Saturday, July 31, 2010

Oatmeal Cookie Oatmeal

Clearly, no one likes being sick. For me, it’s especially hard to be sick because I often lose my desire to eat, and sometimes even my sense of taste. For someone who loves to cook and eat as much as I do, those are hard days. And let me tell you, it’s been a hard week. Yup, I’ve been sick for over a week now – with mono. That’d be why you haven’t heard a peep out of me for several days. I was not in a good way. How someone my age gets mono is beyond me, but ooh boy, I’ve got it, and I’ve been sick as a dog.

Today I woke up without a fever (hooray for small victories!) and felt up to making breakfast. This oatmeal recipe is one I’ve wanted to try for a while now, and its simplicity made it a good choice. Quick-cooking steel cut oats are cooked with applesauce, golden raisins, toasted almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon for a delicious, healthy breakfast treat. I was skeptical, at first, whether the ingredients would really come together to taste like an oatmeal cookie. However, after tweaking the original recipe a bit, I can honestly say this oatmeal taste like a warm cookie… just mushed up a bit.

If you haven’t tried quick-cooking steel cut oats before, you’re in for a treat. Unlike regular steel cut oats, which take upwards of 40 minutes to cook, quick-cooking steel cut oats are ready in under 10 minutes. Despite their reduced cooking time, the oats still have all of the chewy, nutty flavors and textures you associate with regular steel cut oats. Since discovering this type of oatmeal, it is the only kind we make for breakfast. (I still keep regular old fashioned and quick oats on hand for baking.) We buy our quick-cooking steel cut oats at Trader Joe’s, where they come in a large, inexpensive container. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, check your local grocery store for the oats. They’ll be a nice change from your regular oatmeal.

Oatmeal Cookie Oatmeal
Adapted from Trader Joe’s

1 cup quick-cooking steel cut oats
2 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 tsp. dark brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon (about 2 shakes)
Salt, to taste

Extra brown sugar for sprinkling over the top, if desired

In a medium saucepan, combine the oats and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the applesauce, raisins, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Divide the oatmeal into bowls and sprinkle additional brown sugar on top, if desired.

Serve immediately.

Serves 2 to 3.

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