Friday, March 12, 2010

Fragrant Steel-Cut Oats


Gluten-free Steel Cut Oats with a Yummmm Aroma
and
Delicious Crunch!


"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince,
and dinner like a pauper."
  Adelle Davis


Once that alarm goes off in the morning, some of us hit that snooze button while some of us jump out of bed and start our monotonous daily routine or RAT RACE!  Be it scrummaging for a pair of clean, matching socks or pair of pantyhose with no runs, putting on a tie, looking for the back of a favorite earring, or the car keys, while stuffing a piece of toast in our mouth and sipping hot coffee out of those new Dixie cups (that we see the commercials for), little do we realize that we are gulping down the most important meal of the day - BREAKFAST!  Breakfast is the meal you consume to break the fast that you have maintained since last night's dinner (Oops! Excuse me - midnight snack)!  Breakfast is the meal that sets the "thermostat" for your body. Hence, the saying "Eat breakfast like a king..." is so very true. 

We shouldn't let the morning go by and eat only when we are hungry, 'cause some of us don't get hungry until noon!  We don't lose weight by skipping this important meal. Imagine the stress on our bodies - blood sugar levels!  Neither should we gulp down our breakfast while checking our emails.  Sometimes, you wonder if you finished your whole meal
and look at your plate.  Did I really eat it all?  We are so busy concentrating on other things, emails, phone calls, newspaper, t.v., to do lists that we forget to focus on what's in front of us - our main meal of the day.

Instead, why not sleep early, wake up gently, try and meditate or listen to some soothing music while we get ready and then sit down for some real nourishment?  Let us thank the Lord/Universe, for the beautiful day ahead of us and enjoy our delicious breakfast, be it Eggs and Toast, Cheerios, or Gluten-Free Waffles!

Here's a recipe for a nutritious and delicious wholesome breakfast that has an exotic touch to it. Don't let the recipe throw you off - it's very easy to prepare. If I can do it, believe me, you can, too!

If you don't have cardamoms, just use the cumin seeds and peppercorns. This Indian recipe is actually used for bulgar (cracked wheat).  However, once I became gluten-free, I missed my traditional breakfast and found out that the recipe worked well with oats.

Ingredients

1 Cup Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats
1/2 capful of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Medjool Dates (or Natural Sweetener of your choice)
2 Cardamom Pods
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
3-4 Black Peppercorns
1 tsp. Virgin Coconut Oil
Sea Salt (pinch or to taste)

Place the oats in a glass bowl and cover with approx. 3 cups of warm water.
Add 1/2 capful of apple cider vinegar, stir in and leave to soak overnight.

In the morning, rinse the oats in a strainer.  Put the coconut oil in a pot or pressure cooker.  When the oil is hot, add the whole black peppercorns, cumin seeds and cardamom.  If you want, you can add ground cardamom. I use the whole pods, but I crack or make a slit in them enough for the fragrance to steep out but not the little seeds.  My kids never like the taste of the seeds or cardamom pods in their mouths. If the cardamoms are whole, it's easy to remove when the oatmeal is ready.


When you can inhale the aroma of cumin seeds and cardamom, add the oatmeal. Slightly roast the oats, using a spatula move them around, they shouldn't get too dark or burnt.  Then add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.  At this point, you can add in the 2 Medjool dates.  Put the cover of the pressure cooker on and let it cook.  If using a pressure cooker, I wait to hear one whistle, then turn off the stove and let the oatmeal be for another 10 minutes.  If using a pot, once it reaches a boil, you can lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.  Check and see if the oatmeal is soft and has a nice crunch to it.  If too dry, add some more water.

It's also really delicious if you add some milk towards the end of the cooking.  You could also substitute with any nut milk or rice milk.  Enjoy!

Oats are great way to start the morning.  Oats are a good source of protein, complex carbs and iron.  They contain soluble fiber which helps you stay full longer and helps remove the bad cholesterol while maintaining the good cholesterol that your body needs.

Nice warm comfy food on a rainy spring day!







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