Saturday, September 20, 2014

Spiced steel-cut oats with apple, toasted almonds & coconut

I was at breakfast with some friends the other day and ordered the oatmeal with all the fixin's and was reminded just how satisfying it can be in the morning.  Delicious, healthy... & filling!

This is my personal favorite way to yum it up.  When done right (meaning add lots of tasty, healthy toppings) oatmeal is a pretty perfect breakfast.  The key is to add a variety textures and flavors to what could otherwise be a bland bowl of glop.  You need a crunchy, a creamy, a sweet & a tart.  Generally that means a toasted nut, some sort of sweetener (I prefer honey - keepin' it natural), a dried or fresh fruit & a little milk.  And if you are me, a dab of butter, which I highly recommend!  I also love to add a little cinnamon & cardamom to the oatmeal itself for a touch of spice.

In this recipe I also include some toasted coconut (because I am obsessed) and a spoonful of hemp seeds for extra protein, omega-3's, etc, etc... My nut is the almond and the tart fruit is diced crunchy, Honeycrisp apples (I also love dried sour cherries).  I like to make a bigger batch of the toasted almonds & coconut and keep it on hand in an airtight container because mornings can be so rushed. 

Serves 2

3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. water 
a large pinch of kosher salt
1/2 c. quick-cook steel-cut oats
1/4 t. cinnamon
sprinkle of cardamom

a couple small pats of butter (optional)
1/2 c. toasted coconut-almond mixture (see recipe below)
1/2 c. diced Honeycrisp apple
a drizzle of milk
honey or brown sugar, to taste
1 T. hemp seeds

Combine water and milk in a small saucepan with a generous pinch of kosher salt.  Bring to a boil and add oats.  Lower heat and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.  When finished cooking, stir in cinnamon and cardamom until thoroughly mixed. 

Pour oatmeal into 2 bowls and top each with a small pat of butter.  Divide toasted coconut-almond mixture and apples between two bowls.  Top with a drizzle of milk, honey or brown sugar to your liking, and the hemp seeds.

Toasted coconut-almond mix

1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place sliced almonds on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, add the coconut to the rimmed baking sheet with the almonds and cook 5 more minutes until both almonds and coconut are lightly toasted.  Remove and cool completely.  Can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.


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