Tag Archives: oatmeal

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (4 of 6)

At least once a week, I get a text from one of my girlfriends I’ve been friends with for over two decades. Having moved back to Kaua’i with her husband recently, expecting her first baby girl in a few short months, this morning message often includes a photo of the beach with words such as “enjoying my oatmeal at the beach!” I try to contain my jealousy and refrain from writing “thanks for the induced homesickness bi-yotch!” (Teehee!)

The other thing these messages often do is leave me a hankering for some good oatmeal. Since I don’t generally eat breakfast, this craving hits around 1:30 or 2 PM. While I do enjoy overnight oats very much in the summer, I also thoroughly like oats that have been cooked on the stove.

Around here we throw all sorts of things into our oatmeal — peanut butter, sunflower butter, honey, maple syrup, homemade jam, bananas, other chopped up fruit we happen to have on hand, cranberries, currants, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc., etc. Since my favorite locally grown peaches happen to be available right now, I am a huge fan of peach-filled oatmeal… Like the following recipe!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (6 of 6)

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Serves about 6.

Ingredients:

2 1⁄2 cups water
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or to your liking)
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (3 of 6)

Directions:

Bring the water to a boil. Add the salt.

While stirring constantly, gradually add the oatmeal. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow oats to thicken for a few minutes. Once they have thickened, stir in the milk, cream, butter, vanilla, and brown sugar. Gently fold in the diced peaches.

Serve with a little additional butter, cream, and brown sugar if you’d like.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (1 of 6)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (2 of 6)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Peaches and Cream Oatmeal (5 of 6)

Blueberry Almond Steel Cut Oats

photo 4

We just got back from a few days of traveling. Whenever we are gone for more than a day or two, one of the things I most look forward to is being back in my own kitchen. It’s not that I don’t completely appreciate being able to eat out, or try new restaurants in different cities and towns; there is merely a comfort in being able to prepare what I enjoy eating, whenever I decide to do so.

That said, we had a mediocre breakfast before getting on the road this morning, ala the complimentary vouchers we were given as the peace offering for hotel management screwing up our room reservation, then moving us the second night to another crummy room that included nonworking wall outlets and a broken air conditioning unit. All I could think about were these oats as I ate my overly runny scrambled eggs and freezer-burnt tasting potatoes.

This recipe is simple and delicious. If you’ve made steel cut oats, it’s likely you’ve either made or had a version of it before. The recipe is easily adaptable to ingredients you have on hand. Since steel cut oats take a bit longer to cook than rolled oats, I like to set them up the night before so when morning rolls around, it takes a mere two or three minutes to heat them up.

photo 2

Blueberry Almond Steel Cut Oats

Yields 6 or so servings.

Ingredients:
2 cups water
2 cups vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
2 cups steel cut oats
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

photo 1

Directions:
In a pot, combine the water, almond milk, sugar, salt, and peanut butter. Heat over medium, stirring until the peanut butter melts and blends with the rest of the mixture.

Stir in the almonds and oats. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in the blueberries, almond extract, and cinnamon. Cover and remove from heat. Let the mixture sit overnight.

In the morning, uncover the pan and bring the oatmeal back up to a simmer over medium-low heat. You can thin out the oatmeal and create a creamier consistency by stirring in a cup of milk before reheating.

When warm, serve. You can add more blueberries, some toasted almonds or coconut, or your preferred toppings.

photo 5

Overnight Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Oats

overnightoats3

Lazy Girl Breakfasts : they are the best. This oatmeal totally falls into that category. Since I don’t often eat breakfast at normal person breakfast hours, I often try to think of something that will feed everyone else but still be easily consumable somewhere near lunch-hours, when I am actually hungry. The thing about overnight oats is that all the work happens in the crock pot as you sleep and it serves both those needs – it’s ready at breakfast time, but still tastes wonderful at lunch time .

Steel cut oats are generally nuttier in flavor and break down much more slowly than rolled oats. When cooked slowly in your crock pot, they become creamy and extremely flavorful, while maintaining some stability rather than turning into a pot of mush. I’ve posted various versions of these oats before, such as these pumpkin oats, or this version with apples, pears, and walnuts, or this blueberry nut version

But the last few times I cooked this type of oatmeal, Silas very hesitantly ate them, saying he didn’t like them. I decided to take a chance anyway because, quite honestly, I am sick of eating pancakes – the sole breakfast request from Mr. Silas Henry these days. I added more liquid this time, hoping for a creamier oatmeal come morning time. I also used mashed banana, mainly to add some natural sweetness. One ingredient we’re all fans of in oatmeal these days is peanut butter… so that went into the crock pot, too.

This may have been my favorite pot of overnight oats. It’s creamy, but flavorful in a completely un-overwhelming way. Plus I made Silas a bowl, topped with a little bit of butter, whole milk, and dried blueberries. He demolished the first bowl, demanded a second and then ate that as well. It was certainly kid-approved despite previous hesitations. I’m certain this flavor combination is going to stick around for a while.

overnightoats5

Overnight Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Oats

Serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients:

2 cups steel cut oats
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups whole milk, coconut milk (canned works), milk of your choice
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup smooth unsweetened peanut butter
1 large banana, mashed
1 large fuji or gala apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

optional toppings such as: dried cranberries/blueberries/raisins, shredded unsweetened coconut (toasted or plain), milk, butter, light brown sugar, maple syrup, chopped fresh apples, sliced fresh banana, etc.

for more of this post, read on here…

Gluten Free Oatmeal French “Toast”

frenchtoast2

Alright, things are going to get a little weird. But good. Yeah, yeah – you aren’t surprised, I’m a weird girl, it’s okay. When it comes to leftovers, I am not entirely into eating the exact same meal again. I like to change things up. The other day I made spaghetti squash for dinner, tossing the cooked squash with fresh garlic, basil, shallots, and roasted piquillo peppers. When we wound up with leftovers, the following night I layered the squash with spicy marinara, blanched broccoli, sharp white cheddar cheese, then topped it all off with panko breadcrumbs, baking it until the panko was golden and the squash heated all the way through. It was different enough from the previous night to not feel like I was just eating the same old thing – not that there’s anything wrong with doing that, of course!

