Scrumptious Soaked Oatmeal

This tasty oatmeal makes a creamy filling breakfast that is ready in no time! A few simple steps the night before to soak the oatmeal I’ve found are worth the effort.

Soaking is an important step when whole grains are regularly consumed, and a method our ancestors used to process their grains keeping grains a nutritious part of their diet. The soaking process removes phytic acid, something that can actually prevent our bodies from absorbing important nutrients such as B vitamins. Soaking also makes our digestive systems happier! A couple posts with more information that I’ve found helpful include http://nourishedkitchen.com/soaking-grains-nuts-legumes/ and thenourishinghome.com with thorough information on soaking grains.

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Soaked Oatmeal Recipe:
from thenourishinghome.com

Soaking Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats (not quick cook)
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (or fresh-squeezed lemon juice)
1 tbsp rolled rye flakes or flour
Pinch of sea salt

Soaking Instructions:
1. Place above ingredients into a glass bowl (I use my 4 c glass measuring cup). Add enough warm filtered water to completely cover the mixture by 1-2 inches. Mix well to combine.
2. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area of your kitchen for 12-24 hours.

Cooking Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup plain almond milk, goat, organic whole milk or filtered water
1/3 cup your favorite dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, cranberries and or blueberries – optional)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp pure organic maple syrup or honey to taste

Cooking Instructions:
3. Once soaking time is completed, drain oat mixture in a fine-mesh strainer and gently rinse.
4. Add drained oat mixture to a small saucepan. Add milk and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Immediately turn down heat (add dried fruit and cinnamon if desired… I personally like to leave plain, and top my serving with chopped, dried un-sulphured apricots). Stir frequently and continue to simmer another couple of minutes or so, until oatmeal is cooked to desired consistency (approx 15 minutes). Enjoy!

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Banana Creme Brulee Oatmeal Bake

This recipe was recently shared with me by a friend, and I was curious how it would work with steel cut oats. It did! My family happily gobbled up this super nutritious and filling breakfast!

Coconut cream (or coconut milk) offers healthy fat to help our bodies stay fueled, fight disease, and give our little ones nutrients for brain development and much more! The natural sugars like pure maple syrup and coconut sugar offer the most nutritious minerals for a sweetener (and are non-GMO!).

Steel cut have a nice nutty flavor and are the least processed offering great nutrients and fiber (which helps remove unhealthy fats and sugars from our bodies!). Unlike the more processed flake oats (which have much of the nutritious part of the oat removed) cooking steelcut oats take a little longer, but a remedy for this is soaking them overnight in boiled water (it’s also helpful, but not necessary, to add a tbsp of apple cider vinegar). Rinse well in the morning and you have your oats that will just take 15-30 minutes to cook (depending how creamy you like it!). (See my recipe for regular steel cut oatmeal).

If these items are not usually on your grocery list, I love the thick coconut cream from Trader Joes where you get the most bang for your buck, as well as the darker, grade B maple syrup (less processed & more nutritious), but can also be found it in places like Nature’s Fare Market and Costco. Coconut sugar and steel cut oats are found at Costco for an awesome price. Steel cut oats can also be found in most bulk isles.

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This oatmeal recipe is a bit of a treat, well worth trying out, and the leftovers can give you more than one breakfast (make on Sunday and warm up leftovers in the oven for a healthy work day breakfast!).

Banana Crème Brulee Oatmeal Bake

Serves 4-5

1 can coconut cream (original recipe used coconut milk)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sea salt
approx 1 1/4 cup steel cut oats, soaked overnight (original recipe uses flake oats)
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, sliced
Coconut sugar or cane sugar (organic sugar), for sprinkling on top

Soak oats overnight with almost-boiled water in a glass dish (I always use my 4 c liquid measuring cup); rinse in the morning (with a handy mesh strainer); boil in saucepan with water just barely covering oats (cook with extra water, for longer, to make a creamier texture for serving to baby under 18 mos). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a glass/stoneware baking dish with coconut oil (my oil of choice!); set aside (can be doubled using a 9×13 dish and longer baking time).

In a large bowl, add all of the egg, coconut cream, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt (everything except the oats and banana). Whisk ingredients in bowl until combined.

Pour the oats (some cans of coconut milk are quite watered down, in this case, first drain your oats of excess water, so the oatmeal is not too watery) into the coconut cream mixture. Fold in just half of the banana slices. Pour the mixture to the baking dish, evening it out. Then arrange the other banana slices on top.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and center is set. Then, remove the oatmeal bake from the oven. Sprinkle top with a teaspoon or two of the sugar. Turn the oven on broil and carefully watch the oatmeal as you broil the top about 1-2 minutes, until browned and bubbly.

Allow oatmeal bake to cool on stovetop for 3-5 minutes. Then serve with a dollop vanilla yoghurt. Enjoy!

