Thursday, February 28, 2013

Eating Well / Beauty From the Inside Out: Apple-Ginger Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe

My children are SUPER-picky eaters, but one of the few items my son will eat is oatmeal, so when I spotted steel cut oats in the bulk bins at whole foods whilst on one of my lentil-restocking trips, I grabbed some.
I'm not crazy about how super-processed and sugar-laden the packaged quick oatmeal options are, so I figured I'd test-drive these instead, hoping (but doubting) they'd pass the super-picky-kid test.

Not having ever cooked (or eaten) steel cut oats before, I spent a fair amount of time (okay, *hours*) researching recipes and their reviews. I decided to start out with Alton Brown's recipe, since a) it had rave reviews, and b) his recipes have NEVER failed me.
I was okaaay with the results, but it didn't knock my socks off, or anything.
I wanted to build on it, and make it really interesting, and different. Which isn't easy for oatmeal.

After some trial and error, I came up with the recipe below. Since then, I have enjoyed it for breakfast every day for the past two weeks. It's healthy, has a ton of fiber, is the least refined of all the oat varieties, and I get to control the amount of sugar/additives. That's a big plus for a mom!
It does take longer to cook (45 minutes), but I just make it in advance, refrigerate, and re-heat a bowl-full every morning. Easy-peasy.

Incidentally, my son not only tried it, but LOVES it -- pretty impressive response from a kid who eschews just about everything.

Apple-Ginger Steel Cut Oatmeal

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup steel cut oats
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/8 cup crystallized ginger, minced (optional, OR substitute ¼ - ½ cup dried apricots, raisins, cherries, cranberries, etc.)
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
½ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups boiling water
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk, etc.)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)*

In a large saucepot, melt the coconut oil and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast.
Add the boiling water, diced apple, ground flax seed, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and cinnamon. Reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the almond milk and vanilla to the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Spoon into a serving bowl, and serve (I pour an additional smidge of almond milk on top of mine, to thin it out a little bit).
*I tend to omit the brown sugar, as I find the fruit sweetens it enough for my liking.


 



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