Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Warming Oatmeal with Apple-Blueberry Compote

 
I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence
Here the Autumn melancholy dwells
And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain
Alone, alone, upon a mossy stone
No lonely bird would sing
 
                                                   - Thomas Hood
 

Have I mentioned that there might be a smidge of Irish in me?
 
Well, just in case I'm not alone...
 
If waking up in utter darkness surrounded by the cold, damp and dreary weather is not the high point of your day, I think I've got just the thing to help put the silk back in your slippers.
 
A warming bowl of goodness that is not only delicious and comforting, but also powerfully nutritive. 
 
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Here are some highlights:
 
Chia - chia seeds offer plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants and an impressive array of minerals. Unlike flaxseed, chia does not have to be ground to be bioavailable (ie: to be absorbed and usable by the body). Flaxseed has a similar nutrition profile to chia (with slightly less nutrients - fibre, omega-3s, minerals - per serving) but flaxseed has the added benefit of containing lignans - plant compounds believed to be protective of breast health - which chia does not.  Chia is more expensive than flaxseed but due to the highly concentrated nature of its nutrients on a gram per gram basis, a small amount of chia goes a long way. 
 
Oatmeal - both steel-cut and rolled oats offer a good source of soluble fibre - the kind attributable to helping keep blood cholesterol in check.  Whether you are choosing steel-cut oats (chopped into larger sizes) or rolled oats ('old fashioned, quick-cooking oats' that have been rolled or flaked for easier cooking), be sure to choose 100% whole grain.  Oats should have at least 3 grams of fibre per serving and ideally zero sugar and zero sodium.  Buying the oats unsweetened allows you to decide how much and what type of sweetener you would like to add to your cereal, rather than the manufacturer.  This is why I am not a big fan of instant oat cereals (powdered oats) because, even when they are 100% whole grain, these cereal packets almost always have sugar and sodium added to them. 
 
Quick cooking oats only take about 5-7 minutes to prepare on the stovetop which represents a minimal time investment for a better return over instant oats.
 
Even better, this entire recipe - including the compote - can be assembled the night before and left in the fridge overnight.  Come morning, you simply have to reheat on the stove or in the oven.  So simple.
 
Cinnamon - we all know about the delicious flavour that cinnamon imparts on some of our favourite dishes but it's also interesting to note that studies have also shown cinnamon's positive effect on blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.  One such study published in Diabetes Care in 2003 revealed that adding as little as 1 gram of cinnamon (less than 1/4 tsp) per day to the diet assisted in reducing blood sugar, triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels. Research is ongoing in this promising area.  Easy ways of adding cinnamon to your diet include sprinkling it over your cereal or yogurt, adding it to smoothies, soups, stews and baked goods, topping your coffee with it or making your own cinnamon tea.

  
Warming Oatmeal with Apple-Blueberry Compote
 
For the Oatmeal
  • 1 cup unsweetened 100% whole grain oats, rolled or steel-cut (I used rolled oats)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds, substitute ground flaxseed
  • 3 Tbsp natural shaved almond flakes
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, optional
 
For the Apple-Blueberry Compote
  • 2 medium-sized seasonal apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, I used frozen
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil, I used butter
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
 
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Makes 2 servings
 
 
 
Directions:
 
Prepare oatmeal according to package directions - (Generally, 2:1 water to oatmeal ratio for rolled oats - bring mixture to a boil in a pot on stove and then simmer for 5 minutes).
 
Meanwhile, in a separate pot on stove, combine diced apple, blueberries, cinnamon, butter or olive oil and maple syrup.  Mix ingredients together and allow them to come to a gentle boil for a minute or two before lowering the temperature to simmer. 
 
 

  
Allow the apple blueberry mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples have softened but are not completely mush.  The mixture will take on a deep, purple hue.  Remove pot from heat.
 
Add chia seeds and about 2 heaping Tbsp of the apple-blueberry compote to the cooked oatmeal and stir to combine.
 
Divide oatmeal mixture between two bowls.  Add milk, if desired, and another heaping tablespoon or so of the compote in the center of each bowl of oatmeal.  Sprinkle with almonds.
 
For a higher protein version, mix in 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt to each bowl.
 
