Zucchini Stovetop Oatmeal

ucchini Stovetop Oatmeal

Have I sunk to a new low?  Am I really writing a post about how to cook oatmeal?  In all fairness, a year or two back, I was still only making overnight oats because I had no idea how to cook hot oatmeal, and much less with zucchini.  When I was growing up, my mom used to cook oatmeal in a way that involved way too much water so the oatmeal would boil and be left swimming in murky liquid.  It was often super mushy, too.  Like, when people associate oatmeal with being old people’s food, that is because they have suffered through bland, mushy oatmeal.  I was one of those people but I’ve come out on the other side with a revived interest in stovetop oatmeal.

zucchini stovetop oatmeal

No offense to my mama’s wonderful cooking, she just never measured.  Dishes don’t necessarily come out well or consistent if you don’t measure.  That is why I looked to Rachael’s Good Eats when I wanted to cook up some real good oatmeal.  Not just any oatmeal though—oatmeal with vegetables!  You’ve seen me throw zucchini into smoothies here and here but oatmeal may be my favorite way to use zucchini.

zucchini stovetop oatmeal

I’ve been taste-testing bowls of oatmeal over the past few months and I have finally found a method I like.  Rachael’s recipe calls for a little bit less oats and a scoop of protein powder.  That works as long as the protein powder you’re using tastes good.  Though, personally, I’d rather not add protein powder because it can overpower the flavor of oatmeal.  I use flax and chia seeds to bulk up the oatmeal and give it creaminess without mushiness.  Then comes the zucchini: an undetectable but healthful addition.  You could totally leave it out and the oatmeal would still be awesome but I promise it’s so worthwhile to try it with zucchini!  It makes me look forward to eating oatmeal! 🙂

zucchini stovetop oatmeal with toppings

As always, let me know if you give this a try by dropping a comment down below or hit me up on Instagram!

Zucchini Stovetop Oatmeal
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Oatmeal
Author:
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Total time:
Serves: 1
This quick-to-make oatmeal is anything but mushy. The rolled oats are flaky and the seeds add a creaminess. The contrasting textures perfectly compliment each other. Plus, there is a sneaky serving of veggies!
Ingredients
  • I/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • ¼ cup almond milk, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a small pot, heat half a cup of water on the stove. Once boiling, add in the rolled oats and cook for 1 minute on high, then, reduce heat to med.
  2. After the oats have started to absorb some water, sprinkle in the chia, flax, and cinnamon and stir, stir, stir! It is important to incorporate the seeds well so that they don’t clump. They will begin to gel and make the oatmeal creamy without compromising the texture of the rolled oats.
  3. Once incorporated, stir in the zucchini and cook for about 2 more minutes on medium before taking the pot off the heat. It may look like a measly amount of oatmeal but here’s where the magic happens: put the oatmeal into a bowl and pour the almond milk over it, stirring to incorporate. The hot oatmeal soaks up the milk and fluffs up nicely.
  4. Add addition milk if desired and your choice of toppings.
Notes
I topped my oatmeal with ½ cup strawberries, 1 tbsp Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp granola, and ½ tbsp flaked coconut.

 

Avocado Miso Zoodles Recipe

avocado miso zoodles

Avocado jazzes up any dish and I’ve never once regretted putting a few slices on my food.

When in doubt, add the avocado!

With that being said, we all have our favorite ways to eat avocado:

Toast

Salad

Guacamole

All delicious options but I am constantly trying to think outside of the box for how I can make foods different.  I like trying new dishes so I’m excited when I can find a use for an ingredient, like avocado, that wows my taste buds.

 

avocado miso zoodles

I’ve whisked up an avocado with lemon juice and water to make a salad dressing before, and that’s pretty good, but the addition of miso is next level unami.  I could eat miso on its own (I totally scoop a bit out of the tub with my finger each time I open the container.  Anyone else?).  I could also eat avocado on its own (perhaps with a dash of salt).  Put these two powerhouse ingredients together and you’ve got something amazing!

avocado miso zoodles

I originally saw inspiration for a kale noodle bowl with avocado miso dressing from Sarah at A House in the Hills.  Sarah uses buckwheat noodles but I opted for some good ol’ zoodles.  I peeled my zucchini before spiralizing because I’m concerned about pesticides (see more here) but use organic or wash yours really well.

