Cream of Wheat with Apple, Cinnamon & Almonds
It was cold, I am coming down with a cold and I wanted something quick, sweet and comforting- if fact I needed something fast! But despite feeling poorly and despite the fact that I wanted to treat myself to something yummy, I still decided to make something healthy too- there's no reason to not be able to do both!
Now... don't roll your eyes at me- because cream of wheat IS indeed delicious! Just flavor it right and see for yourselves- as for most things in life, it is what you make it! So I decided to try to make it tasty enough to put a smile on my face... period. I wasn't trying to change the world, but to make an old-fashioned dish and have a little taste of childhood memories... only free of the horrors of school!
With a little vanilla and star anis added into the mix, this was a lot nicer, more delicate and refined than what we were given as children. And that is basically the whole secret- I added a vanilla pod and a star of anis to the milk as I brought it up to the boil. At the same time, I tossed some finely diced apple, with cinnamon, a tiny pinch of salt and a little honey in a small frying pan. Once the honey began to darken, I added a little water and let the apple sit, soak it up and soften gently.
Once the milk had come close to boiling, I removed it from the heat and sprinkled in the cream of wheat, stirring with a whisk to avoid any clumping. I whisked it together and continually added the wheat until the consistency was as I like it- light, creamy and fluffy. I sweetened mine with Stevia, but of course you can use sugar or honey if you prefer. I added a good sprinkle of cinnamon and just the tiniest hint of butter and whisked it until it was nicely mixed- then poured it into a little baking form, ready for the oven.
I spooned the apple on top and sprinkled it with almond slivers- the popped it into a pre-heated oven for 5 minutes at 350°F and just for a few seconds under the broiler to toast the almonds... easy!
Sweet, hot, creamy tasting and yet basically harmless and healthy. It doesn't always have to be one of those rich and fattening desserts to be yummy! I was really glad that I made it- and I hope you will be too!