Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Favorite Oatmeal

All my life, I thought I hated oatmeal. Because in my mind, oatmeal was gooey, slimey, mushy, plain, and gross. Well, then I started making this oatmeal. I got the idea from a random facebook post. Put eggs in the pot with the oatmeal?? Crazy. Crazy genius, I mean. (Sorry...) My problem with oatmeal (besides the above adjectives) is that it is low on protein and fat unless you doctor it up pretty good. I am one of those mommies who has been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 7 years; combine that with unstable blood sugar, and I need my protein and fat.

blueberries and butter - my big guy's bowl

So! Here is my favorite oatmeal. Many variations would taste equally delicious. Since my middle guy is currently dairy free, this recipe is dairy free. If it weren't for him, it most certainly would not be dairy free. He he.

applesauce and coconut oil - middle guy

Disclaimer: There are many opinions about oatmeal regarding desired consistency. I admit that not all people like their oatmeal thick and kind of chewy. If you are one of those people, do not try my recipe. Or try it and change your mind...

maple syrup and butter - yes, that might be a lot of syrup...

My Favorite Oatmeal
2 cups old fashioned oats, gluten-free if desired
1-2 T Bragg's apple cider vinegar 
The night before: Add oatmeal to a pot (big enough to cook it in); add vinegar, and then add water enough to cover the oatmeal and then some. 
2-4 T coconut oil
2-4 eggs (depends on how rich/filling you want it)
2 T gelatin (I like to use grassfed, currently using Great Lakes)
dash salt
The morning of: Add a little more water, maybe 1/2 cup or so, stir, and turn burner on to medium. Add coconut oil, gelatin, and dash of salt. Add the eggs - 4 whole eggs makes this amount of oats pretty fluffy. My current favorite thing to do is just to use 4 eggs yolks (and use the resulting whites in these meringue cookies!) as it makes the oatmeal creamy but keeps the histamine content down for me (more on that in another post). 

this pot has one whole egg plus two yolks  
Keep mostly covered, stirring here and there, and turn heat down to medium-low once it starts to bubble. Add more water if needed (if it starts looking more like playdough than oatmeal). Keep cooking at a low temperature until thick.

...not done...

I like to eat my oatmeal with a big pat of butter and maple syrup. Or maple syrup marshmallows, if you happen to have those lying around. Sometimes we add blueberries or cinnamon at the very end. If you stir maple syrup into the leftovers (Ha! Leftovers?) and then fry them in some butter, they are some delicious toasty oatcakes.

melty marshmallow happiness

little guy's - butter and applesauce

He ate that WHOLE bowl.

Thanks for reading! Happy eating!
-- Christine

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Meringue Snack Cookies

I first ate the 'regular' version of these cookies at a party. I told my husband they were my dream cookie and went home and googled them. Actually, I think I googled them on the way home. Here is the recipe that inspired my 'real-food' version - Chocolate Corn Flake Meringue Cookies.

These are delicious and crunchy, slightly chewy, dessert, snack, or breakfast cookies. I like to use maple syrup instead of sugar so I can call them a 'snack' instead of dessert. (wink) There is still sugar in the chocolate chips, of course - but you can leave those out. (Crazy!) I think I'll do that once in awhile for the boys so they can eat them later in the day and not be kept awake from the caffeine. I love meringues, so I added extra egg whites. Since these use maple syrup instead of sugar, they take longer to bake, but it...is...worth...it...

Meringue Snack Cookies
4 egg whites
1/2 cup maple syrup
dash of salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup organic corn flakes (optional - if skipping, add more nuts and/or coconut; use gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup raw pecan pieces (soaked and dehydrated if desired)
1/2 cup chocolate pieces or chips (we use Enjoy Life - dairy-free, soy-free)  
Mix egg whites gently until they start thickening, then at high speed until foamy. Add maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peaks form. 
Gently fold in the corn flakes, coconut, pecans, and chocolate pieces.  
Drop on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in whatever size you prefer (see note below) and bake at 325° F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn the oven off and leave the cookies in. Do not remove the pan until the oven is completely cooled.

Note: If you make large cookies, you will have to turn the oven down to 200° F for 30 minutes to an hour before turning it off and leaving the cookies in. Otherwise, the cookies will still be soft inside and will fall apart.

And this is why you should use parchment paper...

Store in an airtight container.

Thanks for reading! Happy eating!
-- Christine