Sweet and Hearty Oatmeal

From Lori Palmer


One cup organic steel cut oats
2 organic apples
1/3 cup whole fresh or frozen cranberries

2-4 medjool dates, depending on desired level of sweetness, seeds removed
cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste
filtered water 1 large pear
Nuts and fruit for topping

Blend the apples, dates, and cranberries and enough water to make 4 cups of apple/date "juice". I use a Vitamix, but a food processor will do as well. I don't recommend a juicer that leaves the pulp behind because you want the whole apple and date fiber as well as the juice. Add the spices to taste. Begin with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg and salt to start then adjust based on your preferences when you make the next batch. (To adjust recipe size, ratio is one cup of liquid to every 1/4 cup of oats).

Rinse the cup of oats thoroughly for several minutes under cool water and drain completely. Combine the oats and the apple date juice in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight if you have the time. You can omit the soak overnight, but I find the cooking time decreases and the oats have a better texture this way.

Cube pear with skin on, and combine with oats in a pan and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 -30 minutes, a little longer if there was no overnight soak. Note the apple "juice" bubbles differently than using just water, and you will need a pan with a lid for the simmer. The bubbles are known to POP and jump right onto your stove top --- or your skin --- and trust me --- it is HOT. Be mindful the first few times you make this until you get to know the sound and feel of it cooking right.

Top with whatever you have on hand ~ nuts, raisins, banana slices, strawberries, etc. Enjoy!