Archive | March 2015

Date and Pecan Oatmeal

Date Pecan Oatmeal

My perfect Sunday consists of sleeping in, which for me is 7:00 am, if I’m lucky, resting in bed with my eyes closed for an hour or two next to John, easing into our morning by savouring a piping, hot bowl of latte, snuggled together under a blanket on the couch, and feasting on a homemade breakfast of choice, followed by two back-to-back classes of yoga (yin and power).

This particular morning, the house was colder than usual given the long and abhorrent stretch of -40 weather we have had to endure this winter, so instead of pancakes or scones, I opted for a hot bowl of goodness, oatmeal, one of my absolute favourite things to have in the morning, especially in the wintertime.

You haven’t had oatmeal until you have made it from scratch, and of course, until you have made it with steel-cut oats. The whole event takes about a half hour to make for an experience that is most warming, most soothing, and absolutely satiating. This, to me, is breakfast comfort food. So simple, but oh so good!

I make all kinds of oatmeal: vanilla, apple and raisins, banana walnut, etc. This one is special because it is sweetened with dates, which add a depth and richness in flavour that sets it apart from my other versions sweetened with maple syrup.  In addition, it’s one of my few oatmeal bowls that’s infused with cardamom, not just cinnamon. Together with the toasted pecans and crisp blueberries, the dish is full-bodied, creamy, and delicious.

I make oatmeal using whatever milk I have on hand. It works well with hemp, soy, and almond milk.

Here’s to life’s simple pleasures and celebrating winter for forcing us to slow down and revel in the ease.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 Butter  1 tbsp
 Water  3 cups
 Dates, large, Medjool, chopped  6
 Cinnamon  1/4 tsp
 Cardamom, pods  3
 Salt  1/4 tsp
 Oats, steel-cut  1 cup
Milk  3/4 cup
Vanilla  Dash
 Pecans, toasted, chopped  4 tbsp
 Maple syrup (garnish)  Drizzle
 Milk  Drizzle
 Blueberries, fresh  1 pint

1. In a medium pot, melt butter.

2. Add water and bring to a boil.

3. Add chopped dates, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt and simmer a couple of minutes. 

4. Add steel-cut oats. Simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, over medium heat, toast pecans, stirring often, approximately 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and roughly chop. 

6.  After 20 minutes, add milk to pot of oatmeal and simmer for another 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

7. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and half of the toasted pecans.

8. Scoop oatmeal into bowls and drizzle with maple syrup and more milk. Serve with blueberries and reserved toasted pecans. Don’t forget to remove the cardamom pods.