Thursday, February 7, 2013

Real Food: Apples and Oats.

When I need to eat a meal that's going to keep me energized for hours, I eat this.  For instance, it's the perfect thing to keep me focused and not hungry while I'm running errands, shopping, and out all morning.  But, then again, I usually make this in the afternoon for an energy boost as I head into the witching hour.  It's great with coffee or a hot cup of tea.

A few more notes: This contains a full tablespoon of coconut oil, which contributes 130 out of 325 calories.  If you'd like to use less oil go ahead, but that coconut oil gives a huge boost and makes this meal much more satisfying; it's up to you!

Also, I prefer my oats toasted and chewy.  If you'd like this to turn out more like a traditional oatmeal, add more water as needed and increase the cook time.  You can also increase the oats to a full half cup and increase water in kind.  Quick oats would also speed this up.  When I make this for my children, this is what I do- it makes a great after school snack or quick dinner before we run out the door on a busy night. 

The thing that takes this a step up from traditional apple cinnamon oatmeal is that with this skillet method, the flavors have time to really come together- and most importantly- the oats and spices have a chance to toast for a fuller flavor, which makes all the difference.

You also might consider adding some raisins, dried cherries, etc in with the apples for a little something extra- they will plump up as you cook them.

Apples and Oats

Prep Time: 5 min.
Total Time: 10-12 min.
Serves: 1
Calories: 325


1 Apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1 T Unrefined Coconut Oil
1/4 C Whole Oats (see above)
1 t Raw Sugar
1 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Cardamom
1/4 t Ginger (Fresh is best if you have it)
1/2 C Water, plus more as needed

1.  Peel, core, and slice the apple into thin, even slices.  I do enjoy eating the peel- but that's up to you! Prep all other ingredients so you can move quickly once you begin.

2.  Heat 1 T Unrefined Coconut Oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add apples, turning to coat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples have softened a bit and are beginning to brown on one side, about 5 minutes. 

3. Add sugar and stir constantly until it has dissolved.  Remove skillet from heat, keep the burner on. Off heat, stir in oats and spices, tossing to coat.  Return to heat, stirring constantly.  This allows the oats and spices to toast a bit, which boosts flavor- but be careful not to scorch them! 

4.  When the oats become fragrant, add the water.  Allow to simmer, stirring often, until all water is absorbed and the mixture is the desired consistency (see above.)

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