Monday, March 14, 2011
Meatless Monday: Oatmeal with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries & Maple Syrup
It's all about breakfast--it will set the tone for your day.
Sadly, this is the meal that many people opt to skip, or rely on overly processed foods for (cereal, fast food, etc.).
So bypass all those processed cereals (since when is "cereal" worthy of an entire grocery store aisle?). And the frozen processed waffles and the like. And even bypass the instant "sugar bomb" packages of oatmeal (if you want to know more, read Mark Bittman's article on how McDonald's ruined oatmeal). They're less healthy and more expensive than plain, old oatmeal.
Instead, pick up a carton of plain oatmeal, and know in your heart that you have the power to embellish it yourself. I love both the regular stuff, which cooks up in about five minutes flat--how's that for fast food?--and steal cut oatmeal, which takes a little longer but pays you off in flavor.
Both types of oatmeal are healthy, filled with dietary-fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Time and time again, oatmeal has been shown to lower bad cholesterol and may even prevent certain types of cancer.
Also, oatmeal is one of the few grains that is naturally gluten-free. However, if you can't tolerate even trace amounts of gluten, make sure that the oatmeal has not been stored/processed in a way that allows it to mix with gluten-containing products like wheat. Fortunetely, many companies now make gluten-free oatmeal like Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free Rolled Oats.
Additionally, my recipe for oatmeal is also dairy-free. Although many people like to make their oatmeal with milk, I prefer the clean flavor of using water.
For this dish, I cook my plain oatmeal per the package instructions (I do like to add a little salt, but that's up to you). Then I ladle it into a bowl and top it with a fabulous combination of raw walnuts, dried organic cranberries (Trader Joe's sells these at a great price point), and a little drizzle of real maple syrup (yes, there's sugar, but way less than the processed stuff). For great flavor, you really can't beat maple syrup.
This whole process takes under ten minutes. You have no excuses not to eat breakfast now. Doesn't this look delicious?
Oatmeal with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries & Maple Syrup
Serves 1 person
Cooking time: about 5 minutes
1/2 cup plain oatmeal
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon raw walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Bring 1 cup of water and the salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the oats, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until done.
Note: Follow the cooking instructions on the package. Different types of oatmeal may necessitate different cooking times.
Ladle the oatmeal into a bowl. Top with the walnuts and cranberries. Drizzle with the maple syrup. Enjoy!
Source for Ingredients
organic walnuts and dried cranberries from Oh Nuts!
organic rolled oats and organic maple syrup from Trader Joe's