Sunday, March 2, 2014

Apple Spice Oatmeal

When it's cold, there's nothing like a bowl of piping hot oatmeal to start the day. I like to make it even better with some apples and spices.

What I love about this breakfast dish is that it's healthy (low-fat, fiber-rich, no added sugar) without tasting healthy. The apples, from my farmers' market, and spices really make it flavorful, and the hearty steel-cut oats keep you full all morning long. This almost non-recipe is easily adaptable for more or fewer people, just by keeping the 4:1 ratio of water to oats. It also reheats really well. I often make a large batch on the weekends and then store in single-serve portions for easy weekday breakfasts. Just add a splash of water before reheating in the microwave.

Apple Spice Oatmeal
Makes 3-4 servings.

4 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
One or two pinches of salt
1 apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste

Bring the water to a boil in a large sauce pan with a lid. Add the salt and the oats. Cook on medium high until it comes to a rolling boil, stir, and lower the flame to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes with the lid askew.

Cut the apple into consistently sized pieces.

Add the diced apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the pot. You don't necessarily need to measure the spices. I add the cinnamon by eye and give the nutmeg 20-30 passes on a Microplane grater.

Stir, replace the lid again, and cook for another 15 minutes or so stirring occasionally.

The oatmeal is done when it's thick enough to stick to the spoon when stirred. If the oats are still a bit too watery, turn off the heat and let sit covered for another minute or so. Sometimes mine needs a few more minutes to think about itself but you don't want to overcook or the apples get too soft. Enjoy!

Variations: This recipe can easily be modified if you don't have apples on hand. I have embellished the basic recipe for oatmeal with any combination of golden raisins, pears, banana, apricots, walnuts, maple syrup, and honey.

Here are the American-made kitchen items I use to make this:

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