Monday, December 24, 2012

Sour Cherry and Apple Oatmeal

Most days I'm cooking for one, so it's particularly fun for me when I get to cook for others. Especially when those 'others' happen to be my three favorite people in the world: my mom, dad and sister.

I'm back in Istanbul on winter break from school and it's been nothing short of amazing. I miss this city a whole lot when I'm away, and being a student on winter break is so much fun. No responsibilities! I wake up, workout and get to do what I want all day. Catch up on reading, hang out with friends and most importantly, cook. 

I have cooked every single day since I got here and twice with my sister, which is my favorite. Cooking with someone who knows their way around the kitchen is blissful; we move in sync with each other, chatting and reaching for things, chopping, and managing to stay out of each other's way. She's the best. 

I have a bunch of recipes to share with you guys, but a friend requested the recipe for the oatmeal I made for the family this morning. Oatmeal has become a favorite of mine. It's infinitely customizable and keeps me full for hours. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble keeps you full for a long time, and takes a while to digest, while insoluble is the kind that speeds up your 'movements', if you catch my drift. They are both good, and it's best to consume a mix of both kinds. Oats are soluble, which is why they keep you full for so long. 

Lastly, I recently learned that sour cherries are great for decreasing inflammation. Inflammation is really problematic in the body. It was one of the symptoms of almost every single disease we learned about in my diet assessment and planning class this semester.

On to the recipe!

Sour Cherry and Apple Oatmeal
Serves 4
2 cups oats, rolled (not instant, or steel cut; they have different cooking times)
2 cups oat milk (or any non dairy milk will do)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sour cherries, fresh or frozen
1 large apple, diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried fruit of choice
1 tbsp wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
(Optional, 1/2 cup water can be added depending on desired consistency) 

1. Place the walnuts in a pan and toast lightly over a low flame. Make sure not to burn them. They are 'ready' when the smell of the walnuts toasting wafts through the air. 

2. Add the non-dairy milk, chopped apples, cherries, cranberries, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer for a few minutes until the apples become tender. It is up to you how long you simmer the apples; the longer you simmer, the softer the apples will be. 

3. Add the oats and wheat germ and simmer over a low flame until all the milk is absorbed. Then taste. If the oats are not as creamy or soft as you like, add the optional water (I did). If you prefer your oats with a little bite, you can serve as soon as the milk is absorbed. Make sure to be stirring over a low flame; you don't want to burn your oats! 

Easy peasy. And thanks for reading and commenting, Elyse! You made my day.

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