Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple Pie Oatmeal

I often get on a breakfast kick and stay on it for an entire season. Oh, I'll eat a few different things here and there, but mostly I like consistency when it comes to breakfast. It's like a ritual for starting the day. In the summer, I was into smoothies made with fresh fruit, almond butter and ice. This fall, it's Apple Pie Oatmeal.

When I was a child, I didn't have a clue about oatmeal. Mom ate it when she was a child and never liked it, so she never served it. I usually ate cold cereal or fruit. When I got older and tried oatmeal, it was a lame instant version that my sister and I brought camping. I hated the paste-like taste, yet it wasn't the oatmeal because I liked oatmeal cookies, the oatmeal topping on crisps and granola.

Still I felt like something was missing and I wanted to join the ranks of those who enjoy a bowl of hot steaming oatmeal, but if I was going to join the crowd, I had to tweak the flavor significantly.

I started adding things, and aside from dried friut, one of the first things I added was walnuts.
I've loved walnuts since I was a child. Now I buy them from Grouse Mountain Farm. The sweetest walnuts I've ever tasted, you can just roll them under your palm and they crack open. Then you gently pick the whole halves of the nut from the shell. I bought an entire box of them this past weekend at the market, that's how much I like walnuts.

The next thing I added was an apple. I usually pick something other than a golden delicious because I love those the best. But I only love them from Cliffside Orchards. I got some organic goldens from a natural foods recently and the flavor was disappointing. Thin and watery with a slight hint of soap, I could see why many people detested these apples.

When I told Jeanette Herman of Cliffside Orchards about the soapy flavor, she looked puzzled. Then she said it sounded like there was an aphid problem and maybe too much "Safer" (an allowed organic treatment for aphids) was sprayed. A very old-fashioned variety, goldens have thin skins, which makes them more fragile than other apples. Jeanette also said goldens are a hard sell because so many people recall the dismal golden delicious apples of their youth. Jeanette's husband Jeff harvests these apples and he said he tastes them on a regular basis before harvest to determine if the apples are ripe. I can't imagine big farms harvesting this way. but the secret of great apples is to pick at the peak of sweetness.The next thing I added was Rockridge Orchards apple cider in place of water. I've tasted plenty of cider and the thing I love about Rockridge Orchards is Wade Bennett makes a variety to choose from and the flavor is, well, it's just the best. My Cooking Assistant gives my new Apple Pie Oatmeal recipe four paws up.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Serves 1

This recipe is adapted from The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook. I’m sure if I’d tried apple cider, blueberries and walnuts then, this would have been the version in the book.

1 apple (any variety), cored and diced

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1 cups apple cider

1 cup old-fashioned oats

Water to thin

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1. Bring the apples, dried blueberries and water to a boil in a small to medium saucepan over high heat.

2. Add the oats, reduce the heat, and simmer until the oatmeal has absorbed the water and is thick, about 5 minutes. Thin with water, if necessary.

3. Serve topped with chopped walnuts.



Anonymous said...

I dont know u.. but looking for some books in internet i found your web, i I wanted to eat all ur food!! it looks really nice and it must be delicious..
Im from Argentina... u can send me some :)
God bless... Luciana

ddzeller said...

Hi, you surprised me when you said you were from Argentina. I'm glad you liked my blog, I recently finished an article about vegan recipes for Argentina for Vegetarian Journal.(It will come out next fall, I think.) It was hard to get around the meat, but I was able to find some fabulous recipes from your country. I'd love to visit sometime.