Also, the instructions on Sarah’s recipe left me a little unsure about serving size but my recipe, as written, makes a good-sized dinner for one.  The plant-based dish is light but satiating thanks to beans and the delicious avocado miso sauce.  Speaking of which, the sauce is generous enough to coat the noodles as well as any add-ins you may choose.  I felt like the dish was filling on its own but feel free to add extra protein or veggies, if desired.

avocado miso zoodles

 

Avocado Miso Zoodles
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
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Serves: 1 bowl
Ingredients
  • ½ a small avocado
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (any variety)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tsp water to thin
  • 2 cups chopped kale, packed
  • 1 small zucchini, spiralized
  • ½ cup white beans, rinsed
  • Everything But the Bagel Seasoning or sea salt and sesame seeds to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix sauce ingredients in a serving bowl, adding more water if needed. Set aside.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan, slightly warm the kale—just until it begins to wilt.
  3. Add zoodles and kale to the bowl and stir to coat with the sauce.
  4. Top with white beans and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning or sesame seeds.

Banana Tahini Shake – My current FAVE

Alright, alright, alright!  How is everyone doing today?  It is Tuesday and it’s time to break out the tahini! Can that be a thing?  Move over tacos, it’s Tahini Tuesday! XD

Banana Tahini Shake

It’s no secret that smoothies are my favorite thing ever and if I can sneak some vegetables in them, that’s even better.  Too much fruit in a smoothie can spike my blood sugar and leave me crashing with hanger mid-morning.  That doesn’t mean fruit is a no-go, it just means I need to include a little something extra to stabilize my energy and keep hunger at bay.  A recent discovery that I’ve made in regards to my smoothies is the power of HEALTHY FATS.

I used to be so scared of using oil or eating peanut butter and avocados (not necessarily together), but now I know that a moderate amount of fat is A-okay!  I eat mostly plant-based so when I include healthy fats, I add a satiating element to my meals, too.

Banana Tahini Shake

So, back to the Banana Tahini Shake!  Technically it could fall under the “smoothie” category but it is so rich and comforting that it feels like a shake to me.  Shakes are usually loaded up with ice cream, dairy milk, and sugar but mine is sweetened with banana.  It’s more than healthy enough for breakfast for sure!  Plus, the addition of tahini really helps round out the smoothie/shake.  It is…

Uniquely satisfying,

Subtly sweet,

And perfectly thick.

I have been digging this for weeks now and I’m very excited to share it!  Let me know if you try it out 🙂

Banana Tahini Shake Header

 

Banana Tahini Shake
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Recipe type: Breakfast
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Serves: 1
Zucchini adds fiber, tahini adds satiating fats, and banana brings home the sweetness in this simple Banana Tahini Shake.
Ingredients
  • ¼ large frozen zucchini (about ½ cup chopped)
  • 1 med frozen banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • a dash of black pepper
  • ½ inch knob of fresh ginger, frozen (I like the zestiness of it but you can sub ground)
  • 1-2 tbsp of tahini,
  • 1 serving of plant-based protein powder, optional
  • ¾ cup - 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Barbaras Bakery Puffins or other cereal, optional
Instructions
  1. Add zucchini, banana, and ginger to a blender or food processor and ¾ cup of almond milk. Blend away! Then add the spices, tahini, and protein powder. Add more milk, if needed.
  2. Serve the smoothie in a glass with some low-sugar cereal of choice, if desired. Best enjoyed with a spoon and straw.

No-Bake Almond Coconut Bars

I’ve got such a case of wanderlust right now; I can’t even handle it.  I want to be anywhere else but my hometown.  Has anyone else experienced this?

almond coconut bars

Every couple of months I get an overwhelming desire to move somewhere new.  A few years back in college, I was itching to head to Ireland for a semester abroad.  The experience surely would have been worthwhile but I played it (financially) safe and did not act on my dream.  Recently, though, all I want to do is move out of my hometown.  If you follow my Instagram, you might have heard me mention how I want to move out of California.  I currently live in the same hometown, or county, that I grew up in and I feel stuck.

Just yesterday I came across this article on Medium about how to live the life you want.  It might sound kitschy but inspirational articles and videos are all that get me by.  Anyway, the article’s author, Isaac Morehouse, stated something that really resonated with me:

“There’s something weird about staying in your hometown. It severely limits the definitions you accept for what makes you successful. Oddly, most of the hometown definitions of success have nothing to do with happiness. They have to do with becoming what everyone in your past expects or desires given who you used to be. It’s a sort of tether to a past self that no longer exists.”

