Steel yourself for Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oats

december-4-2016-steel-cut-oats-in-bowl-with-walnuts

Breakfast in Bed? No problem. Make this nutritious apple and cinnamon scented oatmeal the evening before in your rice cooker or crock pot. It will be ready for you when you wake in the morning and your kitchen will smell like apple pie! This is the best way to wake up!

Steel cut oats have the most nutrition and lowest glycemic index of all the oatmeal products.  I add flax seed, oat bran and chia seeds to further boost the nutrition, and sprinkle with walnuts for extra protein. My recipe uses only a tablespoon of brown sugar, unlike most of the slow cooked steel cut oats recipes you find on the web. The raisins, apples, and cinnamon bring a natural sweetness to the cereal. Of course you can add more brown sugar or maple syrup when serving, but I’m fine without that.

I use a nonstick rice cooker with a slow cook setting. I spray it with nonstick canola oil spray and cleanup is very easy. I’ve made this in the crock pot too, but be sure you spray it well. Even so, there is a bit more cleanup involved. If the oatmeal sticks, soak the crock pot with hot water and a few tablespoons baking soda.

dry-ingredientsIngredients (makes approximately 6 cups). Refrigerate leftovers for more breakfasts.

Nonstick canola spray

1 1/2 Tb butter

3 Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped (can substitute other cooking apples)

1 Tb brown sugar

1 cup steel cut oats

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tb cinnamon

1 Tb flax seed meal

1 Tb chia seeds

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup raisins

1 tsp vanilla

2 cinnamon sticks (optional)

3 cups milk

4 1/2 cups water

For serving:

1 cup each blueberries and walnut pieces to stir in the next morning

Directions

Spray your cooker very well.

apples cooked in butter with cinnamon and brown sugar

Fry apples in butter and sprinkle in a few shakes of cinnamon and the brown sugar.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then put in cooker. Mix in fried apples, raisins, , vanilla, cinnamon sticks and liquids. Set timer for 7 hours.

apples-on-top-of-cooked-oats

In the morning, the apples will rise to the top.  I like to stir in a cup of fresh blueberries. Stir oatmeal well and ladle into bowls.

Sprinkle with walnut pieces and serve with more milk if desired.

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Coconut Pancakes

coconut pancakes
These tender, delicious pancakes are made with coconut milk, shredded coconut and coconut oil. If you can find coconut sugar, you can use it to sweeten them.
Coconut oil is all the rage, and my son Francisco talked me into buying some. Now he says “Sounds like you’re going kookoo for coco!” While I wouldn’t fry eggs it in, (I tried – weird), it’s excellent in pancakes. Because it has a high smoke point, you can fry your pancakes in coconut oil without it burning the way butter does. To retain the coconut flavor and have the pancakes golden brown, cook them on medium heat.

Makes approximately 10 medium pancakes

coconut pancake ingredients

Ingredients:
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup canned coconut milk (use low fat coconut milk to cut calories)
¾ cup finely ground whole wheat flour (aka white whole wheat flour)
1 Tb baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar or coconut sugar
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tb coconut oil

Beat coconut milk with eggs. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix with wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in shredded coconut.
Heat coconut oil in heavy skillet over medium heat, just until melted. Stir oil into the batter. Pour large spoonfuls of batter onto skillet. Turn when bubbles begin to form and edges begin to dry. Add a little bit of coconut oil before frying each batch.

Serve with fresh fruit, a tad of maple syrup and a bit of coconut oil if you like.

Steel-cut oats oatmeal with apples and nuts

???????????????????????????????This fiber-rich, creamy and crunchy oatmeal will stick to your ribs on these cold winter mornings when you need something to warm you up and keep you going.

I used the quick-cooking steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s. They cook in only 8 minutes. Nuts add crunch and protein, and apples and/ or raisins add sweetness and fiber. This recipe serves 2, but you can double or triple it to store some for those weekday mornings when you need a quick warm-up before work. It’s all-natural, so much better than those instant oatmeal packets.

