Autumn Wonderland Oatmeal
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Hearty and warming one-bowl breakfast for some extra fall color in your morning.
This oatmeal was "invented" as a way to get rid of the buttermilk left in our fridge after using about a cup of it to marinate some chicken and then forgetting about it for almost a week. Oops!
As it turns out, buttermilk and oatmeal are a match made in heaven. I used to make my oatmeal with 1:1 whole milk and water, but with buttermilk, you get the same richness for a fraction of the calories, plus the added health benefits of eating fermented food.
First of all, assuming you're making your 1-serving basic breakfast oatmeal (1/2 cup dry oatmeal to 1-cup water), subbing in a 1/4 cup of buttermilk to 3/4 cup water only puts you behind about an extra 30-40 calories, while adding protein, healthy full-fats, and probiotics. Couple that with the whole grains and fiber you're already getting in your oatmeal, and you've basically punched up your morning routine by at least a couple points health-wise!
Secondly, buttermilk tends to be a little salty and "funky", as it is a fermented milk product. This pairs shockingly well with the sweetness added by traditional mix-ins, such as dried fruit, honey, and fatty nuts. You end up with the same type of subtle sweet-saltyness that makes sea salt caramel a winner.
“This recipe takes advantage of buttermilk's richness to add warmth for a spiced, warming breakfast, but punch up the acidity with some strawberries and a swirl of greek yogurt and enjoy in the hotter months as well!”
The other key to this recipe is a seasonal offering from Archer Farms, their Rustic Pumpkin Spice Trailmix . I have a hard time eating a whole serving of this mix, because it is very sweet, but it makes an excellent topping here, especially as the white chocolate and yogurt coating starts to melt. Just mix in when you're ready to much and this unsweetened oatmeal becomes the PSL of porridge.
Carbs: 1/2 cup steelcut or classic (not instant) Oatmeal
1/4 cup Rustic Pumpkin Spice trailmix
Produce: 1/2 medium apple, cut into 1cm cubes
Dairy: 1/4 cup buttermilk
Spices: 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Other: 1 cup water
Add 1 cup water and apples to pot, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Add 1/2 cup oats and reduce heat to a low simmer, then stir in 1/4 cup buttermilk.
Cook down until apples are soft and oatmeal has thickened to desired consistency.
Transfer oatmeal to bowl of choice and stir in spices. Top with trailmix, and enjoy!
The second time I made this recipe, I added chestnuts (you can find pre-cooked ones at many Asian super-markets. Just look in the snack aisle!) and really liked how the texture complimented the apples. If it's something you have access to, I would recommend it.
Fruit substitutions: Peaches (or other stone fruit) - prepare the same way. I don't mind skin on my peaches and leaving them will give your oatmeal a very cute pink color! Otherwise, peel and gently simmer for a nice light orange and fruity flavor. Figs - Figs are a great fall fruit and if you can get your hands on them they make a great topping. Sweet and rich, not to mention they make for a very photogenic plate. Honestly, if you make this with figs please share a photo!!!
Other recommended trailmixes: Mega Omega (walnut, almond, pepita, dried cranberry and mango blend)(you can find it at costco), or the seasonal maple trailmix from Archer farms are both good subs if pumpkin spice isn't your thing.
PSL Oatmeal!! (someday I will make a separate post for this) 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (optional), 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp or 1 stick instant coffee, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, sweetener to taste~ Top it with a splash of half and half or whipped cream for even more of a treat.