Posts tagged ‘Warm Cereal’

May 19, 2011

Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal (and other oatmeal ideas)

To continue with my series on healthy breakfasts

I’ve always been a big fan of oatmeal. I remember, when I was a kid, my parents would sometimes make us oatmeal for supper, which they would always serve with warm pieces of toast.

My dad would sometimes add a pinch of nutmeg to the warm cereal and I would always eat mine with a little bit of cold milk and LOADS of brown sugar (yeah, I know… I’ve wizened up since, I found much better ways to make my oatmeal sweet and tasty!)

I remember spooning my oatmeal right onto my toast, too. I would put a spoonful on a corner and then eat that part. I’d repeat that pattern until my toast had completely disappeared, then I’d grab another toast and start over, until my oatmeal was all gone.

That was one supper I really enjoyed.

Then, as I grew up, I sort of forgot about oatmeal for a while. Why? I don’t know. Probably because for the longest time, I didn’t do breakfast. There was no time for that… and when I did have breakfast, it would be bacon and eggs. Hmpft… thank goodness people change! I guess I could’ve chosen to have some for supper sometimes, but I just never thought about it.

Anywho, now that I have rediscovered the art of breakfast, and the goody goodness of oatmeal, I just love to experiment and create all sorts of different yummy flavors.

This one is my latest creation, my favorite so far. Seriously. This has to be the best oatmeal cereal breakfast I have eaten in my entire life. Heck, it’s so good, I think it would even qualify as dessert!

While it does require a little bit of prep work and will dirty a few pots and pans, it’s worth all the trouble and more, I swear!

Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal
(Serves 2)

Oatmeal

  • ¾ cup steel cut oatmeal (or 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats)
  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ cup soy milk

Blueberry Sauce

  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Crumble

  • 15g almonds
  • 1 tbsp old fashion oats

“Custard

  • ¼ cup protein powder vanilla
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a small saucepan, bring water to the boil, add salt and oatmeal, lower heat, cover and cook for about 12-15 minutes, stirring often, until all liquid is absorbed and oatmeal is nice and creamy.
  • Meanwhile, in a seperate saucepan, cook blueberries, water, lemon juice, chia seeds and agave nectar over low heat, stirring occasionally, until blueberries start to “explode” and sauce thickens. You might want to swoosh the blueberries a little bit with your spoon to help break them up. Set aside when ready.
  • In a small non-stick pan, over medium heat, toast the sliced almonds and old fashion oats until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
  • In small mixing bowl, mix protein powder with plain yogurt until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  • When all your components are ready, transfer to serving bowls, starting with oatmeal, then blueberry sauce, followed by custard and finally the crumble.

Other oatmeal recipes you might like!

Base oatmeal recipe
(for 1-2 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 – 2½ cups water
  • ¾ – 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened plain soy milk

Instructions

  • Bring water to the boil, add salt and oatmeal, lower heat, cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring often, until all liquid is absorbed and oatmeal is nice and creamy.
  • Transfer to serving bowl and add cold milk if desired.

Use a ratio of about 1 part oatmeal to 2 – 2½ parts water. Use more or less water depending on how you like your oatmeal. Adding more water will result in a creamier cereal, less water will give you a stiffer, chewier texture. I like to make mine more on the stiff side and add cold milk after it’s cooked. I really enjoy the contrast between the warm cereal and the cold milk.

Apple Cinnamon

  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and diced
  • ¼ tsp four spice (nutmeg, ginger, pepper and cinnamon)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 10 grams sliced almonds, roasted
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium high heat, slightly cook the apple with the cinnamon and four spice, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the apples to your oatmeal once it’s done cooking, stir to combine and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Pour in cold milk and garnish with cottage cheese, almonds and a drizzle of honey

TIME SAVING TIP! I like to make large batches of apples and freeze them in individual servings of 100g, which is roughly equivalent to one apple. This makes preparing oatmeal or stuffed buckwheat pancakes much easier and quicker!

Warm Banana Bread

  • ½ banana, pureed
  • 4 dates, chopped
  • 2 tbsp 1% cottage cheese (or low fat plain yogurt)
  • 15 grams crushed walnuts, toasted

Instructions

  • Add the chopped dates to your oatmeal while it is cooking.
  • When it’s done cooking, add the mashed banana, stir to combine and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Pour in cold milk and garnish with cottage cheese (or plain yogurt) and toasted walnuts

A GREAT TRICK is to put your bananas in the freezer when they are getting too ripe to eat fresh. Then when you make something, anything, that requires mashed bananas, be it breads, muffins, smoothies or oatmeal, you just stick one out of the freezer and let it thaw for a few minutes, then the peel comes right off and it’s good to go!

 Tropical Twist

  • 3-4 strawberries, cut into little cubes
  • ½ cup frozen mango cubes (you can use fresh if you have!)
  •  ¼ cup pineapple cubes
  • 2 tbsp 1% low fat plain yogurt
  • 15 grams crushed pecans, toasted (or unsweetened coconut!)

