We cooked this easy breakfast dish for our Grand Opening events and had a lot of great feedback about the flavor and questions about how we made it. The big secret was adding locally sourced shredded apples covered in cinnamon 10 or 15 minutes into the cooking process and letting them simmer until they are soft and incorporated into the oatmeal. The aroma and taste of this breakfast is enough to get even the most reluctant morning people to your breakfast table and there's a host of health benefits to the whole food ingredients. Oatmeal is an all star hunger fighter because it contains soluble fiber which helps you feel full for a longer period of time. In other words it may delay that mid-morning hunger that leads to excessive snacking before lunch. High fiber diets can reduce the risk of high blood pressure. The American Heart Association reccomends "adults consume 25 grams of fiber each day for a 2,000 calorie diet."
Apples, according to Medical News Today, are one of the top 10 healthiest foods and this is a great way to incorporate a few more into your daily diet. Just some of the benefits include reducing your risk of stroke, lowering levels of bad cholesterol and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, they are Washington grown which means you're supporting agriculture in our state.
Cinnamon may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease by "reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL ("the good") cholesterol." Some studies also suggest that cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels by "decreasing the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream after a meal."
In short, make this a part of your breakfast routine and feel great!
2-3 medium crisp apples - we used Honey Crisp and Granny Smith but Jazz or Pink Lady would be great choices as well
1 Cup Oats
2 Cups Water
3 Tablespoons brown sugar (you can substitute honey or maple syrup if you prefer)
1-2 Teaspoons Cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup plain or vanilla Greek Yogurt
1. Peel and shred your apples using the medium or large wholes of your grater.
2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oats and cook about 2 minutes until they're lightly toasted. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add your shredded apples.
3. After the oats have cooked, stir in your sugar and salt. Continue cooking and stir occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
4. Simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes.
5. Divide portions into bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons of yogurt and a little honey.
Optional toppings for this could be milk, chopped nuts (we like pecans or walnuts), golden raisins, cranberries or other chopped dried fruit.