Saturday, March 5, 2011

Healthy Breakfast: Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oats

My typical Saturday morning routine usually involves sleeping in 'til 9, a big wet cappuccino in my Austrian Gmunder Keramik mug, and then off to a gym class downstairs or a run outside.

Rolling out of bed this morning, that was the "plan," yet, I wasn't feeling either...

With a full schedule ahead (cleaning, a work event at Columbus Circle, errands, a big party to get ready for), I wasn't sure what to do. But, feeling foggy and lightheaded, breakfast would certainly have to come first.

I love oatmeal, especially on the weekends, made with coconut oil, cinnamon, dried fruit, and a hit of maple syrup. Yet, for some reason unbeknownst to me (um, bad timing?), my local Whole Foods -- and yes, I live in N.Y.C. and there are Whole Foods all over -- seemed to be out of organic rolled oats. So, two weekends ago, I decided to jump off the deep end -- we're trying steel-cut oats!

I'd heard many wonderful things about them and was especially interested in their nutty texture. But, I wasn't sure if I wanted to wait 30-40 minutes for my oatmeal fix when hungry.

Though I was very sleepy Saturday morning, I had an ah-ha moment when waiting for my espresso machine's steam wand to warm up -- why not start the oatmeal now and by the time I'd want it in 45 minutes, it'd be ready. So, I did just that. Smart girl!

While I usually make oatmeal with half milk and half water, I upped the coconut oil content when toasting my steel-cut oats and used only water when cooking them, later supplementing the grains with the soaking water that my dried plums and figs were plumping in. Add a bunch of cinnamon, unsweetened coconut flakes, and pure Vermont maple syrup, and voila. I am a happy girl. Enjoy!

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
1 cup water
6 pieces dried fruit (I used 4 plums and 2 figs)
1/3 cup boiling water
Salt, to taste
Vanilla, to taste
Banana, for serving
Unsweetened coconut flakes, for serving
Nuts, for garnish
Cinnamon, for garnish
Maple syrup, to taste

Add coconut oil to a small saucepan. Add the oats and toast over medium-high heat until nutty-scented and very aromatic. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stir well, then re-cover and cook 10 minutes longer or until the water has been mostly absorbed but the grains don't stick to the pot (ah, the secret of coconut oil).

While the oats cook, add the boiled water to your dried fruit and let it sit. Once the oats have cooked, add the fruit and the soaking liquid. Bring to a boil and season with salt and vanilla. Reduce to medium-low and cook, covered, until the rest of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes longer (be sure to stir every couple of minutes so your oats are creamy).

Cut up banana and place in your serving bowl. Once the oatmeal is ready, add the oatmeal to the bowl and garnish with coconut, nuts, lots of cinnamon, and a tablespoon or two of maple syrup. Then it's time to combine it all together -- and eat!

Serves 1

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