We are expecting a new addition to our family in July. As I ease in the second half of my pregnancy, I am suddenly ravenous. Strange cravings abound–watercress, sauerkraut, and endive to name a few. Yesterday I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some weekend essentials and somehow came out with dried black mission figs, dried cherries, 2 bags of raisins, dried cherries and prunes–I guess I’m craving dried fruit!
Lucky for me, I have the day off today and the house to myself so it was a great time to make a big bowl of oatmeal suited exactly to my tastes. It turns outs, what I ended up with was one of the tastiest bowls of oatmeal I’ve ever had. Creamy, with a touch of sweetness, this oatmeal had crystallized ginger, dried cranberries, and prunes. For spice I threw in some freshly ground cardamom seeds, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Will you believe me when I say this was the best oatmeal I’ve ever had? Amazing smell, texture, and incredibly satisfying, this oatmeal is just the things for a cozy morning meal.
A note on the recipe: In the mood for color, I picked an assortment of dried fruit, among those, prunes. Long associated with the elderly and digestive issues, prunes have earned a bad reputation. Don’t be afraid, eaten in moderation these little gems have a lot of fiber and tons of anti-oxidants, and are delicious to boot.
For the absolute best results, grind all of your spices fresh. The fragrance is amazing!
Spiced Oatmeal with Dried Fruit
2 cups water ¨1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, sliced
3 tablespoons prunes, sliced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 – 1/2 cup whole milk (depending on your preference)
Bring the water and salt to a boil. Stir in the oats, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. I like my oatmeal al dente, so taste as you go and cook the way you like it. After 7 minutes, stir in the dried fruit. When the oats are tender, add the honey, and then the milk. Spoon into bowls, and serve with a garnish of dried fruit and a drizzle of honey.