Sage Oatcakes

Sage Oatcakes: Sweet, Savory and Perfect with Tea

By the time you read this, I’ll be strolling the green hillsides of Ireland while on a yoga, nature, and Irish culture retreat.

I’ve been excitedly preparing for this trip for months.

I love to read so all of my bookworm choices lately have been about Ireland – from Irish history, to both historical and contemporary Irish fiction, and even fairy tales.

I can’t wait to meet Irish plants! I’ve been reading about Irish herbs, both as medicine and as a fount of folklore.

I’ve also been researching my genealogy and getting acquainted with my Irish ancestors.

I’ve also been looking forward to Irish food! Okay, I’ll probably pass on the black pudding, but I am looking forward to shepherd’s pie and Guinness!

The Irish are also famous for their simple baked goods such as Irish soda bread and oatcakes.

I found a family oatcake recipe that has been passed down to me and decided to update it.

Instead of oil and shortening, I used butter; instead of milk, I used buttermilk; and I substituted honey for the sugar. I also added freshly dried sage from my garden. I’ve been eating these warm with a drizzle of wild rose petal infused honey.

They are amazing!

But before we get to the recipe, let’s look more closely at the ingredients.

Sage Oatcakes

Oats (Avena sativa)

Herbalists use many different forms of oats in herbal medicine. The unripened seed heads are tinctured fresh for a “milky oats” extract, which is often used for people with fried nerves.

Dried oatstraw is used as a nutrient dense and delicious decoction or nourishing herbal infusion that supports bone and cardiovascular health.

Oats and oatmeal have long been used as a nourishing food that can soothe digestive inflammation. Oats and oat bran have also been studied for their ability to reduce blood cholesterol.1 2 3 4

Oats can be a delicious treat; however, if you are eating them daily, I recommend soaking them first. This makes them easier to digest and can break down anti-nutrient qualities that can inhibit absorption of nutrients like iron.

To soak oats, place one cup of oats in a bowl; cover the oats by one inch with warm water; add two tablespoons of an acid such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or whey; and add a teaspoon of salt. Let that sit overnight. In the morning they can easily be made into oatmeal.

To explore more of oats’ many healing qualities, see my monograph on HerbMentor.com.

Sage Oatcakes

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Outside of the herbal community, sage is often overlooked. As a culinary spice it gets pigeonholed into a couple of dishes, such as Thanksgiving stuffing, but is nearly forgotten the rest of the year.

Herbalists have long recognized sage as a powerful healing herb and recent research has been confirming this. Sage has been shown to be a powerful ally for Alzheimer’s disease, for alleviating hot flashes during menopause, and for helping people to digest heavy foods, especially fats.5 6 7

Whether you enjoy sage as a soothing tea or sprinkled into your food, this wonderfully aromatic plant can offer many gifts in your life.

Sage Oatcakes

Sage Oatcakes

These oatcakes combine the rich aromatics of sage with the chewiness of oats. They are delicious as is; however, I recommend eating them warm with a drizzle of rose petal-infused honey and a bit of tea. I make this with a gluten-free flour mix and gluten free oats; however, regular wheat flour and oats will work fine, too.

What you’ll need…

  • 1 tablespoon butter for greasing the baking sheet
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup honey (warm temperature and liquid)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not soaked; avoid quick or instant oats)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten free if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 large baking sheets.

Mix the buttermilk and honey together until completely combined. Set aside.

Sage Oatcakes

Place oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Sage Oatcakes

Add the sage. Whisk well.

Sage Oatcakes

Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like a coarse meal.

Sage Oatcakes

Sage Oatcakes

Add the buttermilk and honey combination and stir just until it forms dough.

Sage Oatcakes

Form the dough into two disks. Set aside one of the disks.

Sage Oatcakes

Roll out the other disk on a floured surface until it is 1/4 inch in thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut out rounds or shapes.

Sage Oatcakes

Place the cut dough pieces on the buttered baking sheets.

Sage Oatcakes

Gather the scraps of dough, re-roll and continue cutting them out. Then continue with the other disk of dough.

Bake the oatcakes 10-15 minutes or until the edges are just turning golden brown. Don’t overcook!

Let cool slightly before eating…

Sage Oatcakes

…or cool completely and store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to three days.

