Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Raisins

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I know these past few weeks I haven’t been posting as regularly as I normally have been and I’ve been feeling really guilty about it. The truth is I’ve been feeling so short on spare time lately and a little uninspired. I’m also going to be away on spring break in a few days so I probably won’t be able to get a post in for another week or so, but hopefully when I return I’ll have lots of great pictures and stories and recipes to share with you!

When it comes to my marathon training, I usually do my long runs on the weekends when I naturally have more time and daylight. I try to go first thing in the morning, and since I know I’ll be out running for at least 2 hours I really make an effort to get a filling and nutritious breakfast in beforehand. Enter these steel cut oats! I’ve never had steel cut oats before but have been hearing great things about them for a while. In short, steel cut oats are less processed than your regular oats and therefore retain more of their nutritional value. They also take longer to digest and therefore make you feel fuller for longer. Steel cut oats have a chewier texture than regular oats which I actually really enjoyed. I loved the combination of apples, cinnamon and raisins and have already made it twice in the past couple of weeks, which is really saying something! 🙂

Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Raisins

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 cup (2% or 1%) milk
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup maple syrup

Directions:
Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the oats and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture is very thick, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the salt, cinnamon, apple, raisins and maple syrup.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is creamy, about 10 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

—SOURCE—
Annie’s Eats, from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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Coconut Raisin Granola

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Where the heck have the days gone? I’m pretty sure I said this last week as well, but the days have just flown by in a blur. I’m usually pretty busy throughout the week with 8 hour shifts at the hospital taking up my weekdays, but a few weeks ago I registered to run my first full marathon at the end of May and trying to follow a training schedule has really worn me out. I’m ridiculously excited to push myself the day of and see just what I’m made of when I attempt to run 26 miles (42.2 km) for the first time ever, but now that I’ve incorporated longer runs and more intensive sessions at the gym I’ve been feeling so tired these past 2 weeks. I’m starting to realize that I’m not consuming enough calories to maintain my marathon training, which is probably why I’ve been feeling so weak lately. I usually eat 3 healthy meals a day with 2 snacks in between, but now I’m finding that I need a few more snacks to keep my body fuelled after a workout. Granola with greek yogurt was one of the first healthy snacks that came to my mind and so this morning I made 2 big batches of granola, the first being this coconut raisin granola.

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Granola can be enjoyed with milk or yogurt, or even just plain but I like mine best with greek yogurt. I’m not a nutritional expert, but I know that this winning combination supplies me with protein, fibre, calcium and probably a few other good things too 😛  The best part is that it’s pretty easy to whip up a batch of granola and now I’m guaranteed to have a great snack ready when I need it 🙂 I hope you are enjoying your weekend, I have a 5k race tomorrow that should be interesting enough seeing as the sky has been dumping wet snow all morning!

Coconut Raisin Granola

Yields: 6 cups

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid state
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned or rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds (I used whole almonds)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly packed
1 cup raisins

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Stir in the oats, almonds, and coconut flakes until mixture is evenly coated.

Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Stir in raisins. Cool before storing in an airtight container at room temperature.

Serve with milk, yogurt, or by the handful.

—SOURCE—
barely adapted from Pastry Affair

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