Chipotle Bean and Yam Stew with a Cilantro Cabbage Slaw

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I found this simple and economical meal from Whole Life Nutrition to be surprisingly satisfying, as did my guests, so I will make again for a nourishing and economical meal. It’s great if you need to avoid tomatoes (like my son), and my kids really like it! The garnish flavor compliments well and raw cabbage and fresh herbs aid digestion. It has a mild spicy flavor, not too spicy for my kids though, and you can add some extra spice to your bowl with a pinch of chipotle powder or chili flakes.
You can about 4 cans of black beans if you are not cooking your own dried. If you are cooking your own, be sure to save the liquid from the beans and use that as part of the liquid called for in the recipe.

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Chipotle Black Bean Stew:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin (I used half whole and half ground)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 to 3 teaspoons sea salt (I prefer Himalayan)
2 medium yams, peeled and diced (just over 4 cups)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups cooked black beans
4 cups water or bean cooking liquid
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
the juice of one lime (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)

Heat a large 6 or 8-quart pot over medium low heat. Add olive oil then add onions and saute for 5 to 7 minutes.

Then add the spices, salt, yams, and garlic, mix well and saute a minute or two more. Add the black beans and water (or bean cooking liquid). Using mainly bean cooking liquid adds a nice thickness. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until yams are barely tender but not yet cooked. Timing will depend on what size you dice your yams.

Then add the diced peppers and simmer. I let it simmer at a low heat for over an hour to make the best flavor and thickness. Remove from heat and add lime juice.

Cilantro-Cabbage Slaw Garnish:

4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 cups chopped cilantro
2 to 3 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
the juice of half a lime
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt or Herbamare

Place all ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss together. Be sure to make only what you will eat with you meal and enjoy!

Pea Soup

This is a tasty pea soup my kids like and a very cheap dinner! Without the ham pieces, would be suitable for older babies.

Pea Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, diced
2-3 small yams, chopped into small 1/2″ cubes
black pepper
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tarragon
dash of smoked paprika
1 1/2 c split peas (you can add up to 1/2 c more for thick soup, just allow more cooking time)
6 c water, chicken or vegetable broth
1 large bay leaf
tbsp red wine vinegar
1 c fresh peas or frozen
.5 kg organic smoked ham – bone in adds flavor and nutrition (optional)
1/2 tsp salt – if not using ham

Cook onion in oil until soft. Add potatoes, carrot, celery, 3 grinds of pepper, the cumin and tarragon, cooking for 5 min. Add peas bay leaf and water. Bring to boil then lower heat (add ham bone-in), simmering for at least 1 hour, until peas soften and soup is thick. Remove bay leaf. If just adding ham pieces, add ham, as well as red wine vinegar, fresh peas, dill and salt and simmer another 30-60 min. Makes 3-4 servings.

Curry Potato Stew

A very economical one pot meal adapted from Cynthia Lair’s ‘Feeding the Whole Family’ recipe book. Great for nursing moms and healthy meal for babies over one year.

The mixture of spices is great, and if you want it mild adjust the cayenne to 1/8 tsp or less. I added a sweet potato and some red lentils last time I made this, and my husband said it was the best. The red lentils thicken it which is nice.

Don’t forget to add the salt at the very end of cooking or it’ll be too bland… ask me how I know!

CURRY STEW:

2 tsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 heaping tsp freshly grated ginger root
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1 carrot, sliced
1 parsnip
2 medium potatoes
1 small sweet potato (optional)
1 c brown lentils
1/4 c red lentils (optional)
1 tsp sea salt

Melt butter, add onions, cook to soften. Add spices and stir for a minute. Rinse the lentils in a mesh strainer. Add other ingredients to pot and bring to boil, then simmer for 50-60 minutes. Add sea salt. Garnish with yogurt and serve with naan bread.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Millet porridge

It isn’t a gourmet breakfast, but this for all those who are looking for something gluten free or need to break their oatmeal habit resorted to everyday. It’s good to alternate the grains you eat, so you might want to try a different one like this once in a while. Millet is one of the most ancient staple grains and least allergenic grains. Why I like millet? It’s cheap, it’s filling, and it’s a lot more healthy than eating commercial breakfast cereal. The texture threw me off when I first started making it, but I now actually prefer the texture and taste to quick cooking oatmeal.

You can soak the millet prior to cooking for creamier texture and better digestibility.

MILLET PORRIDGE:

1 c millet

2 1/2 – 3 1/2 c water (more for creamier texture)

1/4 tsp salt

optional mix-ins:
diced peaches
blueberries
chopped apple with cinnamon
walnuts or pecans

Rinse millet in a mesh strainer thoroughly. Dry roast in a pot stirring constantly for up to 5 min for a rich flavor (optional). Add water, salt, cinnamon, bring to boil. Covered, simmer on low heat for 30-40 min or until water is absorbed.

When you’re simmering you can add chopped apple, some maple  syrup or brown sugar. You can serve it with milk too. Actually I threw some walnuts on it this morning, and that was yum… Leftovers can be reheated nicely the next day in a pan with a little more water added.

*Makes good baby food too. One of the least allergenic grains. Soak overnight, rinse, cooking 1 c millet to 2 cu or more water. Blend, adding a little more warmed water to thin. Add to a fruit, sweet potato puree or just serve warm for a first grain, 9 months and up.