Pomegranate Oatmeal// What I Eat

I’ve never been much of a breakfast girl. Having celiac doesn’t help; most of the “healthy” cereals are full of wheat and barley.  At my old office, all the girls in my department ate cereal. Every morning they would come in, pull out their bowl and box of choice from their overhead bin, go back to the kitchen and add their milk of choice from the fridge. To be part of the crowd, I decided to find a breakfast food that I could eat. For a few years I ate this cereal called Nutty Flax (my coworkers called it bird seed) mixed with vanilla yogurt. Then I switched to a mashed banana and some peanut butter for a while. At my last job, I would eat a gluten-free english muffin with vegan cheese, tomato and avocado. Once I started “working from home” back in September though, any breakfast habits I had cultivated went right out the window. I found myself getting by on coffee alone until 3 or 4pm everyday. Not a good way to live.

So a few weeks back I set out to find a yummy, healthy way to start my day. I’ve watched enough Dr. Oz to know that steel-cut oatmeal is about as healthy as you can get. Luckily, Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten-free steel-cut oat and they sell it at my local grocery store. (Bob’s also makes GF rolled outs and quick cooking oats, but I prefer the steel-cut for this recipe. I use the rolled ones in granola and cookies though.) Oats are naturally GF, but almost all are cross-contaminated during growth and production. It may not sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is. Fun fact, oats were the one food that was actually painful for me to eat when I was first diagnosed with celiac. It actually HURT to eat them. So finding a certified GF producer was a huge day of happiness in my home.

The down side of oats is that they take a while to cook. I tried to find ways to get around this, but then I realized that I have all the time in the world so what does it matter. I decided to use the waiting to my advantage and work it into my morning routine. I get up and go straight for the coffee, of course. While I drink this, I usually check email, read blogs, make to do lists for the day, etc. Once my first cup is down, I head back into the kitchen and get the oatmeal started. It takes all of 10 seconds to measure the oats and water in the pan and turn it on high heat. While I wait for it to boil, I make a cup of herbal tea and clean my kitchen. Once it goes back down to a simmer, I put the lid on it, grab my tea and head back to work. Then I forget about the oatmeal. Seriously, every day I forget about it. It takes about 45 minutes to cook, which is plenty of time for my mind to have moved on to other things. The good thing I’ve discovered is that getting it good and sticky (to the pan) actually works better!

Enough chatter, how about I just give you the recipe? I’ve added lots of ingredients to my oatmeal, but I promise it’s really simple to make. Plus each thing adds so many healthy benefits, I swear you feel like a superhero after you eat this! You can of course substitute for taste preferences, but this tastes amazing as it, and its so nutritious you could seriously stop eating for the rest of the day and be good. Ok, maybe not, but it’s definitely a great start!

Yeah for B12!

Cinnamon is great for boosting metabolism; maple sugar doesn't give you a sugar rush... plus both are yummy!

I can get about a weeks worth of seeds out of 1 pomegranate

This is so yummy, plus it makes you feel amazing! Its full of Omegas and fiber and antioxidants and all of those other things that do a body good. Plus, by using maple sugar and pomegranate seeds as a sweetener, you don’t get that sugar rush that comes with eating most pre-sweetened oatmeal. Click on the links in the ingredient lists to see all the health benefits that each item brings!

Pomegranate Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving

1/4 c steel-cut oats

3/4 hot water

Dash of sea salt

Combine in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with lid. Wait until it’s really simmering and no longer boiling to put the lid on, otherwise you’ll have a real mess. This way you can leave it while it cooks.

Go do something else. Read, check email, do chores, take a walk. Forget about the oatmeal. After about 45 minutes, suddenly remember it, shout out-loud, OH NO!! THE OATMEAL!!! and run back into the kitchen. At this point, it will be perfectly cooked. If it’s stuck to the pan a bit, just give it a stir. We’ll take care of that in the next step.

Add to the pan:

about 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla hemp milk

1 tsp Earth Balance “butter”

1 heaping tbls ground flax seed

Stir it all together. Adding the milk will correct whatever overcooking you may have done in step one. Likewise, the flax seed will help absorb any extra moisture that’s in the oatmeal.

Its supposed to look like a hot mess at this point.

Turn the heat up to medium and cook until thick, about 2-3 minutes. While its cooking, add the following:

1 tsp maple sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

about 1/3 c pomegranate seeds (about a handful for me)

Stir, stir, stir!

Once the oatmeal is thick and everything is well combined, pour into a pretty bowl and enjoy!

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