When I cook oatmeal, I often make too much. It’s probably because I eat breakfast at lunch time or for dinner, rarely at normal people breakfast times… So typically I am making the oats for my husband and Silas, and way over-guesstimate what they’ll eat. What do you do with a pot of leftover oats? I refrigerate them for later use. Or I feed them to our dogs. Recently I pressed the leftover oats into a square baking pan and refrigerated them overnight. The following morning I cut out the oats, treated them like bread and made “french toast.” While they certainly weren’t bread-y by any means, this gluten-free take on french toast was delicious.

Part of the trick is making sure the oats have great flavor to start with. I generally cook our oats with brown sugar, mashed up bananas, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and whatever else we have laying around. Sometimes there’s diced apples, or peaches. Ground ginger, coconut flakes, vanilla bean, pears, etc. You really cannot go wrong. There are these oats or these. Perhaps this is more your style. This is a great way to use up leftover oatmeal. If you don’t have leftovers, you can simply make a pot, pour it into a baking dish, then refrigerate until cold before using the following recipe.

frenchtoast3

Gluten Free Oatmeal French “Toast”

Serves one.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups prepared oatmeal*, pressed into a baking dish to about 1/2-inch thickness
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (almond, dairy, soy, whatever you want)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup blueberries, for serving (optional)
warm maple syrup, for serving

* Read the above paragraphs for recommendations about the prepared oatmeal. The oats need to be cold for this recipe, so they stay together while cooking.

Directions:

Cut the refrigerated oats into 2 – 3 rectangular pieces.

In a flat-bottomed dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger until completely combined. Gently place the cut slices of oatmeal into the egg mixture.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Flip the oatmeal slices gently in the egg mixture to coat both sides well. You can do this flipping back and forth a few times, being careful so the oats don’t fall apart.

Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, lay the oatmeal slices in the frying pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Gently flip and continue cooking until the second side is golden in color, too. Serve immediately, topped with blueberries and warm syrup.

frenchtoast7square

When Winter Moves From Inside-Out

IMG_5869_zpsb4217476

Since I was about twelve, I’ve known what it’s like to ride out lows that feel like they’re going to bury me alive. That’s a decade and a half filled with periods of wanting to close myself off to the world, week-long – month-long, periods of time where unburying my head from under my pillows feels like the most grandiose chore. Major and minor times of depression, where it feels like the rest of the world couldn’t possibly have any idea why I’m not at all hungry, why it feels like work to move from one room to the next, where my mind recesses itself when all I’m trying to do is sleep, why I don’t want to talk about it.

When you’re in it, it’s big and overwhelming. I’ve been medicated for it, but not since I was a teenager, because once I turned eighteen, I had some say in deciding that it felt better to actually feel things (even if it got to be a lot sometimes), rather than numbing my feelings away to move through my days. The truth is, I still have periods like this in my life. Times where I don’t want to socialize, I don’t want to talk about how things feel. Times where it takes a lot of effort to motivate myself to get up and be productive. Even if “productive” means spending some time in fresh air, or doing a few loads of laundry, or writing things I’ll never attempt to place on this blog or submit to some poetry journal out there in the world.

This time of year, where sunshine is limited and the cold clings under my skin, I find that the chances of low-feeling days are increased drastically. While I like to allow myself to feel those things, at some point I have to decide how much it’ll overtake my life. So I try going to the gym even though I don’t want to. I make the effort to laugh or find humor anywhere I get the chance. I cook things that are filling and have some nutrient value to them, even if my body says it isn’t hungry. I’ve found that things like the following oatmeal are easily filling and help keep the motivation going. But even if you’re not depressed, or sad, or tired and unmotivated, these oats are lovely. And really, most of the work happens overnight while you’re sleeping, so as far as motivating yourself goes – it just takes the tiniest push.

IMG_5835_zps3eeedaa2

Blueberry-Nut Overnight Slow Cooked Steel Oats

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1¼ cups steel cut oats
1½ cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
2-4 tbsp. unrefined cane sugar
½ cup shredded coconut flakes
¼ cup sliced almonds (roasted or raw)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or ½ tsp. vanilla extract)
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
3 cups milk (keep this vegan by using nut or rice milk)
2 cups water
2-3 tbsp. unsweetened dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

If you’re using frozen berries, rinse them under cold water until the water runs clearly rather than purple. Allow the blueberries to drip-dry for a minute or two.

In your crock pot, stir together the oats, berries, sugar, coconut flakes, almonds, walnuts, vanilla bean, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cranberries if you’re using them, until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Stir in the applesauce, milk, and water until just combined. Set the crock pot to low heat, then cover and cook overnight (or 6-8 hours).

When ready to serve, fluff the oatmeal gently with a fork or spoon. Add enough milk to your individual serving in order to get the consistency you prefer.