Apples & cinnamon oatmeal gets a grown up makeover

April 17, 2014

Grown up apples-n-cinnamon oatmeal

I’m sure you all remember the little Quaker oatmeal packets we’d have for breakfast back in the day (or, maybe you still stock your pantry with these guys). Undoubtedly you’d be somewhere, and instead of just having a box of your favorite flavor, they’d have the dreaded flavor variety box. And you were left hoping your favorite flavor was there. Or at least, there would be a flavor you could at least stomach. My favorite flavor was Apples & Cinnamon, and everything else was just a huge disappointment or downright inedible. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had Apples & Cinnamon oatmeal, but a couple of weeks ago I happened to have a plethora of apples and decided that was exactly what I was going to make.

I call this version grown up, because not only does it have huge chunks of apples and nuts in it, but I came up with this recipe while my husband and I were doing an elimination diet. That seems like something only a crazy grown up would do , but we were, at the tail end of it, so no refined sugar or dairy for us that day. However, I had a ton of dates and decided to sweeten my oatmeal with them instead, to see if this was indeed a strategy to use in the future. My hopes weren’t high (this girl LOVES brown sugar in her oatmeal), but I was pleasantly surprised at the subtle sweetness they yielded my oatmeal, which actually let the apple flavor shine through even more. A hit of molasses gave me the brown sugar flavor I love, and pecans and coconut milk made this a filling enough oatmeal to keep me full until a late lunch.

You can always replace the dates and molasses with a generous tablespoon of brown sugar, but give this version a go and see how you like it. You never know when ingredients will surprise you!

Grown up apples & cinnamon oatmeal
Serves 1 hungry person
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
3 dates, pit removed, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
A liberal drizzle of molasses
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 -3/4 cup water (see note at bottom of recipe)
Pinch salt
1/4 c pecan halves or crushed pecans, toasted if you wish

Place the apple, dates, cinnamon, water, and molasses into a small saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer. Let the mixture cook until the apple softens, about 12 to 15 minutes. You can add a lid to quicken the process a bit, but cook uncovered for at least 5 minutes to reduce some of the water in the pot.

At this point, add the rest of the ingredients. Start with 1/2 cup water and determine if it looks a little dry for your preferred consistency of oatmeal. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, until the oats are tender. Serve and enjoy!

Note: The amount of water you need will be dependent on how much boiled off from the apples, and how wet or dry you like your oatmeal. Also, if you are scaling this recipe to feed two or four, stick with 1/2 cup of water. I’ve found when scaling it can get too watery with 3/4 cup added.

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