The Best Bowl Of Oatmeal

Best Bowl Of Oatmeal

The Best Sweet Oatmeal

This almost tastes like custard it is so creamy and delicious. For me it is all about the balance between sweet and salty. I like to cook a little bit of sweet and salt into the oats while they are cooking so any adjustments in the bowl are only for fine tuning. Taste your oats after they are done- before you steam them to the finish so you can adjust for your liking prior to serving- the add ins are just that.

I also like adding the sweet into the cooking oatmeal because I find it’s a bummer when the add ins brings the temperature of the oatmeal down- I like my oatmeal hot!

Oatmeal Prep

1c oatmeal

1 stick cinnamon* optional

3c water

1t lemon juice

1/2t pink salt

In a non reactive pot, add in the oats, salt, lemon juice and water and let stand overnight on the stove- no heat, just to soak or soak for at least 8 hours. The acid from the lemon helps to break down the phytic acid in the grain, making it easier to digest and absorb the nutrient content in the oats- this goes for all grains! You can cook in the soaking liquid. Soaking also substantially shortens cooking time for grains which is always a plus.

Oats after soaking, ready to be cooked!
Oats after soaking, ready to be cooked!

The Oatmeal

In addition to the ingredients already in the pot soaked, add:

1/4c coconut sugar or maple syrup or more to taste

2t cinnamon or more to taste

1T coconut oil

More water as needed during cooking.

Over medium heat, bring the contents of the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and allow to slowly cook until the desired creaminess is achieved about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add:

1/4c cashew or other nut milk

1T coconut oil

Let this steam on the stovetop off heat for 5 minutes- taste this then let steam. After 5 minutes or so mix well and taste again. In an individual bowl, you may add whatever mix ins you love, I add more coconut oil, and maple syrup with a sprinkling of more cinnamon, maybe a pinch of salt.

Steamed with nut milk, no heat
Steamed with nut milk, coconut oil, cinnamon- no heat

Other amazing add ins:

  • Fresh fruit, like bananas, berries of any kind
  • Dried fruit, could also be cooked in from the beginning, also added during the initial soak to soften up even more
  • Nuts for added protein, walnuts and pecans are particularly delicious.

Kichari (Lentil Rice DELICIOUSNESS)

*kichari gluten free

Ellen’s Kichari (lentil & rice porridge)

 Kichari means mixture, usually of two grains. “Kichari may well be the most perfect therapeutic recipe of all because it detoxifies the entire system, while kindling the body’s digestive fires called agni.” This recipe is nourishing and easy to digest, and can literally be paired down to just the rice and beans and still be utterly satisfying. It can be eaten more on the soupy side or as a thicker porridge. SO.SIMPLE.SO.GOOD.

Wheat-free, Gluten-Free

1c red lentils or yellow (dahl), washed and drained

1c white basmati rice

1 medium onion, diced

1t turmeric

1T fresh ginger, sliced or grated/ or 1t dried

1t mustard seeds

1t cumin seeds or 2t ground cumin

1/2t black pepper

1t pink salt

3T extra virgin olive oil

6c boiling water

1t salt or to taste

Bring 6c of water to a boil, more if needed

 In a large soup pot, toast the spices (cumin, mustard seeds, pepper, turmeric, salt and ginger- if using dried) until aromatic. Add the olive oil and sauté the onions, and fresh ginger until golden and soft. Add the rice and coat well in the spice mixture. Add in the lentils and cover with the hot water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, uncovered, adding additional water if needed and or desired, stirring occasionally. In the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Adjust the seasonings before serving. If there is excess water, cover the pot to allow it to be absorbed. Serve optionally with fresh cilantro.

Basic Brown Rice

*brown rice

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain. It is naturally gluten free and is a staple in my diet. Unlike white rice, brown rice has all of it’s goodness intact and thus contains a ton of nutrition otherwise lost in the refining process. Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains. Additionally, it contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid.

Brown rice is high in fiber, extremely low in sodium, and is composed of 80% complex carbohydrates. Because brown rice is a whole food, it takes longer to digest than white rice, providing the body with a sustained energy.

I make at least 4 cups (more if you are cooking for several peeps) of rice so I have plenty of rice for use during the week. Typically the first night I will eat the grains steamed, mixed with olive oil and nutritional yeast in addition to greens, tempeh, tofu beans etc. The following days, I can use any leftovers in soups or in stir-fries or bean loaves, it could also be re-steamed and/or re-heated.

Soaking Brown Rice
I soak my rice a day in advance, usually before I go to bed or 1st thing in the morning (at least 8 hours); I rinse, wash and drain as much rice as I would like to prepare and then cover the washed grains with fresh water and put that on the stove top or counter (covered to keep unwanted pests and dust out) over night, and cook the grains the following day or later that evening. I find the rice to be more flavorful but also more digestible when soaked. It also cooks about 10-12 minutes quicker than un-soaked rice. It is up to you whether you refresh the water or use the soaking liquid to cook the rice in.

Here is some more information about soaking vs. not soaking brown rice from Integrative Nutrition:

Phytic acid is a naturally occurring organic acid in the outer layer or bran. All grains contain phytic acid to some degree, but brown rice contains a relatively high level. When brown rice with untreated phytic acid enters the intestines, the phytic acid mixes with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. The chemical reaction that takes place prohibits those minerals from being absorbed and utilized by the body. Some sources say that eating grains with untreated phytic acid will cause the body to lose bone mass and will eventually lead to overall mineral deficiency. However, soaking brown rice and other grains will eliminate the consequences of phytic acid by producing beneficial enzymes and raising the amount of nutrients present in brown rice. Others believe that un-soaked brown rice is healthier, as it stays in the digestive system longer than soaked grains, thus providing more energy.

The Benefits of Brown Rice

  • ·  Generates energy
  • ·  Promotes good digestion
  • ·  Quenches thirst
  • ·  Alleviates diarrhea caused by spleen-pancreas deficiency
  • ·  Relieves mental depression

 Buying & Storing

Look for quality brown rice that contains a small amount of green grains, I always purchase organic and store it in airtight glass jars in a dark cupboard. My go-to is short grain, however there are several varieties including sweet, long grain, basmati, jasmine etc. that will all vary in taste and tooth feel…I suggest finding your favorite! Short Grain Brown rice is a grain I always have in the house….ALWAYS….

Basic Brown Rice

Makes 3 cups 
Serves approx. 4

1c brown rice

2 cups of water or vegetable broth

1/2t pink salt

*Directions:

Place all ingredients in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat  and let it cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes on a lower heat. I let about 2/3rds of the cooking liquid cook out uncovered and then when the water is barely visible in the pot, I lower the heat to it’s lowest setting and cover it. I find this helps from the sticky rice water from seeping out of the sides and making a mess, it also keep the rice from becoming water logged and soggy.

Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, if you are not experienced with cooking rice, you’ll want to check on it about 10 minutes prior to the anticipated finish time so as not to burn the rice to the bottom (If you do burn it, it is okay, just try it again!)

Turn off the heat heat and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve. One of my favorite ways of eating brown rice is to drizzle it with good extra virgin olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and toss it all together well….DELICIOUSNESS

*May also be prepared in a rice cooker with the same ratio of ingredients.