 

almond coconut bars

As I read the article, and the above quote in particular, I felt understood like never before.  I really need a change from my same-old, same-old hometown.  It’s easier to say you want something to happen than to see it happen.  I’ve narrowed down where I want to go and have been applying to jobs left and right.  Unfortunately, I rarely hear back from any of the places I’ve put in applications. My guess is either:

A. No one wants to hire someone from out of state.

or

B. I’m oblivious of how under-qualified I am for the jobs that I’ve been applying for.

Ideally, I want to have some hope of acquiring a job before I move to the area I have in mind.  I’ve got some money saved up but not enough to keep me from wanting to play it safe.  (Thus, the reason I squashed my Ireland dreams in college).  Sigh.  It’s not an easy task to move out but I’m slowly working on it.

almond coconut bar ingredients

On a different note, something that is easy and does not require anyone to move (nice transition, right?) are these Almond Coconut Bars!  They are my ultimate favorite homemade snack bar.  They are inspired by the Balanced Goodness Coconut + Granola Go Macro bars but the ingredients are simplified.  You could totally make them into balls if you prefer small energy bites but I prefer larger bars, similar to the Go Macro ones.

almond coconut bars

They are ridiculously simple to throw together so if you make them, let me know! 🙂

No-Bake Almond Coconut Bars
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Recipe type: Snacks
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Serves: 4 bars
Inspired by Go Macro Balanced Goodness Coconut + Granola bars. These bars are only four ingredients, naturally sweetened, and don't require any baking.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (about 15 Neglet) sticky, pitted dates*
  • 2 heaping tbsp of almond butter
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, puree the dates to a thick paste. Add the almond butter and pulse.
  2. Take the ¼ cup of rolled oats and add them to a nonstick pan. On a stovetop, lightly warm the oats until they smell/look toasted. Three minutes on medium heat should be enough.
  3. Add the warm oats to the food processor, along with the coconut, and process until combined.
  4. Mixture will look dry and crumbly but, as you pick it up with your hands, it should mash together. Add 2 teaspoons of warm water if the mixture does not mash together and process again (I didn’t need to add any).
  5. Separate the mixture into 4 balls and form into square-shaped bars.
  6. They will keep at room temperature for a day, or store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Notes
*If your dates have been stored in the fridge or freezer, or simply aren't sticky, soak them in hot water to soften. I like to heat up some water in a pot on the stove and let the dates rest in the hot water for 10 minutes.

May Pole Day and a Fresh Salad with Pasta and Fruit

Today is May 1st, AKA May Day.

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with Pasta for May

In elementary school, this day was a big deal for the kids because they would get to participate in the May Pole Dance.  Also, by kids, I mean me.  I got to participate in the May Pole Dance along with my entire third grade class.

I think it was a whole month in advance that we started practicing.  My teacher would take a break from lesson plans a few times a week and take us outside to the field to dance with ribbons.  I can’t exactly describe how the dance went but it looked something like this. Our parents and the community got notified of the event (because 8 year olds dancing around a pole to create a ribbon braid is considered an event for a small town like mine, mmkay?).  It was also a rite of passage for children.  As a youngling in school, I saw the older kids participate and looked forward to the day that I would be so privileged to participate in the acclaimed event.

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with Pasta for May

Oh, and you might be wondering what May Day is and the meaning behind the May Pole Dance.  Honestly, I only ever participated in May Day at that elementary school of mine so I don’t know the exact history.  I believe the dance is ceremonial and dates back to really old times in England.  These days, especially in the U.S., we tend not to follow such traditionalist practices so it I think it is less common.  The dance and celebration that occur are in honor of the start of summer and the new life that it brings.  Thus, I felt it appropriate to share the story as I mention that I am so very into fresh recipes for summer!

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with Pasta for May

The warm weather has me craving chilled salads, sweet and juicy produce, and ingredients that won’t weigh me down.  I called this dish a Fresh Salad with Pasta and Fruit because that’s what it is.  It also has all of my favorite ingredients from chicken salad but without chicken 🙂 I know apples aren’t technically considered summer fruit but they’re around all year long!  Some light and crisp lettuce, plus, crunchy celery, adds to the hydrating factor of this salad.  A very important factor if you’re dealing with hot temperatures like me.  #SoCal

As always, I made this recipe based on ingredients I had in my fridge but change it up to fit your needs.  Some darker leafy greens would work nicely instead of the iceberg.  Even try dried cherries instead of fresh grapes.

