Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pear and Blueberry Oat Bowl

Best. Breakfast. Ever. You can make these a million different ways, but the combination of pear, apple, and blueberry is always a winner. It can be made on the spot, or prepared in advance (and this actually makes the granola taste better). What seems like a lot of work is redeemed by the fact that pantry ingredients, like oats and pears, always seem to be around. What you lose in time is gained in reliability! You gotta love those weekend brunch dishes you can count on. No one ever counts on poached eggs, let me tell you...

There are three components to the oat bowl: homemade granola, non-dairy milk, and a raw fruit topping. This recipe will serve two to three people, depending on how ravenous ya'll feel.

1. For the granola: In a wide saute pan, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and toast a cup of raw large flake oats over medium heat. The wide pan will make this go faster. You want them to lose their raw taste and develop a golden brown colour, without over-toasting to a burn. Add in a little handful each of milled flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and any type of healthy puffed cereal. I like to used puffed millet or puffed rice, as they contain just one ingredient and provide a nice variety in texture to contrast the oats. Toast the new ingredients a minute more. Add in a big handful of dried berries. (I adore dried blueberries and cherries, but raisins are a reliable backup). Next you must add in a sweetening syrup. This can be anything from maple-syrup, to honey, to agave, to yacon, to a combo of anything, or cut with stevia. You'll need enough of your chosen sweetener to bring the mixture together into a crunchy granola; but this would mean a lot more syrup than is healthy. Water would only make things soggy, so my solution is to use a big spoon of nut butter, or some chopped up fruit which lends a bit of its liquid. I like to use blueberries. Choose what you like best and keep stirring the pan until it looks like a mixture you want to devour. When the dry ingredients are coated and sticky, put it off to the side to cool.

2. Non-dairy milk: You could just use your favourite almond/rice/soy milk, but I really like making banana milk. It suits the flavours going on in the above granola really well. In a blender, combine 2 frozen bananas, 2 cups of water, some soaked dates, and a lot of cinnamon. This is good on its own, but if you like a creamier milk then toss in a few tablespoons of hemps seeds or some type of ground powder like lucuma, or ground flax to thicken the mixture.

3. Raw fruit topping: Bosc pears and local apples never fail.

Tumble your sticky oats into a bowl, pour over your "milk" (and if you've done this fast enough, the oats will sizzle from still being hot), garnish with fruit, and you're talkin' one happy breakfast.

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