Serves 2

1 1/2 cups water

a few shakes salt

1/2 cup quick-cooking steel cut oats

2 Tb ground flax seed

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 apple (I used a honey crisp apple)

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup milk

1 Tb cream (optional)

pure maple syrup or brown sugar (optional)

Peel and chop the apple into bite-size pieces. Bring water to a boil. Add salt, oatmeal. flax seed, cinnamon, apple and raisins. Lower heat and cover pot, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in nuts and milk for one minute. Pour into bowls and add a tablespoon of cream for a treat. If you desire added sweetness, add maple syrup or brown sugar to taste.

Peach Smoothie

???????????????????????????????Summertime means peaches, juicy and sweet. I bought a couple that were not as perfect. I popped them in the blender along with a speckled banana,  a scoop of plain non-fat yogurt and a glass of orange juice. Gave it a whirl and poured out this delicious smoothie!

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My Homemade Muesli

Muesli

muesli with berries

I eat my homemade muesli every workday morning for a crunchy high protein start to my day that keeps me full all morning. It’s made with oatmeal, quinoa flakes, raw nuts and seeds, and a dash of cinnamon for sweetness and flavor. I serve it with fresh fruit such as berries or peaches and 1% milk.  (I used freeze-dried blueberries from Trader Joe’s when fresh fruit was out of season.)

muesli ingredients: Makes 8 cups (8 servings)

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup quinoa flakes

3/4 cup pepitas (green shelled pumpkin seeds)

3/4 cup sliced raw almonds and/or diced roasted almonds (I get mine from Berkeley Bowl)

3/4 cup shelled raw pistachios

¼ cup ground flax seeds (flax-seed meal) must be refrigerated or frozen

¼ cup chia seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds (no, you will not get high from them!)

1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Mix together and store in airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Blueberry Cake or Muffins


This is perfect for late spring and summertime when fresh blueberries are plentiful. I love how the fragrant nutmeg complements the fresh fruit. My friend Marcia got this recipe from her mom. Our families used to pick wild blueberries with her in-laws in the New Hampshire countryside.

I changed the recipe a bit, substituting finely ground whole wheat flour, cutting down a bit on the sugar and adding vanilla. The original recipe calls for half-and-half, but I use 1 % milk and still get a tender and delicious muffin.

Makes a 13 × 9 inch cake or about a dozen muffins

Blueberry prep:

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 Tb flour

Cake:

2/3 cup sugar

1 cube (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature

2 large eggs warmed to room temperature

½ cup milk

1½ tsp vanilla

1 cup finely ground whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)

Topping:

2 Tb sugar

¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350’

Wash blueberries, and discard overripe ones. Dry in a paper towel. Toss blueberries with 2 Tb flour so that they are lightly coated.

Sift flours, salt and baking powder and stir well to combine.

Beat butter on high speed and add sugar, beating for a few minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until the mixture is light. Scrape the bowl and add 1/4 cup milk, mixing well.

Stir half the flour mixture into the batter only until combined. Add the other 1/4 cup milk and the rest of the flour mixture and slowly stir only until combined.

Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.

Pour in a buttered 13 × 9 inch pan, or into about 12-14 paper muffin cups.

Mix 2 Tb sugar with ¼ tsp nutmeg in a cup. Sprinkle about 1/3 to ½ tsp over each muffin, or if making the cake, sprinkle evenly over the cake.

Bake cake for 45 minutes, muffins for 35-40 minutes, until top is light brown.

Eggnog biscuits

Slightly sweet, eggnog flavored biscuits! Good with a cup of coffee for the holiday mornings.

These are based on  but with the addition of eggnog and orange zest for the holidays. Perfect for a holiday breakfast. I freeze the eggnog and cream for 15 minutes before adding. Mix dough as little as possible for  tender biscuits.

Preheat oven to 450′

Makes 15 -20 biscuits depending on the size.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 Tb baking powder

1/8 tsp salt (I use sea salt)

1/2 cup cold eggnog

1 cup cold heavy cream

finely grated zest of one small orange (about 1 tsp) (zest is the orange part of the peel)

1 Tb cold butter, chopped

3 Tb melted butter, cooled

Chop 1 Tb cold butter and put in the freezer with the cream and the eggnog for 15 minutes. Melt 3 Tb butter in a shallow bowl and let it cool.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add eggnog, cream, zest, and  chopped cold butter. Slowly stir until the dough is shaggy.

Rub an insulated  cookie sheet with a bit of the melted butter. Grab a piece of dough the size of the biscuit you wish to make. Dip each biscuit into the melted butter and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.