Food & Recipes, Food for Us All

Magical Morning Oats

Oatmeal is the one food I’ve found on grocery shelves around the world. In some countries (I.e. China) it’s viewed as “old people food”; In other countries it’s baby food. But there’s plenty to love about the grain, as long as you know how to dress it up: it’s filing, full of fiber, versatile and inexpensive. It also takes minimum care to prepare, which is ideal for busy mornings when you still want to sit down and have a good breakfast before everybody parts ways.
What makes these tasty oats magical is that, not only are they suitable for everyone sitting at the breakfast table, but they also have a balance of simple carbs, fiber, healthy fats and protein that will get you through your morning.
These oats are fairly fluffy; if you prefer denser oats, reduce the water. While many of the topping options below call for Greek Yogurt, quark, Russian tvorog, Turkish suzme or any other strained dense yogurt goes very well with the taste and texture of oats.  Some of the topping combinations contain nuts. Use crushed or ground walnuts for young children and babies who cannot yet safely chew nuts. Nuts can be crushed using the side of a heavy knife or ground in a coffee grinder or using mortar and pestle. Larger batches of ground nuts can be kept in a sealed container (like a baby food jar) in the fridge for several weeks.  Before giving a baby nuts do, of course, make sure they don’t have any allergies.
Makes 3 servings (or 2 adult servings and 3 baby-sized servings)
Ingredients:
3/4 cup oats
1 1/2 cup water
1 Tbs chia seeds
1 tsp ground flax
1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 2 drops of vanilla concentrate
Pinch of salt*
1/4 cup milk*
*If serving a baby under the age of 1, add these after removing the baby’s serving from the pot.
Directions:
Pour oats and water into a small pot.
Stir in salt, vanilla, chia seeds and flax.
Simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes.
When oats start to thicken, just before you are ready to eat, whisk in egg whites and milk. Wait until egg whites whiten and serve
Top with a combination of fruit and healthy fat, such as:
carmelized green fig oatsCarmelized green figs and chopped walnuts
Ingredients:
3 ripe green figs (substitute with purple figs if your locale does not have the green variety)
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs chopped walnuts
Pinch nutmeg
Directions:
Remove the stems of the figs and cut the figs in half.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat
When the butter begins to bubble lay the figs, skin side down, in the pan. Add the chopped walnuts. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Let cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn the figs over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Let the figs cool slightly before adding to the oatmeal.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Carmelized apple slices and tahini
Sweet and savory, this is a sophisticated taste that takes little time to make
Ingredients:
1 red or golden apple (choose one that isn’t too tart)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp butter
 
Directions:
Core and thinly slice the apple
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan
When the butter begins to bubble, place the apple slices in the pan.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the slices
Cook on medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, until the slices begun to soften.
Flip the slices and cook another 1-2 minutes on the other side, until they are soft and almost starting to brown.
Top each bowl with:
1/3 of the apple slices
A drizzle of tahini (about 1 tsp)
Another sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired
1 tsp of red or golden grapes, if desired
Apricot butter and walnuts
See recipe for apricot butter (to come)
Top each bowl with:
1 Tbs Greek yogurt
1 Tbs apricot butter
1 Tbs walnuts
Pinch ground clove
baked apple with walnutBaked apple, golden raisins, and coconut oil
See the recipe for baked apple (to come)
Top each each bowl with:
1/4 baked apple
1 tsp golden raisins
1 tsp coconut oil
Bananas, shredded coconut, almonds and cacao nibs
Top each bowl with:
1/3 sliced banana
1 tsp shredded coconut
2 tsp almonds, preferably crushed or sliced
1 tsp cacao nibs
pb raisin oatsBanana slices, cinnamon and peanut butter
Top each bowl with:
1/3 sliced banana
1 Tbs peanut butter
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Optional: a dozen raisins
Blueberries Almond Dream
Top each bowl with:
2 Tbs plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 tsp almond butter
1 tsp slivered almond
1 tsp shredded coconut
Banana slices, nutmeg, shredded coconut and yogurt 
Top each bowl with:
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 sliced banana
1 heaping tsp shredded coconut
A generous pinch of nutmeg
Hemp seeds, Greek yogurt and berries
Top each bowl with:
1 tsp hemp seeds
2 Tbs plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1/3 cup blueberries, gooseberries or blackberries
1/2 tsp sugar or shredded coconut if desired
Peanut butter, dark chocolate, banana and coconut
While not as healthy as the options above, this creation is reminiscent of s’mores (and far healthier than that campsite fare!) and curbs sweet cravings in the morning.
Top each bowl with:
1 square of dark (80%+) chocolate
1/3 sliced banana
1 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp shredded coconut
banana almond oats
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