If you think you don't like oatmeal, this healthy recipe may change your mind. Steel-cut oats have a firm, almost chewy, texture that barely resembles cooked rolled oats. Oatmeal contains a soluble fiber called beta glucan that has been found to lower cholesterol levels. Almonds are rich in the healthy fats that are associated with a reduced risk for heart disease. Tart cherries are packed with antioxidants, and research shows they can reduce inflammation and speed recovery after strenuous exercise.
Tips for the cook: Steel-cut oats should be prepared on the stovetop, and they take longer to cook than old fashioned oats. To save time, make larger batches, refrigerate leftover portions, and reheat them in the microwave on busy mornings.
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 cup dry, steel-cut oats
1/3 cup 100% tart cherry juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the steel-cut oats. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until the oats begin to thicken. Reduce the heat and let the oats simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. Cook less time for thinner oats, and longer for thicker oats. (Keep in mind the cherry juice will thin them slightly.)
Remove the oatmeal from the heat. Stir in the cherry juice, brown sugar, almond extract, and salt.
Divide the oatmeal into 4 servings. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of dried cherries and 1 tablespoon of chopped almonds. Serve warm. (To reheat steel cut oats, add 1 tablespoon of water or milk per serving, and microwave on high for 60 to 90 seconds.)
Nutrition information for one serving: Calories 251; Total Fat 6.3 g; Saturated Fat 0.8 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 75 mg; Carbohydrate 42 g; Fiber 5.5 g; Sugar 11.4 g; Protein 6.6 g