Steel Cut Oats, Muffin Size

29 01 2013

I’ve done it. I’ve found a new weekday breakfast (and managed to get a blog post up in January). Anyone that knows me, I’m a creature of habit, same breakfast Monday thru Friday. Whole soaked and sprouted grains with cinnamon and toasted mixed nuts and seeds. Oatmeal with natural peanut butter and maple syrup on the weekends, yummy. That and a green smoothie, I’m good to go.

I love oatmeal and whole oats. Oatmeal is a bit of a pain at work though because you have to add the hot water, cook it and then you’re left with a messy bowl after. The sprouted cooked whole grains (kamut, spelt, soft wheat etc) are great because you can make a weeks worth at a time. It freezes, it packs well, there’s no water required and they don’t clump, but a spoon and bowl are required. See my post about Kamut for Breakfast from awhile back. If you practice or workout in the morning, you probably eat when you get to work or school so it makes for a rushed breakfast before meetings or class (or you eat in meetings if you have tolerant colleagues, I do ;-)).

In November’s Alive magazine there was group of recipes that featured oatmeal. One recipe looked like cooked oatmeal in a muffin wrapper, I was intrigued. I tried it and it is now my go to breakfast. They are filling and nutrient dense. Here is the original recipe, I skipped the compote and made a few edits based on my experience and likes. I’ve made these every week since. They take no time at all.

IMG_1761

Muffin Size Steel Cut Oats

  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats (soak them in filtered water overnight in the fridge and then rinse and drain them)
  • 1/2 cup Oat Bran or Spelt Flour (I’ve tried both, I am sure you could try a GF flour of some sort)
  • 1/2 cup or more of chopped Walnuts (I’ve added pecans as well)
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar (I added this to original recipe, they were a bit bland)
  • 2 Free Range Eggs (you could try the flax meal egg substitute for vegan)
  • 1/2 can of Pumpkin Puree, about 1 cup (use the unsweetened plain one)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Almond or Soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Steel Cut Oat Muffins 2

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together (drained oats, oat bran or spelt flour, walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and coconut sugar). Whisk the wet ingredients together (eggs, pumpkin, milk, maple syrup). Mix the wet with the dry. Line a regular sized muffin tin with muffin papers (I prefer this over greasing them because they are easier to pack to work).  Put in the oven, middle rack, let bake for 25-30 min. The recipe called for 20 min or until set. The first time I made them, liquid was still bubbling out of them at 20 min, I was really skeptical. I ended up baking them for 30 min and they turned out, but a bit dry. Now when I make them I bake for 25 min and then cool, in the muffin pan, for 15 min to finish setting. Remove and put on cooling rack. They sweat a little, so they need to be on a cooling rack. Freeze half, fridge the other half and take two to work a day (along with your green smoothie).

Steel Cut Oat Muffins 3

Other notes:

– I haven’t tried this yet, but I will experiment with ripe bananas and home-made apple sauce. Might need to adjust the amount of oat bran to soak up extra liquid from the apple sauce.

– I freeze the other half of the canned pumpkin. Put the lid back on the top of the pumpkin and freeze. Take out hours before using to defrost. You’ll need to drain the pumpkin a bit to rid some of the liquid. Or, just make a double batch with a can of pumpkin and freeze them. They freeze great!

– If you try alternatives, let me know!!!

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Goodness

26 02 2011

I am always looking, finding and noting recipes that are healthful. A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a recipe in SwerveCalgary. I think I got a tweet from somewhere to something that led me to find these cookies by Julie Van Rosendaal, a well known chef/foodie, she’s hilarious. It was a no brainer. Hurry up banana’s ripen!

I made them and they are now my favourite oatmeal cookie. Here is the recipe with my notes on how I made them. Make them today, seriously, go, now.

If you need to make these peanut free, try other nut butters or a soy nut butter that is okay with schools. This recipe is sooooo good for kids lunches, but the peanut/nut free thing is so constraining for mom’s. I lived off peanut butter as a kid, today, this is not the case. Most kids can’t bring peanut or other nut things to school.

  • 2-3 very ripe bananas (I used frozen, thawed them, poured off most of the liquid, left about a tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, preferably all-natural (sugar free!!!)
  • 1/4 cup canola or mild olive oil (use the olive, canola, not so much)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned (large flake) or quick oats (not instant and to be gluten free you have to use gluten free certified oats)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (sugar free!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (I used a regular sized Green & Blacks organic dark 80% chocolate bar, chopped it up, about 1 cup. I could have used less, like 3/4, but they were good)

1) Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2) In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the peanut butter, oil and vanilla until smooth. (A fork worked perfectly). Add the oats, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir until combined, then stir in the chocolate.
3) Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick spray (I pressed them down a bit). Bake 12-14 minutes, until just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 24 cookies (I baked for 14 on convention, made about 20 cookies).

