Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Steel-Cut Oatmeal
One of my favorite memories when I was younger was sitting on the heat vents before getting ready for school. My mom would throw a blanket in the dryer and we'd all huddle around the heat vents and bury ourselves underneath the warm blanket. My mom would cook us oatmeal or Cream of  Wheat on those really cold winter mornings. To this day, I love hot cereal on cold mornings.

Many people have no idea what steel cut oats are, so I'm going to give you a quick lesson. The whole oat grains are typically referred to as "oat groats." These oat groats are cut up into smaller pieces and then called "steel-cut oats." Oat groats that have been rolled out are "old-fashioned oats." Old-fashioned oats that have been cut up into smaller pieces are "quick oats."

Left: Oat Groats, Right: Steel-Cut Oats
Left: Old-fashioned Rolled Oats, Right: Quick Oats
Oat Groats, Steel-cut Oats, Rolled Oats, Quick Oats

The main difference between steel-cut oats and old-fashioned & quick oats is that the latter have been steamed to aid in quicker cooking. Steel-cut oats also have a chewier texture. They typically have a little more fat, fiber and protein because they are less processed than rolled oats. They also take longer to cook since they are the whole grain. Steel-cut oats also seem to make you feel fuller longer. Now you are an oat expert. :) I prefer to buy my steel-cut oats at a health food store or in the bulk section at your local grocery store. You can get them for less than $.89/lb. If you try buying the name brand in the oatmeal section, you'll pay $2-$3 or more per lb. I always buy these oats in bulk and I always have them on-hand.

This recipe takes about 35-45 minutes to cook, but it's well worth it. You also don't have to be tending to it constantly, so you can multi-task during the process. This makes a perfect breakfast on a cold, snowy morning and it definitely sticks with you. It's thick, creamy and slightly sweet. The buttermilk is awesome in this recipe. It gives it a mild tang and creates an awesome, creamy texture without all of the fat of cream. I also loved toasting the oats. It gave them a really wonderful, nutty taste. My daughter loves oatmeal and I was curious to see how she would like the new texture. She asked for seconds, so I know this recipe is a keeper. It's also relatively healthful, so you won't have to feel guilty eating it.

Here's what you need:
-1 TBS coconut oil (or butter), separated
-1 C steel-cut oats
-3 C boiling water
-1/4-1/2 tsp. coarse salt
-1/2 C raisins
-(2) apples, cored and thinly sliced
-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, separated
-2 TBS brown sugar, 1 tsp reserved
-1/2 C 1% milk
-1/2 C low-fat buttermilk, separated
-1/2 tsp. real vanilla extract
-1/4 C. coarsely chopped almonds (optional)

1. In a medium sauce pan heat 1/2 TBS of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is heated add oats and toast until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning.

2. Add boiling water and salt. Turn heat to med-low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While oats are simmering, get a medium skillet and heat remaining 1/2 TBS of oil over medium-high heat. Add apples and saute until golden and tender, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. brown sugar and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon. Set aside. (I LOVE using my apple peeler/corer/slicer from Pampered Chef for this step. It makes it so fast and easy.)

Sauteed Apples

4. After oats have simmered for 25 minutes, add milk, 1/4 C of buttermilk, raisins and remaining 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon. The oatmeal will look thick and saucy. Stir to combine. Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir to combine.

5. Take 1/2 C of cooked oatmeal and place in serving bowl. Top with a dollop of remaining buttermilk, some cooked apples and sprinkle with cinnamon and almonds to garnish. Serve hot.

Hearty Chewy Goodness

Enjoy and Happy Cooking! Doesn't that look awesome?

So Delicious

Here's the printable recipe.

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