Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spiced Apple Oatmeal: Autumn in a Dish

I'm sitting inside, snuggled on the couch with a cup of Rishi peach oolong tea (which is delicious, in case you were wondering).  And I've just finished one of my favorite autumnal breakfasts, a steaming hot bowl of spiced apple oatmeal.

It's a simple porridge. But, it's warm and hearty and redolent with all the flavors that exemplify the beginnings of autumn.  Spicy ginger and warming cinnamon. A splash of vanilla and a quick grate of nutmeg.  And a pinch of salt to bring everything together. On top of everything, oatmeal is seriously good for you.  But, that's neither here nor there.  It's delicious.  And, on a brisk morning like today, there's really nothing better than a steaming bowl of oatmeal.  Especially when Peef is the one in the kitchen, cooking it up.

But, there are a few tricks to making that perfect bowl of oatmeal. Here's what we like to do.
  1. It helps to start with a good quality whole grain oatmeal (not instant or quick-cooking).  Personally, I love both the texture of steel cut oats and the creamy texture you get from rolled oats.  So, I like to use a mixture of the two. 
  2. Use milk for cooking the oatmeal.  This gives your breakfast more protein, as well as a richer flavor and a super creamy texture.  For two servings, we like to use 1 cup of whole milk and 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Add fruit!  In this case, we added crisp apples.  But, just about any fruit will work.  Try dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, cherries, or pineapple.  Or add fresh fruit like peaches or blueberries toward the end of cooking.
  4. If you'd like a little textural crunch, try adding a handful of chopped nuts. Walnuts are a particular nutritional powerhouse, but almonds offer additional calcium and an amazing sweet  nuttiness.   A dollop of peanut or almond butter is also delicious.
  5. You can microwave your oatmeal... but trust me when I say that it's really better when cooked the old-fashioned way, right on the stovetop.  To cut down on the cooking time, soak the oats in water overnight by bringing the water to a boil, turning off the heat, and adding the oats. Cover the pot and let sit over night. The next morning, reheat the oatmeal  on low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 And there you have it:  the perfect bowl of oatmeal. Not too watery, not too thick... and it will make your entire house smell like you've been baking an apple pie.


Peef's Spiced Apple Oatmeal

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8 comments:

  1. Wow -- I was just thinking about oatmeal this morning, and here you are! Have you ever tried the baked variety? Also, how does yours hold up for storage? I'd love to make a big batch and eat it all week. Either way, yum!

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  2. Ellie - I would think you could make up a few days worth of this for reheating each day. The apples won't stay as crisp, but the flavor would probably even improve!

    We have made baked oatmeal, and it's a favorite of ours too!

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  3. I, too, use a mixture of steel cut and rolled oats. I use milk if I'm having them with raisins and brown sugar, but otherwise what I like to do is make this in the crockpot overnight, adding in chunks of apples and dried cranberries. For the liquid, I use a mixture of apple and cranberry juice. It keeps for up to a week, also. Maybe longer, but I've never had it last long enough to find out.

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  4. This looks so good. Wow. So simple as well. Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to more recipes. :) Have a good day.

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  5. The mix of steel cut and rolled oats sounds delicious. Do you think it would taste right with soy milk instead?

    I'm picturing myself in a wool knit autumn colored sweater watching the leaves blow in the wind through the window while eating some spiced apple oatmeal. What a wonderful day dream.

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  6. ratedjpg - This would be delicious with soy milk. In fact, I'd be inclined to use a bit of vanilla soy milk and cut back or eliminate the vanilla extract. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. As a kid I loved the instant apple cinnamon oatmeal, this is so much better

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  8. nice foods it has vitamin mineral and many other things but i do not like this because i am a bad boy.


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