I meant to post this at the end of summer, but then I started a new job that entails writing for 8 hours a day. It's a dream job, to be sure. The down side, though, is that at the end of the day I'm not so keen on writing for fun. Now that November's here, thanks to National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), I'm back on my feet. I decided to forego a novel this year in favor of simply picking back up my side writing projects, out of which That Dang Cook is probably my favorite.
So here's the lost overdue post.
Now that cooler weather's here there's nothing stopping you from using frozen or dried fruit. Around this time of year I love to make this oatmeal with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and a tiny sprinkle of granola for crunch.
What I love best about this recipe is that it makes a week's worth, meaning I can make it Sunday night, put the rest in jars or tupperware for the week, and not have to fuss when I get up in the morning.
It also tastes like peach pie or peach cobbler thanks to the pecans and nutmeg (which are optional, of course). Heck, some nights I have it for dessert!
Peaches & Cream Quinoa Oatmeal
Makes: around 4 servings, 5 if you stretch it.
Credits: this leans heavily on Alton Brown's steel cut oatmeal recipe and my love of Trader Joe's frozen steel cut oats & quinoa.
Total Time to Make: 40 minutes to cook, 20 to chop the peaches (or other toppings), cool, and divide into containers for the week.
- 0.5 cup steel cut oatmeal
- Note: you can use regular oatmeal if you like, though you'll have to cut the cooking time back drastically. Check the package instructions for your oatmeal and compare that to the package instructions for quinoa. Cook for whichever takes longer.
- 0.5 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon butter (or substitute)
- 3 cups boiling water
- pinch of salt
- 0.5 cup yogurt
- 0.5 cup milk
- Note: I enjoy subbing almond milk here, so go with your heart. Same goes for the yogurt if you'd like to use a soy, almond, or coconut yogurt.
- Alternatively to the yogurt + milk, you could use a cup of kefir or 0.5 cup milk + 0.5 cup buttermilk. This part is fairly flexible.
- For peaches & cream topping:
- 1 white peach, cut into thin slices
- 0.25 cup pecans
- brown sugar, cinnamon, & nutmeg to taste
- For other toppings, try your favorite fresh fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and spices. For example:
- apple slices, raisins, & cinnamon
- dried cranberries, walnuts, nutmeg, & allspice
- pumpkin seeds, granola, & brown sugar
- blueberries, lemon zest, & honey
- dried cranberries, orange zest, honey, & vanilla sugar
- Start the water boiling in a kettle or pan.
- Heat a saucepan on medium high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add the butter, quinoa, and oats. Stir frequently, toasting the grains, for around two minutes.
- Add the boiling water and salt, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot.
- Allow the grains to cook for 25-30 minutes. Do not uncover or stir.
- While the grains are cooking, whisk together the milk & yogurt and set aside.
- Once the grains have cooked, uncover, add the milk mixture, and stir briefly.
- Return the cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Serve in a bowl topped with brown sugar, peach slices, pecans, and a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg (use nutmeg very sparingly - a little goes a long way). Or use toppings of your choice.
- Divide unused portions into mason jars or tupperware containers for the rest of the week. Refrigerate leftovers.
Alright, let's go through it step-by-step, shall we? It's a fairly easy one, which is why I love to get it done on a Sunday night when I'm getting the last of my relaxing done for the week.
First step is to put the water on to boil. Doesn't really matter how, though don't let it boil for too long or you'll lose too much liquid through evaporation.
Next, heat a saucepan on medium high until it's hot. Once it's hot, add your butter and grains.
Stir them around for a minute or two to let them get toasty.
Then, add the boiling water and salt. It does make a difference in cook time to boil the water first and add it hot, so don't skip that step if you can help it.
Next, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover the pot, and let it cook without uncovering or stirring for 25 minutes. It'll take a little patience and willpower, but you can do it. I believe in you!
Then, when the grains are cooked, whisk together the milk and yogurt (or kefir, or milk+buttermilk, whatever you're using). Uncover the pot, stir in the milk mixture, and then put the cover back on. You can use soy or almond or whatever kind of alterna-milk you like here. Don't be shy to play around with it! I really enjoy using vanilla almond milk.
Let it cook for 10 more minutes.
Then, spoon yourself out a serving if you're having some right away, or let it cool and divide it into 4-5 containers. Make sure that any containers that are going into the fridge are completely cooled, since putting a hot container on a cold fridge shelf can cause either to shatter.
When serving, add brown sugar, cinnamon, a tiny pinch of nutmeg (be stingy, it's strong!), some chopped pecans, and slices of peach to your taste. Or get creative and use your favorite toppings!