Get your antioxidants here!

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Just finished shoveling what looks like about a foot or more of snow. The thermometer says -1 and with the wind chill all I can say is DAMN it’s cold out there!

Blueberry & pomegranate oatmeal. The trick is cooking the oats in some Pom! Boy is it yummy!!

Prepping Fruit

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You’ll notice that I use combinations of dried, roasted & fresh fruit. As well as jams. Depending on ripeness you can use any of these methods to bring out the full flavor of whichever fruit you’re in the mood for. I’ll be posting methods on how to prep your fruit over the next few months.

Today I wanted to mentioned my nifty OXO shredder. For some reason this tool shreds the fruit with out making the juice run all over. As opposed to grating the fruit on a box grater which leaves a pool of juice on the cutting board. All the flavor ends up in your bowl!

A note about “Toppings”

Sorry I missed you all yesterday. I took a nasty spill on the ice Friday night and smashed my knee. Recuperated with the caramel apple oatmeal yesterday!

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From time to time I’m going to post recipes for some of the toppings that I use in the oatmeal recipes. I make everything from scratch and use as many organic and non-GMO ingredients as possible.

I make caramel sauce fairly regularly and keep it in the frig. I use raw sugar to make it, along with organic cream. Because I make a dark caramel it has a nice full flavor and you only need to use a little to enjoy the flavor.

Basic Caramel Sauce

1 C. Water
3 C. Sugar
2 C. Cream

Method:

  • Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat to boiling.
  • Allow sugar syrup to boil until all water has evaporated and syrup turns a dark amber. Don’t stir it and do not leave the pot unattended.
  • Remove from the heat and VERY SLOWLY whisk in the cream. The sauce will bubble up violently. Don’t let it scare you, just add the cream a tiny bit at a time till you get used to this process and keep whisking.
  • Return to heat, and whisk till completely smooth.
  • Pour into clean, wide-mouth 1/2 pint jars (makes 2 pints).

Apricot & Toasted Almond Oatmeal

Dreary grey morning. Bright apricot tastiness! Sweet and tart and topped with almonds and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.

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Apricot & Toasted Almond Oatmeal:  Serves 1

  • 1/2 C. Oatmeal*
  • 1 C.  Apricot nectar**
  • About 2 Tbs. chopped, dried apricots
  • About 2 Tbs. toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
  • A scattering of pomegranate seeds for garnish

Method:

  • Bring the apricot nectar to a boil .
  • Stir in the oats and bring back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring enough to keep the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • I like my oatmeal “al dente” so I keep cooking till most of the moisture has been absorbed.
  • Stir in about half the diced apricots at minute or two before the oats are ready to rehydrate them slightly.
  • Top with the toasted almonds, remaining diced apricot and pomegranate seeds

*Note: I use Quaker rolled oats because I’m on a budget but feel free to use your favorite brand and cook longer if required.  **I use Looza fruit nectars because they’re reasonably priced when I don’t make my own.  Making your own is really simple.  When any particular fruit is at the height of it’s season and wildly ripe put a handful into a blender (pit larger stone fruits and remove the core of fruits such as apples & pears first).  Pour in water to cover slightly and blend.  Keep adding water till the mixture resembles a juice and not a puree.  Keep refrigerated and use within a few days or  freeze for later.  You can also add a few drops of lemon juice to keep the color bright.