Instructions

  • Add fruits to your cooked oatmeal.  Stir gently until heated through and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Pour in cold milk and garnish with plain yogurt and toasted pecans (or coconut)

ANOTHER GREAT FREEZER TRICK is to make little bags of assorted fruits, such as sliced bananas, raspberries, mango cubes, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Mix them all up and make single servings that you bag and keep in your freezer to use in smoothies or cereal.

April 11, 2011

Buckwheat and Amaranth Warm Cereal

My legs hurt! YES! It’s a good feeling, really! I was finally allowed to start exercising again yesterday, after a loooong forced break of 10 weeks.

It seems like my cardio has taken a serious hit. I did my usual 50 minutes on the elliptical, only I elected to leave the HIIT part out of it. I figure I will give my body a couple of weeks to adjust before asking it to give me high intensity. But even at what is my usual steady state, my heart rate went way higher than it normally would, reading well over 180 at one point, forcing me to slow down a bit. And I wasn’t even pushing…

The last 5 minutes were hell. I had to push myself hard just to keep going. But I did it, and I felt so incredibly good afterwards; especially since I got to eat this absolutely superb to die for post work-out breakfast. And this time, I felt like I had earned it.

Seriously, this was the best warm cereal ever. While eating it, I thought: “I want to eat nothing but this for the rest of my life”. It was my first time trying buckwheat groats and to say I love ‘em would be an understatement. Although they don’t have that distinctive buckwheat taste I was really expecting and hoping for, there is something about them that I truly appreciate. Combined with amaranth and chia seeds, they make for a seriously heavenly cereal. Now I can’t wait for the week-end to have them again…

Ingredients
(serves 1-2)

  • ½ cup buckwheat groats
  • ¼ cup amaranth
  • 1 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 2½ cups water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 25g dried fruits (I had a mix of apricots, plums, apples and pears)
  • 10 toasted hazelnuts, crushed

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil. Add salt, buckwheat groats, amaranth and chia. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is creamy and all water is absorbed.
  • Turn off the heat. Stir in milk, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add dried fruits and hazelnuts. Stir to combine and transfer to serving bowl(s).
  • Add cold milk if desired.

March 21, 2011

Millet and Amaranth Warm Breakfast Cereal

I love breakfast. It would be my favorite meal of the day. I sometimes seriously wonder how I could go so many years without hardly ever having breakfast! And when I did, it usually was bacon and eggs with toasts and potatoes. Or pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Not the healthiest!

Lately, I’ve stumbled upon so many brilliant ideas on the various blogs that I read, I feel there aren’t enough available mornings in the week for me to try them all… well, week-end mornings, that is. See, I always eat my breakfast at work on weekdays and I can’t imagine starting to cook and bake at work, so my week day options are a tad more limited. Plus, lately, I’m hardly ever at home on the week-end lately, so I think I’m gonna have to start eating breakfast at night if I am to try any of those lovely breakfast ideas!

One of the ideas I was most excited about was given to me by Leanne over at Healthful Pursuit. After I had mentioned I was looking for creative ideas to use millet, she suggested I make warm cereal out of millet and amaranth. Being so passionate about warm cereal, I immediately fell in love with the idea and started dreaming of the day when I would finally get this delightful mixture in my mouth for the first time. But before I could do that, I had to actually find amaranth, which was going to prove much more difficult than I thought. I had to go to 3 different stores before I finally found the coveted grain and even they had told me they didn’t have any. Luckily, it was a newly opened store and I was curious to see what kind of products they carried and I ended up finding a bag of the precious stuff after spending a good half hour going through all the shelves…

Now that I finally had all the required ingredients, I was all good and ready to try the dish. One problem remained… I was not going to have breakfast at home for at least 2 weeks, maybe even 3. No way I was going to wait that long. So I ended up having this for lunch yesterday. I don’t know if Leanne would’ve done it that way, but what I did is I cooked the millet and amaranth together, much like I would oatmeal. Then I added dried fruits, honey and toasted hazelnuts to the mixture. The result was a creamy, sweet and unctuous warm cereal that reminded me a little bit of cream of wheat in texture, mixed with tapioca pudding. In fact, in find amaranth, once cooked, looks a lot like tapioca. And I LOOOVE tapioca. Needless to say this was a big winner for me and I will be having it again!

Ingredients
(serves one very hungry breakfast junkie or 2 less hungry normal individuals…)

  • ½ cup millet
  • ¼ cup amaranth
  • 1½ – 2 cups water
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey (I used buckwheat)
  • 3 dried prunes, sliced
  • 2 dried apricots, sliced
  • 1 dried peach, sliced
  • 10 toasted hazelnuts, crushed

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil. Add salt, amaranth and millet. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until mixture is very creamy and all water has absorbed. You can add more water if necessary.
  • Add honey, dried fruits and nuts. Stir to combine and transfer into serving bowl.
  • Add cold milk if desired. (I like to add cold soy milk to my warm cereal. I love the contrast in temperature and how it makes the cereal even creamier!)