Yield: Makes 15 two-inch diameter oatcakes

Now I’d love to hear from you!

Do you use sage as a tea or in a favorite meal?

Please share in the comments below.

Show 7 footnotes

  1.  Thongoun, Pimonphan, Patcharanee Pavadhgul, Akkarach Bumrungpert, Pratana Satitvipawee, Yashna Harjani, and Anne Kurilich. “Effect of Oat Consumption on Lipid Profiles in Hypercholesterolemic Adults.” Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet 96 Suppl 5 (2013): S25-32.
  2.  Gulati, Seema, Anoop Misra, and Ravindra M Pandey. “Effects of 3 G of Soluble Fiber From Oats on Lipid Levels of Asian Indians – a Randomized Controlled, Parallel Arm Study.” Lipids in Health and Disease 16, no. 1 (2017): doi:10.1186/s12944-017-0460-3.
  3.  Li, Xue, Xiaxia Cai, Xiaotao Ma, Lulu Jing, Jiaojiao Gu, Lei Bao, Jun Li, Meihong Xu, Zhaofeng Zhang, and Yong Li. “Short- and Long-Term Effects of Wholegrain Oat Intake on Weight Management and Glucolipid Metabolism in Overweight Type-2 Diabetics: A Randomized Control Trial.” Nutrients 8, no. 9 (2016)doi:10.3390/nu8090549.
  4.  Raimondi de Souza, Simone, Gláucia Maria Moraes de Oliveira, Ronir Raggio Luiz, and Glorimar Rosa. “Effects of Oat Bran and Nutrition Counseling on the Lipid and Glucose Profile and Anthropometric Parameters of Hypercholesterolemia Patients.” Nutricion Hospitalaria 33, no. 1 (2016): doi:10.20960/nh.40.
  5.  Akhondzadeh, S, M Noroozian, M Mohammadi, S Ohadinia, A H Jamshidi, and M Khani. “Salvia Officinalis Extract in the Treatment of Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: A Double Blind, Randomized and Placebo-controlled Trial.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 28, no. 1 (2003): 53-9.
  6.  Scholey, Andrew B, Nicola T J Tildesley, Clive G Ballard, Keith A Wesnes, Andrea Tasker, Elaine K Perry, and David O Kennedy. “An Extract of Salvia (sage) with Anticholinesterase Properties Improves Memory and Attention in Healthy Older Volunteers.” Psychopharmacology 198, no. 1 (2008): doi:10.1007/s00213-008-1101-3.
  7.  Bommer, S, P Klein, and A Suter. “First Time Proof of Sage’s Tolerability and Efficacy in Menopausal Women with Hot Flushes.” Advances in Therapy 28, no. 6 (2011): doi:10.1007/s12325-011-0027-z.
44 comments
  1. Thank you so much for this recipe. My Mom is diabetic and we use sage in pretty much everything because it actually lowers her blood sugar. We’ve checked it so many times after she’s had a high reading and than I give her some tea or a muffin. Now we have another recipe for her.

  2. I was just thinking the other day how much I was craving an oatcake! Is there a particular gluten-free flour that works well with these? I will also substitute coconut oil for butter and rice milk for the buttermilk, since dairy and I don’t get along. Thanks for a great way to use sage!

    • I used Pamela’s baking mix for these, but I am sure any would work. You can sub a dairy free milk with a bit of acid to get the same results as the buttermilk – we linked to that substitution below. Enjoy!

  3. Rosalee so wonderful to jear you are in Ireland!lotsof love to you from Tipperary and the Golden Vale of amazing hedgerows and plants….gonna make your oatcakes now!!

  4. Yummy!!!! Can’t wait to make them!

  5. Thank you very much Rosalee for this beautiful recipe, I’m glad you are in Ireland, here the irish jig that makes my soul uplift so happily: Gwendal- Irish Jig (full album) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfdkKjOn14Q
    and Sharon Shannon http://sharonshannon.com/video/
    Very glad you are having a great personal journey, can see you connecting with all the gnomes!

