Winter can be very long here in the Catskill Mountains. It seems that every time we get a little taste of warmer temperatures, Mother Nature says, “Haha! Just kidding!” And, well, HERE WE GO AGAIN! As cold and dreary as we can feel, we search for comfort in the simple things, just like in my basic, Comfort Oatmeal Recipe. This is the view from one of my kitchen windows today:
That, my friend, is one of my prized lilac bushes. The snow looks heavy enough to break those branches right off! Somehow, this bush thrives in Springtime, however, creating a beautiful show of rich, pale purple, along with a fragrance that is simply intoxicating. The vertical “sucker” in the foreground is from a small rose, which should be equally beautiful after the lilac finishes blooming. (sigh…)
Comfort food is in order for a day like today, yes? Perhaps that means a hearty pasta dish, or something containing potatoes? I love anything warm, especially eaten out of a bowl. Soups are an obvious choice, but then, for me, so is hot cereal. I like to use whole grains – nothing instant – and give them time to soften in the saucepan.
Today, let’s opt for a simple bowl of porridge, consisting of oatmeal, walnuts, Brazil nuts, raisins, maple syrup, and cinnamon – just a basic, comfort oatmeal recipe. This is absolutely perfect to take the chilly edge off the morning.
This porridge is so easy, it contains only a couple of basic ingredients:
Where you can get inventive is with toppings! Here is what I added:
Walnuts, Brazil nuts, raisins, cinnamon, and maple syrup
But you can use what you have on hand! Maybe you like dried cranberries, cherries, or other dried/fresh/frozen fruit, and perhaps almonds or nutmeg? Maybe agave instead of the maple syrup? Be imaginative!
Some people prefer a pinch of salt in their oatmeal. We watch our sodium intake here at the farmhouse, so we leave the salt out altogether. Some also prefer to cook their oatmeal in milk, giving it a creamier consistency. In the interests of staying plant-based, we sometimes use almond milk instead of water.
- 1/2 Cup rolled oats
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Tbsp Brazil Nuts(chopped)
- 1 Tbsp Walnuts(chopped)
- 1 Tbsp Raisins
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Cinnamon(Ceylon preferred)
Bring oats and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add toppings to taste.
Other possible additions and swaps: Dried cranberries, cherries, or other dried/fresh/frozen fruit(berries, mango, pineapple, etc.), and perhaps almonds or nutmeg, cloves, ginger? Maybe agave instead of the maple syrup? Be imaginative! <3
Here is another variation on the basic comfort oatmeal recipe. Take a look at what is in your freezer or pantry and use up what you have. The only limits are your imagination and your ingredients!
In this version, I used half water and half unsweetened vanilla almond milk, as well as some frozen berries and chopped mango. The spices are cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. It was creamy and oh, so fruity. Enjoy!
What is your favorite way to warm up on a cold morning?
Blessings to you!
For more easy, delicious, plant-based recipes, click HERE.