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Rhubarb Peach Apricot Cobbler

2 08 2010

Back in June I wrote about Spring Rhubarb. In that post I gave a recipe for Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler. I’ve had some great reviews so I bring you this new version, Rhubarb Peach Apricot Cobbler. Tony’s folks were coming for dinner and to make it feel like summer (second complaint this week on the blog about our weather), I thought a fresh fruit cobbler would be perfect. Rhubarb from the garden that I froze in June and fresh peaches and apricots from last weekend’s trip to Kelowna. Yum.

I replaced the cinnamon for ginger powder, ditched the orange zest, added half the orange juice and used cashews instead of walnuts. Kept the rest the same. Delicious!

Rhubarb Peach Apricot Cobbler

Filling:

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

3 cups of sliced peaches and apricots

Juice of 1/2 an Orange

2 tbsp of Kuzu or Cornstarch, dissolved in the orange juice

Mix everything together, pour into a buttered pan, I used a smaller casserole dish, like 9″x5″.

Topping:

1 c Rolled Oats (not instant)

1/4 c Oat Bran

1 1/2 tbsp Flax Meal

1/2 c Almond Meal or Flour

1 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder

1/2 c chopped Cashews

1/4 c liquid honey

Mix all the dry topping ingredients together first, then add the honey, blend. Spread on the top of the fruit. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the fruit is bubbling and the top is browned, about 50 min. Let sit and cool a bit, serve with ice cream or frozen yogurt (mmm, wish we had some of that goat milk gelato we had in Kelowna).

Eat well, be well,

Nat





Spring Rhubarb

1 06 2010

Even though it snowed all weekend, I was able to harvest a bunch of rhubarb from the garden. Picking rhubarb this time of year is a move in the right direction, SUMMER. I have green rhubarb, which is the same as the red, but not as pretty. Oh well.

So, what to do with all that rhubarb? So much, where do I start. I have been experimenting with it the last few years, favourites are compote and crumbles. The ultimate favourite is grandmas’s strawberry rhubarb pie. This bowl of rhubarb is a lot, it yielded 9 cups of chopped rhubarb (about 1 cm or more size pieces). I used three cups in a cobbler, three cups in a compote and I froze three cups. That’s the nice thing about rhubarb, you can freeze it.

Prepping rhubarb: I don’t even rinse it off, unless it is really dirty, but the snow and rain took care of that. I use scissors to cut the stalks off the plant and the leaf off the top (don’t eat the leaves, toxic). I use a pairing knife and peel the very outer layer of skin off the stalk, it is really easy. Chop up into the required size, use right away or freeze.

It is tough to find recipes for rhubarb that don’t include a bucket of sugar. Rhubarb is tart, cooking it brings out the sugar, but most recipes add sugar to sweeten the pot. My goal (challenge) is to find ways not to use cane sugar and only natural sweeteners. So Sunday was rhubarb sans sugar experimentation day. I made a Rhubarb Ginger Jam, which I plan on using in my Thumbprint Cookies, and a Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Walnuts, yum. Here are the recipes:

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

1 tbsp of grated Ginger

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup of filtered water

2-3 tbsp Agave Nectar (based on your taste)

1 tbsp Kuzu (a Japanese starchy plant used as a thickener) or Cornstarch (optional)

Add the rhubarb and ginger to a sauce pot, saute for a couple of minutes, add the water, lemon juice and agave. Bring to boil, turn the heat down to a low boil/simmer for 20 minutes or until it softens and thickens. Stirring often. You may need more liquid, just add a bit of water, depends on the water content of your rhubarb. Use kuzu or cornstarch to thicken (mix with a small amount of water, don’t dump the thickener into the pot, or globs will form). Making jam is personal, you need to adjust to your thickness/sweetness. I ended up using 3 tbsp of Agave.

Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Walnuts

Filling:

3 cups of chopped Rhubarb, 1 cm pieces

3 cups of quartered Strawberries

Juice of 1 Orange + 2 tsp chopped Orange Zest

2 tbsp of Kuzu or Cornstarch, dissolved in the orange juice

Mix everything together, pour into a buttered pan, I used a smaller casserole dish, like 9″x5″.

