Monday, February 20, 2012

an ode to oats.

So anyone who's living in Maine right now knows that is hasn't been much of a winter. I'm still holding out for at least one tromp around in my snow shoes, but I'm not holding my breath.
It's a pretty big bummer, and even a little scary to see what the weather's been up to (epic snow in Italy for the first time in 25 years, 50 degrees here. huh?), but I'm forging ahead and pretending it's the kitchen anyway, even if the view out the window says differently. The crock pot has seen some serious action over the past few weeks, there's a big pot of beans bubbling on the stove right now, I've been baking bread like it's my job, and spending lots of time with the quintessential winter breakfast time star - oats - in many forms.

 Just before Christmas, I got Super Natural Every Day  by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame. I've long admired her food and photography and have been heading in the more-whole-food-less- meat direction for a while, so when she published this one, it was a no-brainer, even though I really *should* have been buying presents for everyone else (but hey, I can make them happy all year long with this book!!! Man, I'm good at justification. Too good).

So this morning, I got to start my day with this lovely recipe: baked oatmeal. The original recipe calls for huckleberries, but as it's not exactly huckleberry season, I got to bust into the five pound bag of blueberries in my freezer (making room for $1/pound shrimp, methinks!). There's also a layer of bananas at the bottom of the pan that get all jammy in the baking process - there's only about 1/3 cup sugar in the recipe, and it's plenty sweet thanks to the fruit.. The original version has walnuts, but I had sliced almonds on hand, so that's what you can see in the photo. Cannot recommend this cookbook highly enough. We've only made a few recipes out of it, but it's a definite keeper.

Oh oats, how I love thee - let me count the ways - how about granola?
I've been meaning to make granola for years, but didn't bite the proverbial bullet until a month or so ago when I found this recipe on Tastespotting (it's all your fault, Vanessa!!!), and I've been hooked ever since. There is a *bit* of sugar in it...not counting the chocolate and dried cherries (can't resist a dried cherry and almond combo), but that makes it a perfect ALMOST guilt-free dessert. The first version I made was perfect - big clusters that I could grab right out of the jar - but I haven't been able to replicate it (probably because I keep trying to cut down on the sugar, which is what's keeping the clusters together in the first place. hm).  I'm eventually going to try to find another, less sugary, more clustery version, but for now, I'm in a pretty good granola place. If you have a good oatmeal you'd like to share, I'm all ears! 

No comments:

Post a Comment