July 28, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal

Another oatmeal recipe? Is Rugrat Chow becoming an Oatmeal blog? Rest assured that it isn't so. I'm simply having a summer affair with porridge. I've had a friend of mine tell me the same thing ... it's when you dream of having oatmeal for dinner .. or when you jump out of bed in the morning because you're excited about a new Oatmeal recipe you've found. 

In the past few weeks, I've become a huge fan of The Oatmeal Artist. Her recipes are mostly plant-based and when not, they're easily adaptable. I've bookmarked her page and often check her recipes for ingredients I have on hand. Do give her page a like on Facebook. Lauren posted this recipe yesterday morning after her visit to a farmer's market where she picked up some fresh blueberries. I used frozen berries in mine as I wasn't able to pay the Yoder farm a visit this weekend. Also, I like to use frozen berries in my oats because it helps bring the temperature down into an edible range. You see, I make my oatmeal in a microwave. It's usually scalding hot in 3 minutes. Adding frozen blueberries after removing the oats from the microwave prevents the berries from being reduced to mush and cools down the oatmeal surrounding each berry, one little pocket at a time :)

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal

Prep Time: 5-7 min

Ingredients (Serves 1):
  1. 1/2 cup Old-Fashioned (Rolled) Oats
  2. 1 cup Almond Milk
  3. 1 ripe banana (sliced and mashed with the oats)
  4. 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  5. 1 tbsp Slivered Almonds
  6. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  7. 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  8. 1 tbsp Brown Sugar (optional)
  9. A pinch of Coarse (Kosher or Sea) salt.

Mix oats with sliced banana in a microwave safe bowl. Use a fork to mash the banana with and into the oats so that they make a combined mush (umm appetizing ;)!). Add Chia seeds, almond milk, almonds and brown sugar (if using) to top the banana-oatmeal mix.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Once the oats are done, remove from microwave, mix well, Mix in about half the blueberries, salt and 2 tsp lemon juice. I didn't use any sugar on my oatmeal today because a ripe banana is plenty sweet for me. Mix well, transfer to a serving bowl, top off with remaining blueberries. Enjoy!!

The original recipe called for Lemon Extract. I didn't have any handy so I ran a quick Google search on it. Lemon extract is a concentrated lemon flavoring used for baking. It has all the flavor of lemon without the tartness. It is more like the essential oils in lemon zest. A quick replacement for lemon extract would be lemon zest. I didn't have that either but I found several sites with baking tips that said that lemon juice can be substituted in about a 1:2 ratio. So I added 1 tsp of Lemon juice and I couldn't taste anything. I promptly added another 1/2 and then another 1/2 tsp and the results were phenomenal. Not tart at all and the lemon flavoring seemed to bring out a refreshing flavor in the blueberries and made them taste sweeter.  

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving, without Brown Sugar): Calories 428 (Fat Calories 124)
Total Fat 13.8 g; Carbohydrates 72.0 g; Fiber 15.6 g; Sugars 22.1 g; Protein 12.2 g

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