Katie Green's Food Blog: Almond Joy
It's hard not to eat breakfast when it tastes this good. It might even be good enough to get you out of bed in the morning. Well, maybe not that good. And after breakfast day number one, it may not make it to breakfast day number two as it becomes snack numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. I'm not saying you should eat it with a spoon, but I won't judge you if you do.
I set out to create a tasty combination of nutritionally-packed foods that would go well with steel cut oats soaked in almond milk. One cup of almond milk provides 45% of your daily calcium, compared to 25% for regular milk (Try to find it on sale. A good price is $2 for ½ gallon.) and it lasts in the fridge for a long time. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels, wheat germ and oats provide filling fiber, flax seed throws in those awesome Omega 3's, a banana gives you a potassium hit, and cocoa nibs are full of iron (which you shouldn't technically eat with calcium, but oh well).
Steel Cut Oats with Homemade Almond Butter
Typically, when we think of preparing steel cut oats, it involves boiling them in water on the stove for 30 minutes or so (and in my case, typically burning them as well). Few people have time to do this on a daily basis (although you could make a large batch and freeze into portion sizes), and I far prefer the soaking method. It's not only easier, but it's also possible to do in your dorm room as long as you have a fridge. They resemble something like a muesli when it's all said and done. Below are the ingredients that I throw in mine. Feel free to mix and match fruit (dried and fresh), nuts and flavors. (And while I measure the steel cut oats and milk, I just throw in a spoonful of everything else pretty much.)
1/3 cup steel cut oats
2/3-1 cup almond milk (or other milk)
1 tsp wheat germ
1 tsp ground flax seed
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa nibs
Heaping spoonful of almond butter (or peanut butter), recipe to follow
Stir together oats and milk. Put in fridge overnight.
When ready to consume, remove from fridge and mix in remaining ingredients, except for almond butter. Add spoonful of almond butter on top, but don't mix in as it will dissolve into the milk and lose its flavor.
Homemade Almond Butter
After making this, you'll wonder how you lived without it for your entire life. Make no mistake, the store bought variety cannot compare. So if you're a little hesitant because you've tried those before, don't let that dissuade you. After making this, peanut butter may topple from the throne of buttery goodness.
This recipe does call for the use of a food processor. I decided I didn't need one of those as I had a Magic Bullet (My dad will be so happy I finally used my birthday gift!). It was supposed to take 15 minutes in the food processor. Let's just say that 3 hours later, my Magic Bullet was a little warm and losing some of its magic. I had my doubts along the way, but it did (eventually) get the job done.
Roasted Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter
Adapted from Edibleperspective.com(there are a lot of other great nut butter recipes on this blog)
1 cup almonds
2 ½ tbsp maple syrup (the real kind)
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tbsp oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 deg F.
Line a pan with parchment paper (not wax or aluminum foil) for easier cleanup.
Pour the almonds onto the pan and drizzle over maple syrup. Mix well.
Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring 3 times. Do not become preoccupied with other things during this time. They need to be monitored so they don't burn.
Let cool for 5 minutes. (Do not cool completely)
Put in the food processor (or magic bullet, but not advised), and process until buttery - about 15 minutes. You will need to scrape down the bowl regularly.
Add the salt and cinnamon and process again until smooth. Should have a buttery consistency.
Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter
Adapted from edibleperspective.com
2 cups almonds
3 tbsp maple syrup, divided
1 ½ tbsp molasses, divided
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp canola oil
Preheat oven to 300 deg F.
Spread the almonds onto the parchment on a baking sheet.
Mix well with 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp molasses.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once every 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.
Place almond mixture in food processor and process for about 15 minutes, or until it takes on a buttery consistency. (Past the stage where a large ball of dough forms.)
Add ½ tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 ½ tbsp oil, all the spices, and salt.
Process again until buttery consistency reached again, about 5-8 minutes. (Add a little more oil if you want it smoother.)
From the recent cross country trip to Wisconsin!
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