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Bob's Red Mill selects best U.S. oatmeal spurtle wielder

After receiving nearly 400 recipes in the fourth-annual Spar for the Spurtle, Milwaukie-based Bob’s Red Mill announced Thursday the top three winners of its recipe contest, including the $5,000 grand prize winner: Helen Williams, of Bordentown, N.J., and her Morning Glory Oats.

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY: BOB'S RED MILL - Spar for the Spurtle-winning Morning Glory Oats combine steel-cut oats, almond and coconut milk, grated carrots, golden raisins, shredded coconut, sliced banana, brown sugar, walnuts and pecans. Bob’s Red Mill will now take the winning dish to Scotland as the company tries to capture its third title at the 21st annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship this October. A spurtle is a tradititional Scottish kitchen tool used for stirring porridge.

“We were just blown away by the number of entries we received in the Spar for the Spurtle this year,” said Bob Moore, president and CEO of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “As we’ve shown with this contest over the years, our steel-cut oats are so versatile, and people submitted particularly creative dishes this year. It was really hard to make a final decision, but we were so excited by all of our top-three selections.”

The contest calls on home cooks nationwide to demonstrate their creativity in working with Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. The winners of the Spar for the Spurtle include:

· Grand prize: Helen Williams’ Morning Glory Oats combine steel-cut oats, almond and coconut milk, grated carrots, golden raisins, shredded coconut, sliced banana, brown sugar, walnuts and pecans. Spices include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla and orange zest.

· Second runner up: Mango Steel Custard Pie, created by Lyanne Abreu of Miami wins $2,500. This is the first cooking contest Abreu has ever entered, and her recipe put a Scottish twist on her grandmother’s Arroz con Leche (rice with milk, a Cuban custard tart traditionally mixed with fresh fruit). Her custard tart recipe marries Bob’s Red Mill Natural Granola and steel-cut oats, shredded coconut, maple syrup, egg, rum, vanilla, apple juice, blackberries and thinly sliced fresh mangoes.

· Third Runner Up: Savory Golden Oat Soup, a vegan mixture of steel-cut oats and Bob’s Red Mill Red Quinoa, tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, garlic and coconut milk; seasoned with ginger, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek seeds and cilantro was created by Edie Irwin of Topanga, Calif, who won $1,000. Another winner whose first ever participation in a cooking contest paid off in a big way, Irwin was inspired for her recipe by a vegan Indian soup she normally makes with millet.

In 2009, Bob’s Red Mill sent the first Americans to ever compete in the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship, where the Bob’s Red Mill team came home with the coveted Golden Spurtle title for its steel-cut oats made with only water and salt.

“We couldn’t be happier with the incredible number of recipes that were submitted by our biggest fans in the Spar for the Spurtle,” said Matthew Cox, vice president of marketing at Bob’s Red Mill. “With two victories in Scotland and counting, we are proving to the world that Americans know a thing or two about using steel-cut oats in fun and creative ways. We can’t wait to bring Helen’s recipe to life at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championship next month, and we’re feeling very positive about our chances for a third world title this year.”

For real-time updates on the status the Bob’s Red Mill team at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship on Saturday, Oct. 4, stay tuned to Bob’s Red Mill’s Twitter or Facebook feeds.