After cheating on my beloved oatmeal for the duration of my secon pregnancy (peanut butter and whole wheat english muffins – with a side of cereal – overtook my breakfast favorite), I’ve been back on the steel cut oats kick in the past month.
Then, recently, I got my first bout of mastitis (boo) and some accompanying mouth irritation. Okay, the antibiotics inflammed my gums and I managed to cut up the entire right side and roof of my mouth. With a slice of crusty bread. Gross, I know. Having dealt with a few gum graft surgeries in the past, I knew I’d be on a mushy, bland diet for awhile. But after a few days of yogurt and ice cream (hey, ice cream can be mushy and bland), I was longing for some flavor. (And some protein to keep me full so I wouldn’t engulf another pint of ice cream.) Creamy lentil and chickpea soups came to my rescue first and then, eager to brighten up my bowl of oatmeal, I found this delicious, flavorful, and protein-packed recipe. It may look bland by color, but it is anything but. The yogurt alone is delicious with fruit but mixed in the oats, it provides a much more substantial breakfast (or snack). You could certainly add more pizzaz to the bowl by adding fruit, some pistachios or sliced almonds, or some toaste coconut, as the recipe author suggests.
Cardamom Yogurt, from Pie of the Tiger
Halfway through my morning ritual: always served up in a non-breakable glass bowl, with an extra splash of hemp milk, and, today, a dollop of cardamom yogurt. (The rest of the yogurt is mixed in.)
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt to bump up the protein factor)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or agave, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Taste yogurt, and add cardamom and maple syrup until it’s sweetened and spiced to your taste.
- Allow to rest overnight, if possible. The cardamom will release more flavor as it permeates the yogurt, so take this into account when judging how much cardamom is enough. If you will use the yogurt immediately, the amount of cardamom can increased to make up for the lack of resting time.
Spiced Ginger Oatmeal, adapted from Pie of the Tiger
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 oz crystallized ginger, finely chopped
3 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk, non-dairy milk, or buttermilk (I used hemp milk)
- Put the oats, spices and crystallized ginger in a container with a tight lid. Seal and shake until evenly combined.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, add the oats and stir to coat evenly with the butter. Continue to stir until the oats are nice and toasted and you can smell the spices, about two minutes.
- Pour in the boiling water. Stir the oats well, then lower the heat and leave to gently simmer for 25 minutes, undisturbed.
- Add the milk and stir to combine. Let the oats simmer for another 10 minutes. At this point, you can stir them occasionally if you want, but they’ll be fine unattended.
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