further in my patio, a week later I held the bunches and smashed them against the insides of a bucket to separate the seeds from the stalks and the seeds collect in the bottom of the bucket, once I did this I put them in a cloth bag and with my rolling pin I rolled them hard until I could hear the tough hulls cracking under the pressure, I then tipped them out and winnowed them until as much of the hulls were blown away as possible, I repeated this process a coupler times then I put the cleaned grains into a bowl of water.
I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get all the hulls off, not sure if it was because I picked them to early or if that is just the way it is.
I wasn’t expecting it to be easy and it was to fiddly to try to get them off separately so I soaked them hoping the hulls would soften and come off the groats (grains) easier but in the end I decide to just blend them and make milk out of them, I squeezed the pulp through a cloth and I was actually shocked at how thick it came out, it was like runny cream.
I was surprised because I had a vague memory of trying oat milk from the shop once a long time ago and it was watery and had no flavour at all, well mine was totally different to that.
It is nice just raw as a drink or you could use it in cooking or reduce it and use it like that.
I just reduced a cup and added some honey and malt and it was nice like that, I tried it raw like this and it wasn’t as nice, so experiment to see what suits you.
Oats are really good for you so I’m very pleased this worked out and using them like this is well worth doing but for actual eating I need to either find a better way to remove ALL the hulls or grow hulless oats, I need to research this a bit more I’m happy for now knowing I can make the milk and get the nutrients this way.
Also I kept the pulp that was left from the squeezing to use as a facial mask and my menagerie will get the stalks for nesting and get to dig around the root system once it’s all cut down, so nothing goes to waste.
Now that’s what I call a win win situation……