July 21, 2013

Kesar Badaam Oatmeal Kheer

I admit, I've been on an oatmeal kick lately. Its not a bad kick to be on. Oats are one of the healthiest grains for the heart. Oats have Avenanthramides - polyphenolic antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-itching and anti-proliferative activity, and according to Dr. Esselstyn, oats also help stimulate the health of endothelial cells in our arteries. I've written about Oats before and posted this link for a blog post about Oats and Avenanthramides. Oats are supposed to help protect against coronary heart disease, colon cancer, skin irritation and so much more. So fix yourself a good size bowl of oats and enjoy ... they're not just for horses, you know :)

Kesar Badaam Oatmeal Kheer 
This dish was inspired by my longing for Kheer, a traditional Indian milk-based dessert - served for centuries .. and long before Western desserts like Ice creams and cakes took over the Indian Dessert menu. It is traditionally made with long-grain white Basmati rice and today I converted the traditional recipe to a WFPBNO, heart healthy, fiber-rich version. Also, the use of Flax seed meal as a thickening agent makes this version rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. And the other benefit of using flax seed meal as a thickening agent, along with oats, is that I didn't have to slave over this kheer for 3 or 4 hours like my mom still does when making kheer for a special occasion. Mine was ready in under 7 minutes from start to finish. 

Prep Time: 5-7 min

Ingredients (Serves 1):
  1. 2/3 cup Old Fashioned (Rolled) Oats
  2. 1.25 cups Almond Milk
  3. 1 tbsp Raisins
  4. 1/2 tbsp Ground Flax Seed Meal
  5. 1 tbsp Slivered Almonds (Badaam)
  6. 1 tbsp Raw Cashews, crushed (optional)
  7. 1/4 tsp Ground Green Cardamom (Elaichi)
  8. 1/16 tsp (about a pinch and a half) Saffron (Kesar
  9. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup, or more to taste (Brown Sugar or Honey are great too!).
Mix Oats, almond milk, raisins, brown sugar (if using) and ground flax seed meal in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 90 seconds. It will appear really thin and runny at this stage but fear not as it will thicken considerably in the next few minutes. Remove from the oven once the first 90 seconds are done, mix well. At this point, add about half the saffron, cashews and slivered almonds, mix well and again microwave on high for about 90 seconds. Carefully remove from microwave as the bowl will likely be really hot. Do a quick taste test for sweetness (adding  honey or maple syrup now if using one of those). Add ground green cardamom now and mix well. Let sit for a few seconds to allow it to get thicker, if needed. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with remaining almonds, cashews and saffron. Serve :)

Kesar Badaam Oatmeal Kheer
Nutrition Facts (Per Serving): Calories 423 (Fat Calories 138)
Total Fat 15.4 g; Carbohydrates 63.1 g; Fiber 9.0 g; Sugars 19.3 g; Protein 11.6 g

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