Sunday, 29 May 2011

Easy like a Sunday Morning

Pan Roasted Oatmeal with Nuts, Raisins & Fresh Fruit

It's Sunday morning, the sun is shining and everything's good in the world. I have a pound of fresh peaches that I picked up on the farmers market- small ones, the first of the season and deliciously sweet. And I have boring old oatmeal at home too... a few nuts and raisins, but not much else in the way of breakfast. Sigh. Looks like I have my next challenge right there before my very eyes...

Oatmeal is wonderful- versatile, tasty and filling stuff. You can make any number of breakfast dishes or wonderful baked cookies and cakes out of it. it is cheap and healthy and easy... need I say more?

This is what I decided to do this morning... it's not a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun! Make it with your kids and you will find they will enjoy a tasty and healthy breakfast just as much as those sugar and chemical coated supermarket cereals. And probably a whole lot more!

Start off by boiling some milk.  As soon as it has boiled, add your oatmeal and some coconut flakes and stir vigorously- you want to combine everything together into a thick, compact mass. Sprinkle with cinnamon and set to one side to cool and soften.

It's easy so far, right? The good thing is- it doesn't get any more complicated either!

The next step is to melt a teaspoon of butter in your pan- that's all you are going to need to make enough oatmeal to feed the whole family. Once it is melted, add the oatmeal and break it up into little chunks in the pan. Toast it on all sides at a moderate heat. After about 5 minutes add some nuts and raisins- I used almonds in this case, but you can use whichever kind of nut you prefer. Give everything another 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time and then sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar. This is just enough to caramelize and brown the oatmeal off and to give it a wonderful toffee flavor. But not enough to make everything unhealthy and sickly- sweet. I don't want that and you don't either. And let's face it- nobody NEEDS that. If you make yourselves tasty, healthy food, you will find it easy to shake those bad habits. I did and you can too!

And I am almost sorry to say... that's about all! You are ready to serve and it really hasn't been rocket-science or hard work exactly now, has it? I added a few slices of my wonderful peaches, but you could try strawberries, banana or any number of other fresh fruits. I added a few splinters of pistachio and an extra sprinkle of coconut, along with a light drizzle of honey- and had a real blast for breakfast this morning!

The warm, crunchy oatmeal, the juicy fruit and the cold, fresh milk were just what I needed! After having this for breakfast, a mug of coffee and a glass of juice I feel fit and ready for a great day... Bring it on!

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