October 17, 2011

Apple Spice Oatmeal

Could you survive autumn without eating a single apple?  I couldn't, especially since I rarely consume an apple out of season.  Yep, that's right.  I'm one of those die hard, uber-freak, eat-what's-in-season, food supremacists.  Corn on the cob in April?  Grapefruit in June?  Strawberries in December?  No friggin' way, man.  Is it snobby?  No.  It's normal.  And eating in season is much more tasty.

Today, Rowan and I started our day with an autumn and winter staple - oatmeal.  And this recipe is so good, I absolutely have to share it with you.  Yields enough oatmeal for one hungry parent and a rapidly growing toddler.

I'll warn you, I don't really measure anything but the oatmeal/water ratio.  So, I'm guessing on most of the measurements.  Also, I use large flake rolled oats instead of instant or quick oats.  For the reason why this is important, please read this article.


  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced.  For best results, use a baking apple variety like Empire or MacIntosh.  (Apple geeks may notice that the apple I have here is not a baking apple, in fact it's a Honeycrisp.  It was all I had this morning, and although it tasted fine, it wasn't nearly as good.)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp of water
  • 1/2 cup large flake oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • (optional): raisins, ground flax seed
  • brown sugar, honey or maple syrup

On high heat, bring water and apple to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, cook for one minute.  Add oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Sometimes I like to add a small handful of raisins.  Cooking the oatmeal with apple and raisins give it a nice sweetness, requiring less refined sugar.

Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until oatmeal has absorbed most of the water. 

Add a small sprinkle (maybe 1/2 tsp?  I dunno...sorry!) of flax seed if desired.  Be sure not to add too much flax, it will make the oatmeal bitter.  Continue cooking until all the water has been absorbed, about a minute or so.  If you're at all concerned, flax seed is perfectly safe for children over 7 months of age.

For Rowan, I scoop out about 1/4 cup of oatmeal (this is not enough if that's all he's getting for breakfast, but while I'm making this he usually mows down an entire banana) and add some baby cereal.  It's not completely necessary, but I have it on hand, I need to use it up...and it doesn't hurt :)  

I also add a little bit of whole milk to bring the oatmeal back to a desired consistency.  If your child is under nine months, do not use cow's (or goat, sheep, raccoon or any other mammal) milk.  Also, if you ARE sharing this oatmeal with a babe under nine months, keep in mind that the spices, salt and chunky apple bits might not be the greatest idea.  To make this more palatable for solid food newbies, skip the spice and grate the apple.  And use your best judgment. 

For the grown-ups, spoon out the remaining oatmeal, sprinkle with brown sugar, or drizzle with honey or maple syrup to taste.  Rowan doesn't get to enjoy this part...yet.

Enjoy!!  Now, doesn't that taste better than the pre-packaged instant oatmeal crap?  And much healthier too :)  Try it this week, let me know what you think!

A non-dog owner would think "Awwwww, cute, he's sharing."  A dog owner: "Awwwww, years of training, discipline and strict rules right out the window."  *Sigh*


Joelene said...

Sounds great! I think this is what we'll have tomorrow morning!
Sloan seems to eat a lot better when our dog isn't around...she likes to share (and watch him try to lick things off his head) so I try to seperate them so she can get the most from her plate...but it's tough! (I have to admit...when I first saw that pic with your doggie I thought it was a goat! lol)

Anne said...

Haha!! I will add the goat reference to her list of animals she looks like.

The others include: horse, reindeer and "Bammi" (I believe the child was trying to say 'Bambi')