Inspired by the Polar Vortex, a recipe to warm your bones and your soul.
I call this recipe “Oatmeal Your Way” because it is very easy to customize to your liking. Once you make oatmeal from scratch you will never want to open an instant oatmeal packet again. This is the way my mom and Nani (my mom’s mom) made oatmeal. It is as easy to make as it is nutritious and delicious.
I made it for my godchildren, Sachi and her sister, Michi when they were about 4 and 5 years old. Sachi sent me the following letter asking me to make it again.
It is a very popular dish with children. It is also served to new mother’s and people who are ailing because it is nutritious and easy to digest. Sachi came to visit me a few years ago with her daughter, Aleia and I made the oatmeal for the cute little one. Here is a photo of Sachi, all grown up now, feeding oatmeal to her daughter, Aleia. Made me feel warm all over to pass on my memory of my mom feeding me oatmeal when I was little.
As I said, it is very popular with children. I modified the recipe for Aleia because she cannot have lactose. I used almond milk instead of regular milk. I also ground the almonds in a spice grinder so that Aleia could easily eat the oatmeal.
- 1 Tbsp. almond oil (customize by using butter or any flavor oil you like. For example, if I am making pecan flavor I use pecan oil. The options are endless–walnut oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, etc…)
- 1 cup of organic old fashioned oats (organic oatmeal actually has more of a nutty flavor besides being better for you. DO NOT USE INSTANT QUICK COOK OATS–they will turn out mushy.)
- 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds (customize by using whatever nut you are in the mood for.)
- 1/4 dried berries (here I used a combination of goji and cranberries. When Aleia was visiting, I used dried blueberries because she loves blueberries.)
- 1/4 tsp. of my Chai Masala (basically a combo of ground cardamom and fennel seeds)
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon (customize by using your favorite spice. Depending on the flavor you want to create, use pumpkin spice, apple pie spice mix, etc…)
- 2 cups of milk (will make a porridge like consistency. You can use more milk if you want to make it thinner.) I used Fairlife Milk here. It is lactose free and high in protein. You can use any milk you like–almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, etc…
- 2 Tbsp. of Agave nectar (customize by using your favorite sweetener–maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, molasses, etc…)
- 1 medium sized organic apple diced into large chunks.
Again, you can customize the flavor by using your favorite fruit. You can also leave out the fruit. I use what seasonal fruit is available.
- Freshly ground nutmeg as a garnish for those who want it.
NOTE: by customizing and changing the ingredients, the flavor combinations are endless. One Christmas morning, I made a giant potful of banana walnut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. I used a whole can of oatmeal to make sure there was enough for everyone’s breakfast. It disappeared in 10 minutes. I had to make another batch!!!
- Coat a medium sized stainless steel saucepan with 2 Tbsp. of almond oil.
- Add 1 cup of oats and turn the flame to medium-low. Toast the oats while stirring occasionally. You will know the oats are done when you smell a nutty flavor and the oats turn slightly golden.
- Add the 1/2 cup of slivered almonds and continue to toast till the nuts turn slightly brown.
- Add the 1/4 cup of dried berries along with the spices. Stir and toast for another 30 seconds. The toasting will bloom the spices and you will smell them.
- Add the 2 cups of milk. You will hear a sizzling sound when you add the milk.
- Stir in the milk. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the milk starts to boil. Small bubbles will appear.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the diced apples and place the lid. Let sit for five minutes. This is enough time to warm the apples while still leaving them crunchy.
Remove the lid and serve.
Garnish with a grind of fresh nutmeg if desired. Enjoy as is, or with a cup of tea or coffee. Makes a great breakfast, brunch dish or dessert.