Topping:

1 c Rolled Oats (not instant)

1/4 c Oat Bran

1 1/2 tbsp Flax Meal

1/2 c Almond Meal or Flour

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

2/3 c chopped Walnuts

1/4 c liquid honey

Mix all the dry topping ingredients together first, then add the honey, blend. Spread on the top of the fruit. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the fruit is bubbling and the top is browned, I think I baked mine for 50 min. Let sit and cool a bit, serve with ice cream, frozen yogurt (what we had with it, Chapman’s makes a good, low sugar one) or plain yogurt or almond milk (which I did yesterday, even better). If you don’t have oat bran or almond meal/flour, use spelt flour instead, just use less, using almond meal/flour creates a grainier texture as it has no gluten. Using wheat or spelt will make it more glutenous.

Eat well, Be well, Nat

(oh, look, the sun!)





Kamut for Breakfast

21 05 2010

I talked to a holistic dietician the other week and learned that I wasn’t eating enough in the morning. Having an ashtanga practice and being the most active in the morning requires fuel in the opposite order than people active through the day or at night. More food and complex carbs in the day, protein and veggies at night. Huh. Makes sense. I was actually slightly starving my metabolism. I thought the problems I was having were due to a sensitivity to sugar. They were sugar, but the sugar from carbs and the processing of complex carbs at night was taxing my system. So I changed to eating more through the day and feel the difference already, easier time going to sleep and more energy through the day. (For the record: the other reason for the metabolic  issues at night is age, nice, she politely told me that I was getting older. Argh.)

A new favourite breakfast of mine is kamut. I have my green smoothie (banana, another fruit and 2-3 cups of spinach, kale or chard) after practice and then a little while later whole grains like kamut with toasted nuts and seeds. I soak kamut for 24 hrs, rinse it a few times, drain it and then leave it in the fridge. 1/2 cup of soaked kamut in 1 cup of filtered water, low boil on the stove for 15-20 min. It’s just like making steel cut oats but without the starchy liquid. Once cooked (it is chewy), I dribble, and I mean dribble, agave syrup on it, like 1/2 tsp and mix it together. I like the smokey flavour of agave but honey would be yummy too. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of mixed toasted seeds and nuts on top, which I keep in a jar in the cupboard. This breakfast keeps me going until lunch and if lunch is late, no problem. If you are on the run, you could make this ahead and take it with you, doesn’t need to be hot and because it isn’t gummy like oatmeal, the kamut stays granule. You could add fruit to this, I don’t because I had a bunch in my smoothie. You could sprout the kamut as well…

Whole grains have so many health benefits. I found this great website from the Whole Grains Council with fantastic information on grains. Experiment with grains in your diet.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Just Eat It: Thumbprint Cookies

22 04 2010

This month’s Yoga Shala recipe is a healthier version of a thumbprint cookie. I forget where I adapted this from, too many sites and recipes to keep it all straight, and hopefully I don’t break a copyright law somewhere. These cookies are delicious and not in an ‘I feel bad eating them’ kind of way. If you make your own almond ‘milk’ it is also a great way to use up the pulp we accumulate. If you do, dry it out or lightly toast it. For the filling buy jams that are pure fruit and sweetened with fruit juice or better yet make your own! Planet Organic and Community have a few brands and they are all delicious. My favorite so far is a blood orange jam I bought at Planet. I make them often but need to remember to take pictures…next time.

1 cup Rolled Oats (not instant oatmeal)

1 cup Almonds (or dried almond meal)

1 cup Spelt flour

½ cup Sunflower or Safflower Oil (I use a little less than asked here and a bit of water, you experiment)

¼ cup Maple Syrup (not Aunt Jemima!!!)

¼ cup Agave Syrup* (see note below)

Your favorite fruit jam

Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a food processor, blend the oats and almonds (or almond meal) together until flour like. Put into a mixing bowl and mix in the spelt flour. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Roll the dough into about 1.5” balls, makes about 13-14 cookies. Place on cookie sheet, press the cookies a bit flat, make indentation in the middle of each and fill with the jam. Bake for 15-17 min, until slightly golden. Eat it.

*You can now get a package of two Organic Agave Syrup’s at Costco. We’ve been picking this up in the US on our runs to Vegas and Spokane. I was excited to see some of the organic stuff we buy in the US making it onto the shelves of Costco here. There is a nice bag of organic quinoa there now too.

Eat well, be well,

Nat