In stark contrast to 2016 Meredith, I rarely eat things just because they are healthy anymore.
Kale salad? Let’s put some parmesan cheese, garlic and lemon in there and make it a treat. Green smoothie? It better have my favourite Mega Matcha, some nut butter, and an overripe banana so it tastes like dessert.
To some of you, that may seem like an obvious thing to try to “enjoy” food as much as possible, but to chronic dieters or those with orthorexic tendencies, it can feel uneasy.
2016 Meredith had oatmeal every day – with a big ol’ scoop of vanilla protein powder and spirulina. It was awful. Tasted like grassy chalk. But I choked it down after morning workouts to “get enough protein and complex carbs”.
This is part of the reason why I don’t get overly excited about eating oats now. They remind me of the rigid eating patterns of my past and being bored with breakfast.
But hello! Here I come with an oatmeal recipe and it has BROWN BUTTER. If that isn’t unnecessary but also necessary flavour I don’t know what is. But it’s still so nourishing and feel-good and most importantly delicious.
For little old oatmeal, the flavours are super complex with the nuttiness from toasted oats and browned butter, the creaminess from the almond milk and the zest from ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
It’s pretty damn fancy for oatmeal if you ask me. It’s the Sunday of oatmeals.
WHY IT’S DELICIOUS.
- Brown butter and toasted oats bring depth and nuttiness to the oatmeal.
- Cooking it low and slow in almond milk makes it creamy AF without dairy.
- The addition of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon is subtle but takes it to apple pie territory FAST.
- A quick sautee of apples is an extra step – but very worth it – to create a “dessert-like” feel.
- A dollop of plain yogurt after is reminiscent of apple pie “a la mode” but also adds a hit of protein!
- 2 apples, cored and diced
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (any milk will work in a pinch)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup large flake oats
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tbsp butter (divided)**
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- a pinch of nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds and walnuts to top
- Yogurt for topping (plain, Greek, vanilla or coconut are all great here)
- In a medium pot, add oats and 1.5 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Cook for 3-5min, stirring often, until oats and butter smell toasty and turn lightly golden.
- Add milk, water, 2 tbsp maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and stir well. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-24 min, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid is absorbed and oats are very creamy.
- While the oats simmer, heat remaining 1/2 tbsp butter in a small pan over medium high heat. Add apples and cook for 4-5 min, tossing occasionally, until golden and tender.
- Serve oats with cooked apples over top. Drizzle a bit of extra maple syrup and sprinkle nuts and extra cinnamon. Dollop yogurt.
*Make Ahead/Meal Prep! Simply make the oatmeal and divide oats, apple topping, nuts and extra maple syrup between 4 containers. Keep yogurt separate and dollop after you reheat the oats.
**To Make Vegan: Swap butter for a light tasting oil (such as coconut oil), and reduce by 1/2 in the first step. Or use Earth Balance or other butter sub.