    I just downloaded this great recipe and the rose honey, me too I’ll have to use dry from the eco herb shop, just one question as we don’t use butter even ghee…is it ok to use coconut oil instead of butter? and any other vegetal milk like oat or almond instead of buttermilk?…and why avoid instant oat for this?
    I have fine oat at home as I love making granola for breakfast, use a bit of maple syrup,, coconul oil, fresh almonds and hazelnut, golden flax seeds, orange or lemon zest, ginger and cinamon powdered. This goes in the oven for 10 minutes at 170ºC, moving after 5 minutes. I really love it, but I can’t soak the oat for the antinutrients… I hope the oven does it…

    Much love all the way to you, enjoy the green live, hearts and the lovely accent in Ireland.
    Love from Tenerife, Elisabeth.

  6. Can you soak the oats and what acid would you soak the oats in for use in this recipe?

    • I tried soaking the oats for this recipe but the texture didn’t turn out. I wouldn’t eat unsoaked oats daily, but as an occasional treat they are just fine.

  7. What is your opinion of the Ayurvedic tenant of not cooking with honey?

    • I’m interested to hear the answer. I wonder if it would be good to leave the honey out of the dough & if desired, simply drizzle a little on the oatcake just before eating them?

    • I don’t believe that honey becomes toxic when you cook with it. I haven’t found any other substantiation for that claim other than “Ayurveda says”. I have also cooked with honey my whole life and have never seen negative effects. If you are concerned then you can omit it or sub sugar.

  8. Sounds like a wonderful recipe! I will add it to my collection. I grow my own sage, so besides using it with poultry, I’ll now be able to use it in this recipe! Exciting!

  9. Thank you so much for another lovely recipe. I use sage in a tincture and as a salve. I grow enough to keep us in tincture and salve . The salve is great for those who often get a sweat response in the creases of the arms etc. The tincture is good for places where an oily salve is a handicap.

  10. I use sage a lot in cooking but find it especially beneficial for sore throats – simply brewed as a tisane

  11. I look forward to making this recipe as I’m trying to balance my sugar levels but I do enjoy a Biscuit with my tea..I’d love to hear more on the Ireland trip and try out some healing broths
    Thank you

  12. I use a sage and honey tea before I go singing and any time I have a sore throat.

  13. Is there a substitute for buttermilk? I can’t find that where I live. Otherwise sounds great!

  14. Wow… Sage? Sounds like an amazing recipe…

  15. Can this recipe be veganized. I love this type of recipe but I don’t eat meat, fish or dairy of any kind. I would really appreciate this very much. Thank you.

  16. do we soak the oats for this recipe?

    • I did try to make this with soaked oats that but the texture never turned out right. Let me know if you figure out a way.

  17. When I lived in South Carolina, I kept three plant in my garden. Now that I live in the Caribbean, I cannot find seeds to grow two sage plants. I read in one herb book that a cup of warm sage tea helps when under mental stress from school work/studies. I love adding sage when cooking a bean dish, especially black beans. Sage is one of my favorite herbs. I also enjoy sage when making bread, corn bread and pancakes.

  18. We love to drink sage tea in winter especially. For sore throat and cold in chest. But there’s a thing about nursing and sage that doesn’t work.

  19. Good recipe, I love savory oats, but it will have to have some subs for me. Since milk (and eggs) gagged me even as a small kid in the 1950’s when we were essentially forced to drink it, I could never understand how people could consider the infant fluids of another species as “food” for humans! What is the appeal of a mucosal secretion meant to nurture infant creatures not yet able to eat anything else? And especially from non human ones full of foreign proteins, pathogens, endotoxins and now pesticides and a host of chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, etc.? I get that in the distant past when people were starving they would eat anything to survive, but why do we still practice this when science has proven the multitude of detriments. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/milk/ Besides the profits to the insidious and deceitful mega wealthy dairy industry with their lobbying and advertising, there are no benefits! It isn’t even a good source of usable calcium or nutrients, despite the hype, because it’s acidity actually leaches the calcium from our bones and causes inflammation and autoimmune diseases, for starters! Asians who never used to touch any milk also never had osteoporosis, until they followed our example. And why just cow, goat or sheep fluids… why not deer or dog, or bears? Should be “udderly” obvious I guess, we take advantage of whatever is easiest and assume it’s our right because someone else did it first. Guess that’s why I’ve always related better to animals than people, they think for themselves and make sense ;)

    • This is a place to comment on a lovely recipe, not a place to vent your anger at people you disagree with.