Have a happy month of May!

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with for May

Fresh Salad with Pasta and Fruit
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Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Salad
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 salad
The warm weather has me craving chilled salads, sweet and juicy produce, and ingredients that won’t weigh me down. It's kind of like a chicken salad but made vegetarian and I utilized what I had in my fridge. Feel free to change it up and sub in whatever greens you like.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of lettuce of choice (I only had iceberg but some kale, arugula, or romaine would be lovely!)
  • 3 oz of Banza penne pasta (or other short cut pasta)
  • 1 small-medium sized apple, chopped
  • 1 small stalk of celery (or half a large stalk), chopped
  • ¼ cup of red grapes, chopped in halves
  • Extras: black olives, sliced in half, and chopped pecans
  • Dressing is: 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp maple syrup, and ¼ tsp dried tarragon.
Instructions
  1. Set a pot of water on the stovetop to boil and cook the pasta for about 10 minutes or until desired doneness.
  2. In the meantime, chop up the veggies and fruit. Add all ingredients to a serving bowl.
  3. Drain the pasta water and let pasta cool for a minute before adding to the salad.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over all ingredients and enjoy!

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

On cold days, on rainy days, on sunny days, or cloudy days, I will always be in the mood for a smoothie.  In fact, the jury is still out on whether I consume more smoothies in winter months or summertime.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

On a slightly related side note:

there was a lot of mud from the previous night’s rain when I made this smoothie bowl.  I didn’t let that stop me from marching outside in my boots to snap a picture. 🙂 The lighting is much better outdoors!  Plus, my neighbors would probably wonder where I’m at if they didn’t see me go outside to take a picture of my breakfast.  You know, ‘cause that’s the usual these days.

Anyway, this photo is from a while back but I’ve had this for breakfast a number of times since.  I rarely make the same smoothie twice but there is something particularly crave-worthy about blueberries that makes me want to have them in a smoothie several days in a row.  This simple smoothie is the best way to make that happen.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
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Serves: 1 smoothie
Creamy coconut milk combines with frozen banana and blueberries to make a delicious rich and tropical smoothie.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium to large banana, frozen
  • ¾ cup of blueberries, frozen
  • ¼ cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 serving of protein powder (optional)
  • Toppings: granola, blueberries, ground flax, coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. If using protein powder, add that to the blender first, followed by the coconut milk and frozen fruit.
  2. The smoothie might be tough to blend but it's perfectly thick with a small amount of liquid. Add a tablespoon of additional milk to the blender if the mixture is not budging.
  3. Scoop the smoothie contents into a bowl and add the recommended toppings, or, simply some coconut flakes to jazz up the tropical factor.
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing the fruit. A very necessary step for the ultimate creamy smoothie!

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie

I’d like to say that my love for smoothies knows no season but I found myself slipping away from them during the wintertime.  I felt cravings for fresh fruit and creamy flavors but opted for breakfasts of oatmeal most days, instead.  If the weather seemed mild, I’d make a cup of hot tea and drink my smoothie underneath a blanket on my couch.  The hot and cold drinks allowed me to sip on my beloved smoothie without turning my insides into ice cubes.

Now that the worst of the cold days are behind us, I am sharing one of my favorite smoothies that I was sipping in the winter and into spring.  It is also the perfect pick-me-up any time of year.  Coffee is special like that 🙂

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie

I usually opt to drink decaf most of the time because the caffeine from coffee is almost impossible for me to tolerate.  Call me a wimp but I just feel jittery and unstable after a mere half cup.  You can totally use regular coffee but make sure it is cooled first because, otherwise, it might melt the ice cubes and reduce the frostiness of the smoothie.  Oh, and do not pass up on the ice cubes! They really make all the difference in this frosty smoothie.

Notice the keyword: frosty.  I can’t stand thin, watery smoothies.  Super thick and creamy is how I like ‘em usually.  The exception is this smoothie.  It isn’t quite as thick or richly creamy, but it is frosty! It is a very refreshing choice and way healthier than a frappuccino, just saying.

As always, leave me a comment if you try it out.  I’d like to know what smoothies you’re drinking on these spring days.