 
 

25 comments:

  1. How gloriously tinged those apples are with the blueberry juices! :)

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  2. Beautiflul colors! I love oatmeal, I eat it just about every day as well as berries.

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  3. Mmm, I can't wait for a cozy, cold, weekend morning to make myself a bowl of this deliciousness :) Love this yummy topping you've created!!!

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  4. What an enticing way to get me up outta bed in the morning! I love chia in the morning, too, it keeps me so full!

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  5. I'm all about warm foods on cold mornings! This looks great. Instead of nuts, I like to sprinkle my oatmeal with a bit of Kellogg's FiberPlus cereal. It gives just a little extra crunch to each bowl and its fun, simple twist on a classic.

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  6. Oh I like the addition of chia seeds! One of my detoxers made something like this in her slow cooker and said the whole house woke up to the amazing smell.

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  7. What an intoxicating autumn morning my friend, this is perfect :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. Now that is an oatmeal I can get up to, Kelly; any chance of getting it delivered? I recently read somewhere that the cooking time for the longer cooking oats can be reduce if you soak the oats in water overnight. I have yet to try it. JT eats oatmeal every morning, I used to but got sick of it...this recipe may just get me back! Fortunately, my cholesterol is great, so I would be eating it for the other health benefits.

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  9. Mmm! This looks like it would make my morning simply glorious! I love oatmeal and this sounds so satisfying and warming. Like you said - it would put the silk in my slippers. :) Love that expression Kelly! And I love the poem. :)

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  10. Looks very good.

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  11. Delicious, I am sure! I left my bag of chia seeds in our freezer in Oklahoma, to bring on our next trip. I am pinning this to make then. Two more weeks and we should go there and bring all my goodies from the freezer, including my homemade chicken and beef stock... ;-)

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  12. A perfect Minnesota breakfast for our COoooLD winters. Mmmm. Yummmm. Ahhhhh.
    Love the poem, Sweet Kelly. xx

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  13. Thanks to you, I have been sneaking chia into everything! This looks delicious.

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  14. I love oatmeal with berry compotes. This looks delicious.

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  15. We've been trying to get the kids to eat oatmeal more in the morning, so I've been on the hunt for healthy and tasty recipes. It's beautiful, Kelly!

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  16. I could use a bowl of this today - love the beautiful compote you made to go with this!

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  17. I am completely sold! This looks not only appetizing, also very nutritious.

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  18. I am definitely one that doesn't like waking up in the dark to cold, damp, deary weather. I guess that's why I live in New Mexico. :) I do wake up to cold here and there is nothing better than a steamy hot bowl of oatmeal. This is a new and exciting version for our morning oatmeal you've fixed here! Love the addition of the chia, something I don't use as a ingredient to this point, and the compote looks wonderful especially with those yummy blueberries!

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  19. Pinned! You had me at the 'can be made the night before' part :) I love oatmeal and I just got 8 oz of chia seeds delivered - coincidence? I think not!

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  20. This is just my sort of breakfast! I make the slow quick steel cut when I can and the quick oats when I'm running around.. and don't have time for my silk slippers and pjs :D Love the poem.. and your compote!! Heavenly!

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  21. This looks so delicious!

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  22. Hehe, I could have sworn that the post was titled "Warning" first :D. Lovely colour from the apple and blueberry mix (reminds me of an apple and blackberry crumble my mother sometimes makes). It looks like a lovely start to a day Kelly! :)

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  23. What a beautiful way to begin your day! I have oatmeal five mornings a week but never do much with it (it's early...) but am rethinking after seeing this lovely breakfast. The berry compote is the perfect sweetener. I may be Italian - but when it comes to poetry - I am all Irish!

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  24. Kelly, with your gorgeous photos and enticing description I could even start liking warm oats (they were the nightmare of my childhood... Luckily I was rarely forced to eat them). You are the only one who makes me want to taste them once more!
    This must also taste wonderful "dry" because all the ingredients are delicious.

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  25. Absolutely gorgeous. Your post comes at a good time. The temperatures have just shifted here too and we were talking about switching over to oatmeal as our breakfast for the winter. This sounds delicious.

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Thank you for your feedback - it's wonderful to hear from you!