Oat groats and blueberries

BlueberryOats.jpg

Nope, this isn’t oatmeal. These are groats – the whole oat before it’s been processed in any way other than having the inedible husk removed. Groats are loaded with insoluble fibre – the kind that’s great for lowering cholesterol.

Groats do take longer to cook than even steel cut oats, but you never end up with mush. Instead the groats are chewy and nutty.

You can find groats at your health food store (or probably a farm feed shop, but I don’t recommend that unless you want a 50 pound bag).

I make a few variations of my groats. This one is a mix of spices, nuts, applesauce and blueberries for a delicious, satisfying breakfast that will take you right through to lunch time.

You can make these groats on the stovetop or in a slow cooker overnight for a “wake up to a hot breakfast already made” day.

Ingredients

1 cup groats

2 ½ cups water

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cardamom

1 tsp vanilla

A pinch of ground cloves

2 Tbsp maple syrup (or more if you like it sweeter– my groats are not sweet at all)

2 Tbsp pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)

2 Tbsp walnuts

2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

½ cup blueberries (I use frozen wild blueberries).

Directions

In a small, covered pot, combine the groats, water, vanilla and spices. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 40 minutes.

Alternately, you can put everything in a small crockpot/slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours.

At 40 minutes you should have cooked groats with a bit of liquid left. Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve.

This dish makes 3 servings and can be served hot or cold. You can store the groats in a covered dish for up to 3 days in the fridge.

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Hola! It’s Aztec soup – spices, veggies and lentils sing in a bowl.

AztecSoup

Here’s a hearty, flavourful soup that’s easy to make and satisfying. I love it with side of toast and sliced avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Alas, this delicious soup that’s loaded with great flavours and textures photographs badly. You’ll just have to trust me that this ugly duckling is beautiful on the inside (of your tummy).

This recipe makes four dinner-sized bowls. Mmmm.

Ingredients

1 medium onion chopped

1 cup (250 ml) red lentils

1 red or green pepper diced

2 carrots sliced into half-moon coins.

1 stalk celery sliced

½ cup fresh or frozen corn

1 large jalapeno pepper minced

2 cloves garlic minced

½ Tbsp olive or coconut oil

4 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, celery, onion, jalapeno and garlic and sauté on medium heat until the onion softens about 5 minutes. Add the diced pepper and sauté a few more minutes. Add all the other ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

This soup will keep covered in the fridge for about 3-4 days and freezes well. It will last for 3 months in the freezer, but even better share with neighbours and friends.