During the winter months, we’re very much an oatmeal family. Most mornings you’ll find us in the kitchen with the coffee and oatmeal on the stove in unison. Most often it’s old-fashioned oats, straight-up (or with raisins), but lately I’ve taken to chopping or grating tart, flavourful apples and stirring them in as the oats simmer. With a hit of cinnamon, it’s like apple pie or crumble, steaming in a bowl. For breakfast.
There’s no trick to it, really – I began making apple oatmeal back when my son was younger and would eat his way around the perimeter of an apple, leaving the fleshy tops and bottoms intact on the couch, coffee table or edge of the bathtub. I would retrieve them and grate them into oatmeal, not wanting half the fruit to go to waste.
If you’re starting with a whole apple, you’ll only need about half – finely chop or grate it, with its skin, and add to your oatmeal as it simmers on the stove. (I generally cook a cup of dry oats with 2 cups of water.) Add about a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon and stir as it cooks – old-fashioned oats will take about ten minutes; steel-cut oats longer. The apples add fiber and sweetness, as would pears if you want to make the switch. Ripe pears will soften even further into the oats.
Serve your cinnamon-scented apple oatmeal warm, sprinkled with brown sugar or drizzled with maple syrup and milk. A great start to a cold day.