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June 16, 2021

Nairn’s Oatcakes

by Anne Paddock

An oatcake is a cracker made primarily from oats. A Scottish creation, the oatcake is to the Scots what a Ritz cracker is to Americans, a Rosca to the Spaniards, and what a TUC cracker is to the French: that is, a traditional cracker that is often used as a chariot for a topping with bold flavor.

Popular in the United Kingdom, Oatcakes have been around for hundreds of years with traditional recipes calling for oats, oil (to bind the oats together), baking soda, and salt. Most oatcakes are free of nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs, sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and genetically modified ingredients (because these ingredients simply are not allowed) so the crackers appeal to a wide variety of consumers who prefer the simple, natural goodness of wholegrain oats in a minimally processed food that isn’t salty.

One of the most popular brands of oatcakes is Nairn’s, a Scottish company with two bakeries in Edinburgh who have been baking oatcakes for 125 years (since 1896). Nairn’s offers a wide variety of oatcakes with all made with wholegrain oats, sunflower or palm fruit oil, baking soda, and sea salt:

  • Nairn’s Rough Oatcakes: 90% of this cracker is wholegrain oats which means these crackers are high in fiber (1.1 grams per cracker).
  • Nairn’s Fine Milled Oatcakes: 88% of this cracker is wholegrain oats that have been finely milled to give a thinner and crispier texture. Each oatcake has 0.7 grams of fiber.
  • Nairn’s Organic Scottish Oatcakes: 85% of this cracker is organic wholegrain oats along with 3% oat bran. Each oatcake has 1.1 grams of fiber.
  • Nairn’s Cracked Black Pepper Oatcakes: 91% of this cracker is wholegrain oat with added cracked pepper to give this high fiber (1 gram per cracker) cracker a peppery kick.
  • Nairn’s Gluten-Free Original Oatcakes: 83% of this cracker is made with certified gluten-free wholegrain oats. Each oatcake has 0.8 grams of fiber.
  • Nairn’s Gluten-Free Super Seeded Oatcakes: 79% of this cracker is made with certified gluten-free wholegrain oats. 14% are seeds (flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds) providing 0.9 grams of fiber per oatcake.
  • Nairn’s Mini Oatcakes: 84% of these bite-sized oatcakes are made with wholegrain oats, which gives the cracker a lighter texture. Each oatcake provides 0.4 grams of fiber.
  • Nairn’s Peri Peri Oatcakes: 84% of this cracker is made with whole grain oats but it’s the spices in Peri Peri (chili, garlic, onion, black pepper, basil, oregano, coriander, bay leaves, and salt) and tomato powder that give this oatcake its spiciness.
  • Nairn’s Rye and Quinoa Oatcakes: These oatcakes are made with wholegrain oats (72%), oat protein (8%), rye (8%), amaranth (3%), and quinoa (1.5%) along with sustainable palm fruit oil, sea salt, and baking soda.

Enjoy Nairn’s oatcakes as is or with hummus, dairy-free cheese (Dr. Cow non-dairy cheese is especially delicious on Nairn’s Rough Oatcakes), baba ganoush (an eggplant tahini dip), artichoke dip, baingan bharta (a roasted eggplant dip), guacamole, peanut butter or your favorite nut butter, or fig jam. The possibilities are endless.

Nairn’s also makes flavored oatcakes with chocolate, fruit, and cheese (see the Nairn’s website for a full description of the company’s product lines). Available at most grocery stores in the “International Foods” aisle or through Amazon. Each box of oatcakes is $3-$4.


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