This quick and simple oatmeal is a family favourite. I make it at least once a week at the very minimum. Oatmeal is an inexpensive, plant-based option for an energy boost to start your day. The classic combination of apples and cinnamon are reminiscent of apple pie, a comfort food for many.
This guilt-free recipe is loaded with superfoods including cinnamon, coconut oil and chia. The caramelized apples which are the star of this show provide sweetness to this dish without any added sugar. Whenever I reach for an apple, Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote often comes to mind: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It almost feels cliché writing it here, but there is truth behind its sentiment.
Apples have symbolized love and fertility throughout history. What’s not to love about apples? These super fruits are a natural, whole-food source of pectin which is a soluble fibre that cleanses the intestines by binding with waste products and flushing them out of the body. Pectin also supports gut health by encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria (a healthy gut is vital for overall health). And there’s more, pectin helps keep cholesterol levels down and balance blood sugar levels. Foods that are naturally high in fibre keep you feeling fuller. Apples are also loaded with antioxidants which help prevent disease and help to boost your immune system, especially when you are feeling stressed. Still not convinced? Apples are alkaline, easily digestible and are hydrating as they are composed of 85% water. When purchasing apples, practice selecting organic fruits with the most vibrant, richest colours (this rule of thumb also applies to the majority of fruits and vegetables).
Cinnamon, the strong flavour note in this recipe, not only tastes lovely - especially in apple pie - but is also a wonderfully healthful spice that helps battle candida (overgrowth of yeast), boost digestion and help relieve PMS symptoms. Cinnamon is also highly regarded for its ability to fight colds, arthritis and high blood pressure.
This recipe also calls for coconut oil, which in its most natural and unrefined form, is healing, boosts immunity and is one of the few oils that is safe to cook with at high temperatures. While coconut is one of the only plant-based sources of saturated fat, it does have some great benefits that are not to be ignored, including its ability to help boost energy levels, reduce LDL cholesterol, mega antibacterial qualities and reduction of inflammation (which causes disease in the body). Be sure to select organic unrefined, virgin coconut oil.
Oats are a versatile grain with many health properties. They are a great source of carbohydrates, in addition to being a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, meaning that they are digested slowly and will not cause your sugar levels to crash. They are also one of the richest sources of silicon which is necessary for healthy bones and skin. I recently attended a cooking demo at Gluten Free Garage, hosted by Ashley Wittig, the owner of local Toronto Bunner’s Vegan and Gluten-Free Bake Shop. During the demo Ashley Wittig explained that oats are gluten-free by nature but are sometimes contaminated during processing or even in the field during production. If you are celiac or have a gluten sensitivity be sure to read your labels and look for oats that have a “gluten-free” label on the packaging.
Note on spiralizing: I absolutely love my spiralizer and enjoying using it to make innovative plant-based recipes and I swear by the Paderno Spiralizer 3-Blade from Williams-Sonoma (this is not an endorsement, I’ve tried a few and this is the best I’ve found to date). While I used my spiralizer today in preparing the apples for this post, I do want to stress that it is not necessary for this recipe, so please do not be discouraged if you do not own a spiralizer. I have made this dish plenty of times with chopped apples and it always turns out just as good. As an added bonus there will be less to cleanup if you just use a knife and a cutting board!
And now for the recipe…
(Makes 2 servings)
Step 1: Caramelized Apples
You will notice that this recipe does not call for added sugar, that’s because the natural sugars in these apples will caramelize beautifully, with no sweeter required. I like to use Red Delicious, Ambrosia, Royal Gala or any other firm apple that is on the sweeter side for this recipe.
2 Organic apples spiralized or chopped (this may seem like a lot but they will shrink down once cooked)
1 generous tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon organic unrefined, virgin coconut oil
Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add apples and sauté stirring often until tender and caramelized. This will take about 8 minutes.
Step 2: Cinnamon Oatmeal
For timing purposes, I like to start the oatmeal once I have begun sautéing the apples.
1 cup organic quick cooking oatmeal
1.5 cups rice milk or other milk alternative
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon (to taste)
A splash of good quality vanilla extract
A dash of Himalayan salt
1 generous tablespoon of organic unrefined, virgin coconut oil
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Once the oatmeal begins to thicken reduce heat and stir often (about 6-8 minutes) until you reach the desired consistency.
Step 3: Bringing it all together
Raw coconut flakes
Raw almond butter
Pour your oatmeal into serving bowls and top with caramelized apples, maple syrup, raw coconut flakes, chia seeds, and a drizzle of almond butter. All of these toppings are entirely optional. Have fun with it and feel free to get creative and try out other toppings like hemp, or other nuts and seeds!
Much love, #LoveWildLiveFree
(Use organic ingredients)
Carr, Kris. Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live like You Mean It! Guilford, Ct: Skirt!, 2011. Print.
Savona, Natalie. Wonderfoods: The Best Nutrition and Recipes for Optimum Health. London: Quadrille Limited, 2006. Print.