Saturday, September 15, 2012

Purple Power Breakfast - Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe

How often do you get to eat a big bowl of something purple? Hardly ever! And I say it's not often enough. We're going to rectify that today with a recipe for blueberry oatmeal. Now if you are a purist and prefer your oatmeal, well, oatmeal colored, then we have a solution for you too.

First, you need some oats. I am using steel cut oats today. The most popular oats in America are called rolled "quick" oats. Now they are both oats, mind you. They are just treated a little different. Let's chase a brief rabbit and talk about the difference.

Oats are the seed of a cereal grain. Steel cut oats are oat kernels that have been cut into smaller pieces. That's about it. The kernels are harvested and cut into smaller bits. They are more akin to porridge in Scotland. 

Rolled oats are oats that have been rolled. Clever eh? Well, in more detail they were rolled into flat flakes under something very heavy. They are sometimes lightly toasted before packaging. They cook quicker than steel cut oats because more of the oats now have an outer surface that is exposed to the boiling water. 

The steel cut oats are often described as being nuttier in flavor since many of the husks remain in tact whereas they are separated in the rolling process for rolled oats. Many claim that the steel cut oats leave you feeling fuller longer since they are still somewhat whole. The theory is that it takes the body longer to digest them as a result.

There's your lesson on oats. I am using steel cut today. If you used rolled, follow the package instructions for water amounts and cooking times.

Ok, here's what you're going to need for two servings:

1/2 cup steel cut oats (80g)
1 cup fresh blueberries (120g)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)

1. Bring the water to a boil. Add oats, reduce heat to low/medium, and bring it down to a simmer. Be sure to stick with it until you get a good simmer. Oatmeal is one of those foods that will foam up and boil over in a blink. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Take some of the blueberries and add them to the simmering mixture. Reserve some to be spread on top. I have divided the blueberries between cooked-in and on-top berries. The cooked in berries will turn the oatmeal bright purple after a few minutes.  The ones cooked in will give you a nice, even, and mellow blueberry flavor throughout.  The ones on top will give you bursts of fresh blueberry flavor. I liked a mix of both, but I could see where just putting them on top would be a blast. Literally. A blast of flavor.

3. Mix in the vanilla and sweetener. Stir until everything is dissolved and mixed in.

4. After simmering for another 5 minutes, you should be just about done. The steel cut oats cook for my liking usually right around the 25 minute mark after I've added them to the water. Cook until you like the texture.

5. Separate into two bowls, and divide any whole blueberries on top.

6. Enjoy! The way we prepared them, the calories came up to 185 per bowl.

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