Pan-Toasted Oatmeal & Coconut with Walnuts, Almonds, Cranberries, Candied Ginger, Dried Figs & Cinnamon
I decided this morning that it had been too long since I made some simple but delicious, pan-toasted oatmeal for breakfast... And that I needed to do something about that right away!
Simple and healthy and when made with some tasty added extra, sooo good! And so much more fun, flavorful and healthy than those sugar encrusted granola so and the likes- as well as being fun to make!
Obviously, the great thing about this kind of recipe... Is that there IS no recipe! It is simply a method you need to know and to use and the ingredients are completely up to you!
Rather than drench the ingredients in sugar, what I like to do is to let the heat of the pan and the toasted surface of each ingredient heighten it's own, individual, natural flavor... It makes so much more sense to me and tastes so much better!
And paradoxically, adding a touch of water and therefore steam, helps to infuse the oatmeal with the perfumed flavors and fragrances of the ginger and cinnamon... Making this not only healthy but also thoroughly delicious!
These were my ingredients, but of course you can add, subtract, alter or improvise your own blend... I would say that for me, the oatmeal and coconut were the most important main ingredients and the ginger and cinnamon of course added the spice, but the rest is interchangeable.
For 2 serving I had 1 mug full of oatmeal, 2-3 tablespoons of coconut flakes, 3 dried figs, 2 slices of candied ginger and a handful each of walnuts, almonds and cranberries.
I ate mine with some plain yogurt and added a little honey, but plain milk would of course be fine too... Whatever loads your boat (or your oatmeal! ) haha!
You couldn't want for a much tastier, natural and healthy breakfast! And it still doesn't have to be all freaky-deaky and hippified or trendy either. Forget all of that stuff and just chill out and do your own thing!
You will need to cut the figs open, at least in half like I did, to let the warmth in and let them reconstitute themselves a little, later on. also, the ginger needs to be finely chopped so that it gets evenly mixed-in... And you may want to cut the cranberries in half too if they are particularly large... Otherwise... Just grab your frying pan and get ready to have fun!
Begin by toasting the oatmeal in a dry pan for 3-4 minutes and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir it through, add the coconut flakes... And a splash of water! Crazy! How can you still toast anything now, you cry!
Well, that tiny bit of water will release the flavor from the cinnamon, which will immediately be absorbed by the oat flakes and coconut... And in no more than a minutes time, you will have a dry pan again and the toasting will continue... But with the cinnamon flavor trapped inside!
The other good thing that the blast of water and steam does, is that it causes the oatmeal and coconut to clump together a little, making them chewer and nicer to eat.
Once they begin to get slightly brown again, add the almonds and walnuts and keep stirring all the time. As soon as you notice the nuts and almonds just starting to brown, remove them from the heat... your work is almost done!
Now, whilst everything is really hot, add the figs and cranberries and keep stirring... You will find that the figs will soon begin to turn a little shiny, the cranberries too... That's the warmth bringing out the moisture that is still in them and the steam forming in the pan... And it is enough to make them softer and more flavorful again.
By the time it has cooled off and is ready to be enjoyed with your milk or yogurt, your oatmeal will be packed with wonderful flavor!
With just a trickle of honey, I found mine to be plenty sweet enough... The figs and cranberries have plenty of their own sweetness after all! And with the ginger and cinnamon... Just perfect! So... Is it going to be cornflakes? Coco-pops... Or this?