This week, carrots are the star of the show. The ingredients in this recipe are the same as those in morning glory muffins: shredded carrots, raisins, orange zest, coconut, and walnuts. It was in Megan Gordon’s most recent book, Whole-Grain Mornings, that I discovered it.
Megan refers to the oatmeal as “porridge” in the headnote, which always makes me think of Goldilocks and her three bears. Even while oatmeal sounds a tiny bit sexier than porridge, it’s still just fancy-up peasant cuisine, in my opinion. Not that I’m against food from the lower classes. With their fine white flour and refined sugar, those royals weren’t doing themselves any favors. I like hearty whole grains to that stuff (am I revealing my peasant origins here?).
So let’s get back to Megan. She publishes recipes and tales on her blog, contributes to The Kitchn, owns a granola company, and manages to squeeze in time to create a fantastic cookbook. The book is packed with whole grain-based breakfast and brunch dishes that are arranged seasonally. I gladly accepted Megan’s offer to receive a review copy (because she makes a good breakfast) while hating myself for not having thought of such a brilliant idea earlier.
I was drawn to this recipe in the winter section. It’s not too sweet to taste like a treat, yet it’s filling enough to keep me full until lunch. Before I cooked this, I had almost forgotten about the steel-cut oats in the back of my cabinet. The oats you grew up eating, before they were rolled flat, are what are used to make rolled oats. They take a little longer to cook than traditional oats, but the extra time is well worth it because of how creamy they are.
Also read: Double Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
I prefer to prepare large quantities of oats all at once. Then, in the morning, I can warm the oats while I prepare my coffee, which requires less time and effort than heating up one of those depressing packages of instant oatmeal. I typically add some plain yogurt to the mixture for protein and richness. (As an added bonus, yogurt cools the oats, which is convenient if you’re an overly enthusiastic breakfast eater like I am.) A new bowl tomorrow morning is something I’m looking forward to.
I want to attempt Megan’s method for making “the absolute best oatmeal,” which can be found at The Fauxmartha and A Couple Cooks, once I finish this batch. People, that’s about as seductive as oatmeal has ever been. Once I’m settled in my new home, I’ll probably have to make some saucy tomato poached eggs and attempt Laura’s take on the farro bowl. I am really excited!
- three water cups
- Light coconut milk, 1 cup (or milk of choice or another cup of water)
- steel-cut oats, 1 cup
- Grated carrots in a cup (about 2 large carrots)
- 2.3 cups of seedless raisins (I used golden raisins)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder14 teaspoon of ginger, ground
- 14 teaspoon of nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 kosher salt spoon
- 12 cup large flakes of unsweetened coconut (I used a combination of large flakes and unsweetened shredded coconut because that’s what I had)
- 1 12 tablespoons grated orange zest (for me, this required 1 12 oranges)
- Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
- a spoonful or more of maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar or brown sugar)
- 12 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional but recommended)
- Bring the milk and water to a boil in a pot. Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, raisins, carrots, and oats after stirring. Then, reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pot as you bring the mixture back to a boil.
- Without stirring, continue to cook the porridge until it starts to thicken and the oats are soft but chewy. Stir the oats after 25 minutes of cooking to inspect their texture (it might need a few more minutes of cooking).
- Add the coconut flakes, orange zest, and vanilla after removing from the heat. To taste, add maple syrup (or another sweetness). Before serving, let the oatmeal rest under cover for 5 minutes.
- When the edges of the walnut pieces are golden and they smell toasty, roast them in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often.
- Oatmeal should be served with a dash of milk or plain yogurt, some walnuts, and both.