[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
Over the past year or so, it seems that a bowl of humble oatmeal has catapulted to star status on food blogs. Not just any oatmeal, either; old-fashioned, cooked, steel-cut oatmeal–but with fancy add-ins.
When I first started this blog near the end of 2007, I wrote about one of my favorite breakfasts: baked oats. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined all the recent variations on steel-cut oatmeal that have since materialized, from those with almond butter stirred into them (fabulous–it creates an incredibly creamy cereal); to blended oats (gotta love the ultra-smooth texture!); to carrot cake oats (with carrots and “frosting”); and even spinach oats, with their vibrant emerald hue (and while I love my greens, I can’t say I’m quite ready for Shrek-inspired oats just yet).
So I’m guessing that someone has already posted about my new love, zucchini bread oats, but since I haven’t come across the recipe, I’m sharing it here (and hey, if you’ve already posted about it on your own blog, let me know!).
I’ve been enjoying this breakfast about once a week over the past month or so, what with the abundance of zucchini at the markets these days. Not only is this a great way to enjoy those overgrown 10-inch zukes*, but the grated zucchini softens and fairly melts into the oats when cooked so that it’s barely discernible and virtually tasteless in the mix. And as a bonus, it adds fiber, moisture, Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as good amounts of magnesium, manganese, and potassium to your morning meal.
“Mum, we’d be happy to give those spinach oats a try–the color wouldn’t bother us at all. Besides, since we’re color blind, we won’t even notice the green. Oh, and we probably wouldn’t notice it in any case, given that we’d lick the bowl clean within about 2.5 seconds.”
Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Infinitely adaptable, this recipe is great when you’ve got leftover cooked grains, extra zucchini, or just feel like a hearty, tummy-warming breakfast.
2/3 cup (160 ml) water or soy, almond, or rice milk
pinch fine sea salt
1/3 cup (80 ml) dry steel-cut oatmeal
1/4 medium zucchini, grated very fine (use smallest holes on box grater, or “fine” blade on food processor)
handful chopped pecans
1/2-1 tsp (2.5-5 ml) cinnamon, to your taste
pinch nutmeg or 1/8 tsp (.5 ml) ground ginger, if desired
1 heaping Tbsp (20 ml) natural smooth almond butter, or nut/seed butter of your choice
handful raisins, if desired
1 Tbsp (15 ml) agave nectar or maple syrup, or 5 drops stevia liquid
In a heavy bottomed pot, bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat. Add the oats, lower the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice (if the bottom begins to scorch, add a bit more liquid).
After 15 minutes, add the zucchini, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well, then cover again and cook for another 5 minutes. (Again, if the oats are too dry, add a bit more liquid).
Remove from heat, stir in the almond butter. Stir before serving with sweetener of your choice and more milk, if desired. Makes one serving.
NOTE: This is not a zucchini-flavored oatmeal; you won’t really taste any zucchini in this (though you might detect a few shreds here and there). The veggie is just a silent nutritional bonus!
Variation: You can substitute about 3/4 cup (180 ml) of another cooked grain of your choice for the oats and water. In that case, either reheat the grains in about 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk before adding the remaining ingredients, or blend the grain, nut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk in a food processor before warming gently for 7-10 minutes; stir in the zucchini and then allow to warm through before serving.
* Sorry, people who found this post via those depraved Google search terms–I’m talking about food.
Oh, and stay tuned next time for a yummy giveaway!
This post is being shared at Cara’s Love Your Heart event!
© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Last Year at this Time: Muhammara