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie

Simple Coffee Protein Smoothie
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Recipe type: Breakfast, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, Vegan
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 smoothie
Adapted from a Tone it Up recipe, this Coffee Smoothie is easy to make and full of frosty deliciousness!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of decaf/coffee ice cubes, about 5 cubes*
  • ½ large banana, frozen
  • ½ cup of decaf or regular coffee, cooled
  • ½ cup of cashew milk**
  • 2 scoops of Chocolate Protein Powder***
Instructions
  1. If you have a strong blender, then toss all of the ingredients in and blend away!
  2. If not, I’d recommend blitzing the ice cubes with the coffee and banana first. Then, add in the cashew milk and protein powder. Once it looks like it is all combined and starting to get a little frothy, you are done. Drink up!
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing the ice cubes or brewing coffee
*Simply, pour brewed coffee into an ice cube try and let freeze overnight.
**Can sub other milk but I like the creaminess of cashew milk
***I used Nuzest USA’s plant-based Chocolate Protein Powder. Not all protein powders get frothy when blended. For example, I don’t recommend ALOHA in this smoothie. You can sub other plant-based powders like Perfect Fit but there may be slight variations in thickness.

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

When I was younger, I was not a fan of vegetables.  Like, at all.  Occasionally I would eat salad out of necessity to add color to my plate.  Though, I was definitely disappointed to learn that my favorite tomatoes and potatoes were not really even actual vegetables!

I’ve come a long way since then.

Heck, I’m all about the plant-based lifestyle these days.

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

I am a big fan of fruit and always have been.  Though, I know I can go a little overboard on it sometimes so I’m making efforts to incorporate more vegetables into my meals.  Lunch and dinner are easier but breakfast is not usually the place this sweets-lover thinks of eating a vegetable.

A handful of greens can usually sneak by in a smoothie but there’s no disguising the taste.  Zucchini, on the other hand, is basically water.  When frozen, the zucchini adds some frosty thickness to any smoothie or, my fave, a smoothie bowl.

It’s the perfect bowl for getting in some vegetables and keeping sugar intake low.

Many times smoothie bowls can pack a sugar punch but not this one.  You may want to opt for some sweet toppings or peanut butter 😜 because the bowl itself isn’t very sweet.  Let me know what you think if you try it out!

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
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Serves: 1 smoothie bowl
A great smoothie bowl for getting in some veggies, greens, berries, and fruit all in one. Yet, it is lower in sugar than traditional fruit-only smoothies. Many times smoothie bowls can pack a sugar punch but not this one. Opt for a few sweet toppings on top, instead.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup water, beet juice, or milk of choice
  • 1 small handful of baby kale (1/2 cup)
  • 1 serving of protein powder (I used Nativas Naturals Vanilla)
  • ½ medium frozen zucchini (chopped into 3-4 pieces to make it easier on your blender)
  • 1 medium frozen banana, ripe is best
  • ¼-1/3 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • Topping ideas: kiwi, granola, ground flax, or peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Add the liquid (I used beet juice) and kale to the blender first. Blitz until the leaves are broken down.
  2. Then, add in the protein powder, slices of zucchini, banana, and blackberries. Blend thoroughly. (My blender isn't the strongest but it was able to process the ingredients without added liquid. Feel free to add a tablespoon or two of water if your blender needs some help.)
  3. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with some of your favorite goods and eat!
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing time for the banana or zucchini

Quinoa Taco “Meat” Recipe

Salad with Quinoa Meat

When I was in high school, the cafeteria used to serve junk like pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, or hot dogs.  I like a slice of pizza once in a while but what I love is food that makes me feel good.  There was a limited supply of salads because the school must’ve thought no one would want to eat salads.  On the contrary, everyone would make a beeline for them right at the start of lunch (teachers included).  Every day there was a different lunchtime salad option.  Wednesdays used to be Taco Salad day.

My very favorite!

Salad with Quinoa Meat

You know the one.

It has a bed of lettuce, ground beef crumbles, tomatoes, black or pinto beans, shredded cheese, crunchy tortilla chips, and salsa.  If you order something similar at restaurants, it will probably come with some guacamole, too.  It has all of the yummy taco flavors but is totally healthy because there’s some lettuce in there, am I right?  Well, today’s quinoa taco meat recipe is inspired by my old favorite salad but completely plant-based.

I use a taco seasoning recipe from My Blessed Life which I then add to cooked quinoa, warmed up in a pan.  It provides the Mexican taco flavors but also adds a bit of protein and texture to a salad.  My favorite salad is shown in the pictures.  I like using the quinoa meat with a romaine lettuce base, cilantro, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, and a red salsa for topping.

