Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crock Pot Experiment

Last night as I cleaned up the kitchen and thought of this morning's early breakfast for the family, I thought I'd try a crock pot oatmeal recipe. I found the only dried fruits we had (apricots and cranberries gone) were raisins and dates and some candied ginger, if that counts. So daughter and I conferred and came up with this:


1-1/2 cups steel-cut oats
1/2 cup pearled barley
5 or more cups water
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup snipped dates
2 slices candied ginger, snipped up
teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for eight hours.

Verdict: Good. The recipe is corrected for a better guess on the water, as my four-plus cups resulted in oatmeal too dry and stuck to the top edges, so this morning I added a cup or so of milk. It was still dense and sticky, but nicely chewy. The family added butter and sugar to theirs and I added some applesauce to mine.

For the future I think I'd enjoy adding some frozen fruit on top just before cranking it up, to slow the cooking a bit, and using "lighter" dried fruits like apricots or dried apples. I will definitely try this again, and I like being a bit adventurous with the barley!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Splendid Oatmeal

I made this one up this morning, as I rummaged about for a couple of elderly apples I wanted to use up (didn't find them, so we got nicer ones) and thought of dried apricots to enhance the flavor . . .

Serves 6 with leftovers

6 cups water (I actually used two cups of milk in mine)
3 apples, diced
6 dried apricots, snipped up small (I thought I had more in the package than that!)
3 slices crystallized ginger (each slice about the size of a quarter)
3 cups regular oats
dash of salt (to taste)

Start water boiling and cut up apples, then apricots, then ginger into it. When it comes to a boil, add oats and turn down to low, cooking to desired consistency.

Verdict: Excellent. I think everyone in the family liked this, though with added sugar at the end. I think it could easily be made with grated fresh ginger as well, and more apricots (if you have more than I did!).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ack--Too Much Life Lately

Well, I have had a couple of nice smoothies this last week, a good apple oatmeal, some giant salads, and a beautiful array of fresh fruit (kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, cara cara oranges, excellent apples, etc.). But I've also had some large distractions (death in the extended family, severe illness in the nearer extended family, potential trips to other states in blizzard weather, and a significant job offer [see 2/1/10]). And then there are other difficulties nearer home, nearer my heart, that I'd rather not mention here.

In any case I've been distracted and distressed, excited and over-extended, and I just haven't been able to be systematic about my eating. And yesterday I was just simply in comfort mode, not consistent with nutritarian principles (though I know that real nurture is more consistent with nutritarian principles). But I just cannot do it all. So here I am to say that for the next stretch of time, I will be content with myself to post when I come across just the right inspiration for a great nutritarian meal or dish, and I'll share that then.

Thanks for reading!