Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ode to Oatmeal

It's probably one of my favorite things in the world to eat. I know; this may make me a very old 25 year old, but seriously. It doesn't get much better than a big steaming bowl of oatmeal! I like to make it all kinds of ways; sometimes I add cashews and cranberries, sometimes pecans and raisins, sometimes just plain; I've even made it with peanut butter and honey before. But I think my favorite flavor combo must be brown sugar and maple together. I don't have time to make this on weekdays before work, but I have it almost every weekend. I cook it on the stovetop and let it simmer down and absorb all of the water, and then add all of the extras in. I end up with a creamy, wonderful, and comforting breakfast.

Maple Pecan Oatmeal

For each serving:
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (consult your doctor before consuming gluten-free oats)
1/8 cup toasted pecans
dash of salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (to your own taste)
1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk (other non-dairy milk would work, too)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. maple butter (the thickness of maple butter makes the consistency of the oatmeal, but if you don't have maple butter, use maple syrup so the taste will at least come through)

Place the water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the oats and pecans, and then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed by the oats. Then add the vanilla hemp milk (add more if you want it to be a little creamier) to the pan and stir, keeping the heat at medium. Continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the hemp milk has boiled down a bit and has become thick and creamy. Remove the oatmeal to a bowl and add the brown sugar and maple butter to taste. Perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning! Variations: Substitute cashews for pecans Add a tablespoon full of flaxseed Substitute honey for maple butter Add your favorite dried fruit (cranberries are especially delicious) Use only brown sugar and cinnamon Add a pat of Earth Balance "Buttery Spread" to the oatmeal once it is cooked

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