  20. Thank you Rosalee for the recipe. I wish you would answer several of the very good questions others have already asked…especially about how to make this by soaking the oats and flour to make them more digestible. Also the question about cooking with honey would be great to have an answer.

    • I am traveling around Ireland at the moment but I did take a few moments to respond to those questions above.

  21. Thank you Rosalee, what a treat! I’ll definitely try it, and it’s good to know about sage and its use it in a different way

  22. Thank you Rosalee, that sounds like a wonderful recipe. My husband has early stage COPD due to a lung abscess a few years ago. I make a strong sage tincture and give him 2 teaspoons twice a day he says it really helps with his breathing. I have two beautiful sage plants to I am definitely going to give this recipe a try.

  23. Great recipe but I have a question like some others
    Do we have to soak the oats? Thank you.

    • I don’t recommend it because I couldn’t figure out how to soak the oats and have the texture be appealing. If anyone knows any tricks for that I would love to hear it.

  24. Thanks, Rosalee! Looks great. I like the rose addition.

  25. Cannot wait to make these oat cakes with sage. I grow my own sage and it’s delicious and also quite beautiful. I harvest some in the late fall for making smudge sticks. Also, after I fry tomatoes, I scatter in a bunch of leaves in the still hot oil ( I use avocado ) and they turn into these delicious crispy garnish for the tomatoes. Jane

  26. Thanks for the recipe. Oats are reaaly nice and filling! I use fresh sage in potato pie (made with sliced potatoes, sage, rosemary, salt and olive oil and baked in the oven for 50 mn.. The results are astounishing….

    • Potato pie sounds amazing, am going to try for my daughter who is tato mad! , thanks :-)

  27. I`’ve eaten oatmeal cookies all my life and can’t imagine why you would soak the oats before baking with them. Can’t wait to try this.

  28. I’m getting ready to make these now, can’t wait! I was wondering if you could cut them out, put them on baking sheets covered with plastic wrap, refrigerate and bake them later? It would be nice to serve them warm after dinner.

  29. I have a very positive suggestion Rosalie. Remind everyone (again) that you are on holiday in Ireland and will bu unable to comment until you have settled in after you return home. Every one deserves a holiday in peace.

  30. I like to saute the sage in butter til it’s crispy. Then I serve it over pumpkin ravioli.

  31. Hello Rosalee, I hope you are enjoying your holidays, me too I agree with Ros about reminding readers about your holiday in peace.

    Here’s a link about soaking the oats, in the paragraph where says “Old fashion porridge” I copy that bit: …

    “As for grain, old-fashioned porridges made from non-extruded grains provide excellent nourishment at an economical price. Grains such as oats should be cut or rolled and then soaked overnight in a warm, acidic medium to neutralize the many anti-nutrients naturally occurring in grains, such as irritating tannins, digestion-blocking enzyme inhibitors and mineral-blocking phytic acid. This treatment can also gently break down complex proteins in grains. You soak the grains in warm water plus one tablespoon of something acidic, like whey, yoghurt, lemon juice or vinegar. The next morning, your grain will cook in just a few minutes. It’s best to eat your porridge with butter or cream, like our grandparents did. The nutrients in the dairy fats are needed in order for you to absorb the nutrients in the grains. Without the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, you cannot absorb the minerals in your food. Furthermore, the fats in butter and cream slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, so that your blood sugar remains stable throughout the morning”.

    https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/modern-foods/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry/

    Much love,
    Elisabeth

  32. I was not really having a problem breathing at first. My throat was burning; I thought I had strep throat. I had pain in my neck, and there was swelling around my collar bone. The first doctor I went to said he did not know why there was swelling. He gave me antibiotics and told me that if the swelling was not better to come back in two weeks. I went back in two weeks and he said he did not know what was wrong. Since I do not have insurance, I went to a hospital emergency room, and they said I have COPD.The disease does not improve. My “good days” are far and few these days. My dad and his dad died from this. I am only writing this to inform others that nothing was really working to help my condition.I started on COPD herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic,i read reviews from other previous patients who used the herbal formula, my symptoms totally declined over a 5 weeks use of the COPD natural herbal formula. i am now doing very well, my lungs are totally repaired!! Visit there website ww

  33. Honey becomes toxic when heated above body temperature according to ayurveda. Do you have another sweetner solution for the sage cookies?

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