Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crazy for Oats

I have developed a bit of a reputation in my family for being a little oat crazy.  I was overjoyed when I saw the Costco had 10 lb boxes of them for sale.  Why do I love oats?  They're cheap, healthy, comforting, and hearty.  But it's more than all that, they just have a special quality that I can't even explain.  (If you want, you can imagine a bowl of oats with sparkles in the air surrounding it just for fun.)  I'll wait while you do that....

My son took this pic of me and my Quaker boyfriend -

Photo: 10 lbs of oats!  Did I mention that I eat an abnormal amount of these each day?  That is why my coat is so shiny and why my hooves are in tip top shape. 
So some folks have asked for recipes and wonder, "Hey, Crazy Pants, what do you do with all those oats?"  You asked, I answer:

Favorite Oatmeal Add-ins (I've made up goofy names for some combos so I can trick my sons into eating oatmeal instead of cereal in the morning.)

Funky Monkey - sliced banana and chocolate chips
Almond Joy - almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips
Raisinet - raisins and chocolate chips
I've got to stop eating so many chocolate chips - raisins, walnuts and cardamom
Tutti Fruity - raisins, chopped apricots, chopped figs, dried cranberries or whatever is in the pantry
Berry Awesome - blueberries, raspberries, you get the idea

Throw some chia seeds or ground flax in for good measure! : )

 Sweeteners (if you haven't already loaded your bowl with fruit and/ or chocolate)
Agave nectar
Maple Syrup
Peanut butter
Cocoa powder

Favorite Oatmeal Spices (but not all at once)
Nutmeg (freshly grated if you've got it)
Apple Pie Spice
Pumpkin Pie Spice
All spice

Take any basic granola recipe and tweak it according to what you're hungry for and what you have in your pantry.  I constantly change the dried fruits and nuts depending on what I have available.  I normally use coconut oil and for the sweetener I use agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup.

 I've been making this 'recipe' lately.  I use that term loosely b/c I just throw things in a bowl.  If you try it, just know that the measurements are approximate, so tweak it to make it how you like it.

Coconut Chocolate Granola Recipe
4 c old fashioned oats
1/4 c unsweetened coconut 
4T coconut oil
4 T agave nectar
2-3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
10 shakes of cinnamon
freshly ground nutmeg to taste

Mix ingredients together and pour onto 1 -2 cookie sheets. Heat in a 275 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  The granola will look darker than usual because of the cocoa powder.  I usually bake it until the oats feel dry. (For goodness sakes, be careful and don't burn your fingers!)