Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friends Don't Let Friends: Eat Instant Oatmeal

I've decided to start a new series here on The Daily Coop, since the chickens aren't giving me a whole lot of news every day! One of the questions we get a lot is what do we eat (because we're vegan, dontcha know) and recipes for all the delicioso food that we make. And let me tell you, it is delicious, because I am a food snob and not afraid to admit it. Don't give me any crappy or fast food. I won't touch it. Never have, never will.

So, one thing I'm very snobby about is ingredients. As they say - garbage in, garbage out. That doesn't always mean pricey but it does mean good.

So let's start with a pretty traditional meal and a frequent breakfast in our house - oatmeal.

Now we are not talking about instant oatmeal in the packets. Yes, I ate those as a kid. Particularly apples and cinnamon. And I liked them at the time. Mainly because they were sugared to death covered up the gloopy mass of gluey oatmeal. These were better than the Quaker oats my mom would make and then add milk and butter too. I detested that... still do.

This oatmeal is so far from that it isn't even funny. We're talking tasty, hearty and 100% delicious... and it's all because of the oats.

You really have to start with good steel cut oats. This is crucial. I use the John McCann brand that comes in the tin. You will get at least 4 batches worth out of this. There are other brands but this is the one I use. This recipe is totally vegan but I made this before we were vegan. There has been zero change in flavor which these ingredient changes, but we have lost the cholesterol that comes with animal-based milk and butter. So, yeah, go vegan!

Okay, Ingredients:

1 Cup steel cut oats

1 - 2 Tbl Earth Balance butter (from the sticks)

3 Cups boiling water

1 Cup Almond Milk (you can use any non-dairy milk, we just like Almond Breeze)

Pinch of Salt

Sprinkle of ground cinnamon

I made a video of the process a while back on my old camera. It crapped out in the middle so, you will have to forgive me, but I have pictures too!

Step 1: Get your ingredients. You will need a medium sized pot with a lid to cook this in.

EarthBalance sticks - you can use these JUST LIKE dairy butter. Perfect for baking, sauteing and cooking. I prefer the spread on toast, though.

Step 2: Boil the water

Step 3: Melt the EarthBalance

Step 4: While the water is boiling, toast the oats in the melted butter over low heat. Don't let them burn! And yes, I like to use a wooden spoon when I cook oatmeal.

Step 5: When the water boils, pour it over the oats and bring the the temperature down. My stove is pretty powerful so I have to put it on low. You then cover the pot and let the oats simmer and absorb the water for about 30 min. You can stir them every so often and check that they aren't boiling or bubbling over.

Step 6: When the water is absorbed, I add a few pinches of salt, sprinkle in cinnamon (optional) and pour in the last cup of liquid. This can be water but I like to use a cup of almond milk. Let that absorb in for a few minutes uncovered.

You are ready to serve and eat. Oatmeal is perfect to add stuff to. Options are:
- brown sugar
- chopped dates
- fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.
- chocolate chips (yep!)
- chopped nuts of any kind
- toasted coconut

I serve mine in big cafe au lait bowls. This meal will fill you up most of the day. Plus you will have some left over. That is another great thing about this meal. Yes, it does take a bit more time, but you can make a batch on the weekend and then save it in portions and heat it up during the week. Just as simple as instant and a thousand times tastier and better for you.
More recipes to come!

1 comment:

John D said...

I make my oatmeal mostly the same way, but in addition to brown sugar and dates, I also add cinnamon, raisins and chopped walnuts.

At that point, it's really more like a healthy pseudo-desert ;)