Every Tuesday night, we host a small group dinner and Bible discussion at our house for young adults. We usually provide a simple meal, like baked potatoes and salad, homemade pizza, custom omelets, etc. Well, this week, Bryan suggested we serve oatmeal.
At first, I thought this was a little strange. “We’re having company and you want to serve oatmeal?! OoooKay…” So I asked another girl in our group, Ashley, what she thought, and she said she loves oatmeal. So…Oatmeal Extravaganza it is!
I made a big batch of homemade oatmeal (4.5 c. oats, 4 c. water, 3.5 c. milk) and a small batch of quinoa (1 c. red quinoa, 1 c. water, 1 c. milk). Then we had the following options for toppings available:
- fried apples (organic apples pan fried in butter with a bit of brown sugar)
- brown sugar, white sugar, honey, maple syrup, and Stevia
- cinnamon and nutmeg
- pecans, walnuts, flax seed
- blueberries and raspberries
- pomegranate arils
Then we also served eggs to order on the side (over easy, over medium, or scrambled) – fresh from the farmer’s market! And Ashley brought Immaculate Baking Co. Cinnamon Rolls, which are fabulous!
All in all, the oatmeal bar was EPIC! And it turned out to be a great dinner and discussion group!
I’ve heard for a couple years now how healthy steel cut oats are. So, a while back I bought some out of the bulk bin at EarthFare. The only bad part about the bulk bin is that it doesn’t have instructions for preparation on the side of the container. And I sadly let that be an excuse for too long. Well, I finally gave them a try on Monday night for dinner. I had researched them earlier that day and had my action plan. So, I read through three or four recipes online and here’s what I came up with:
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 c. organic steel cut oats (note: do not try to use quick oats for this recipe; they will either burn or turn to mush)
- 3 c. water
- 1 c. almond milk (you could use organic milk or soy milk here)
- 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract (homemade by my friend Gina)
- organic unsweetened, reduced fat coconut flakes
- flax seeds (you might try using almond butter or peanut butter for your healthy fats)
- all-natural blueberries (you could use any kind of fruit here: apple slices, dried berries, bananas, raisins, etc.)
- raw and natural blackberry honey (agave nectar or brown sugar would work here too)
- slivered almonds (you could use any kind of chopped nut: pecan, walnut, etc.)
In medium saucepan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium low heat and add steel cut oats. Stir constantly for a minute or two. You should smell a toasty, nutty scent. Add 3 c. water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 c. almond milk and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until most of the moisture is absorbed. Stir in vanilla, top with your favorite ingredients and serve warm.
I listed my toppings above, but the possibilities really are endless. I ate one bowl for dinner and then put the next three servings in glass containers for quick breakfasts to take to work. Reheat in microwave for 4 minutes at power level 3 (I rarely heat anything over power level 3). If you’re heating at full power, you probably don’t want to go for more than a minute.
Bryan's Breakfast. The little acorn is filled with sugar cubes.
It’s been a really long week. We are thankful for the challenges and how God is using them to help us trust Him on a regular basis. Needless to say, we were exhausted from such a crazy week, so we slept in later than normal. I woke up earlier than Bryan, which is a rarity. I took this opportunity to make some oatmeal from scratch and an apple walnut topper. I prepared the oatmeal with milk according to the Quaker package instructions. Meanwhile, I melted 1 Tbsp. butter over medium low heat, chopped up a large Fuji apple and tossed that in the butter. Then I sprinkled the apples generously with cinnamon, and added two handfuls of walnuts, a splash of vanilla and about 1/4 c. of packed brown sugar. I let this mixture simmer until it was warm and bubbly. Then I made a little well in my oatmeal and poured in the apples and nut mixture. I made Bryan some Earl Grey tea, and I enjoyed a cup of French Press Organic Peruvian Coffee with my breakfast.
My breakfast. I love any excuse to use my bent spoons and teapot shaped spoon rests!
I did a post a little while ago about Tahini being useful for more than just making a good hummus. One of the suggestions that Whole Foods Blog gave was Tahini candy. They told you what to put in, but didn’t say how much, so I took a shot at it.
I used about 1/3 cup each of raisins, chopped dates, and chopped figs. Then I used probably close to 3/4 c. of Tahini (sesame seed paste). I put all of this in the blender (since my food chopper’s motor gave up the ghost). I would recommend a food processor, but I didn’t have one at the time, so I just put it in the blender. The WF blog said to roll it into balls and coat with either coconut or cocoa powder. Well, I thought I’d try throwing about 1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate into the mix instead of coating it. Then I tried to roll it and it was way too sticky, so I spread it out in a small pan, sprinkled it with coconut flakes, and let it chill overnight.
Tahini kind of smells like a nut butter yet it’s different than peanut butter, so when you’re thinking of what to do with this, think, “What would I do with peanut butter?” And go for it! The first day, I put a Tablespoon of it in my oatmeal, which was quite tasty. Today, I spread it on my Nature’s Path Organic waffles, and I think I’m in love! Delic! And oh, so good for you! Tahini is a good source for calcium and folate! Like any nut butter, it’s a little high in fat, so stick with a Tablespoon or two. Enjoy! I think I’ll try it on apple slices next!
I’ve read about this on various and sundry foodie blogs, so I thought I’d give it a try, since I ran out of almond butter tonight.
Add 1/2 c. of quick oats, 1/4 c. raisins, and about 3/4-1 c. of peach yogurt (the pourable organic kind) to practically empty almond butter jar. Screw on lid and shake to mix. Place in fridge overnight.
The Great Experiment...heading to the fridge to set overnight.
I grabbed this on the way out the door this morning and had it for breakfast. I have to admit, it’s a success! So yummy! They say it works with milk instead of yogurt too, so I’ll have to try that. The possibilities really are endless!
The Finished Product: Yum!
Every wonder how to get that last little bit out of the peanut butter jar before throwing it away? Here’s a great tip I’ve seen on several food blogs and finally gave it a try for myself.
When you can’t get anymore out of the PB jar, dump in 1 package of instant oatmeal and 3/4 c. scalding water. Stir, scraping the sides, and enjoy–yes, you get to eat right out of the jar! I used a little more water than the package calls for to help soften the peanut butter. I tried it with the Cinnamon Spice instant oatmeal and it was delicious!! And it adds a little protein to your quick-fix breakfast!