It is so simple and find myself making this all too often!  Let me know if you give it a try.

Salad with Quinoa Meat  
Quinoa Taco "Meat" Recipe
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Cuisine: Vegetarina, Vegan
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Serves: 1 serving
An easy-to-make "meat" alternative to add some Mexican flair to any dish. It is the perfect base for beans, vegetables, or any other proteins you would like to add.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning (see notes)
Instructions
  1. There is not really a science to making the taco meat. I throw some quinoa into a pan and warm it up with the spices. Half a cup of quinoa to 1 tsp of homemade taco seasoning or store-bought should work, though adjust based on your taste for spice.
Notes
Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning via my Blessed Life
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Simply, mix all seasoning ingredients together.

Seasoning recipe can be found at My Blessed Life.

 

 

Gingerbread Stovetop Oats with Cashew Cream

Gingerbead Oatmeal

Today I was reading about NASA’s recent discovery of exoplanets that may be similar to our planet Earth.  It seems that they are in a prime zone for habitation and may even have oceans.  See the article here.  I don’t avidly follow space and scientific findings but something about the excitement surrounding the discovery of the planets really cheered me up this morning.  I think the optimism about the possibility that life may exist elsewhere is a really neat thought.  It is a wild thought but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

I have something a little less wild and not very space-related to share with you today: Gingerbread Oatmeal!

I know we are in the month February but who says the gingerbread flavors are only for November/December?  I’m still totally digging spiced flavors in my breakfast!

I must admit, I’m usually a much bigger fan of overnight oats than I am of warm, cooked oats.  It’s a texture thing.  One exception is this recipe for gingerbread oatmeal.  The molasses and spices are so comforting and delicious that it would be a crime not to try them warm!

Another factor that kept me from liking hot oatmeal in the past was the bland taste of it.  I felt it was necessary to add sugar to make it taste like something!  Hold your horses because there is NO sugar needed for this recipe.  We’re using the au natural sweetness of banana 😀  Then, we top off the oatmeal with some fruit of your choosing ( I like pear) and some delectable cashew cream.  I say we soak some cashews NOW so that we can whip up the cashew cream and this oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow! 😉  Who’s with me?!

Gingerbread Stovetop Oats with Cashew Cream
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Recipe type: Breakfast
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Serves: 1 bowl
A warm bowl of oatmeal, sweetened with banana, and bursting with the flavors of molasses and gingerbread spices. A comforting breakfast for one or double up, as needed, to serve more. Top with fruit of choice and cashew cream.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 medium banana (half mashed, the other half sliced)*
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ginger
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • ⅛ tsp cloves (optional)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • Cashew milk or milk of choice, for serving
  • Sliced pear, optional
  • Cashew cream**, for serving (see notes for recipe)
Instructions
  1. Add the water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Then, add the oats, mashed banana, spices, vanilla, and molasses. Turn down the heat to a medium level.
  2. After about two minutes, once most of the water has been absorbed, stir in the flax and chia seeds until well-dispersed and cook on low for one additional minute.
  3. Take the oatmeal off the heat and let sit for a minute. This is important because the banana makes the oatmeal retain a lot of heat so it will be REALLY HOT if you dig into it right away.
  4. Serve oatmeal with the other half of the banana, sliced pear, a small pour of milk, and a scoop of cashew cream.
Notes
*If desired, applesauce could be substituted for the banana in the recipe.

**You will have leftover cashew cream if making this recipe to go with the gingerbread oatmeal.

Cashew Cream recipe is as follows:
¾ cup raw cashews
1/3 cup water, plus more for soaking
1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
¾ tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt or kosher salt

Simply place cashews in a bowl and fill with water until they are covered. Let them soak to soften. I recommend soaking cashews overnight in the fridge but between 2-6 hours is all that is necessary. Once cashews have softened and expanded, empty the soaking water and add them to a blender or food processor. Blend up the cashews until crumbly, then add ⅓ water, the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. The resulting thickness will depend on the power of your blender or food processor. I left mine a bit clumpy but blend until desired consistency is achieved.

Cashew cream yields about 3 servings of ¼ cup portions.

NOTE: Prep time does not include soaking time for the cashews.

 

Let’s embrace the last days of winter and enjoy the warm spices of gingerbread!