Okay, I'm obsessed with oats now.
I mean, they've got so much going for them, and they make me feel so good - I think of them as the popular super food that everyone's just got to have, got to know. I recently found that oats are okay for those with gluten-sensitivity, someone like me, and this truth about oats, has made me go crazy for them - I'm experimenting with smoothies, muffins, everything! They really help with baking, as they hold together the ingredients, making the outcome firm and moist, they also hold lots of moisture, instead of crumbly and flaky like many gluten-free baked goods.
And I just love that after having them for breakfast, whether in porridge or smoothies, I can start my day feeling nourished and full of energy. No need for caffeine!
Last year, I would make myself smoothies for the morning, blending fresh ingredients such as bananas and blueberries, yogourt and cinnamon together the night before, refrigerating it in a large container until I awoke, when I would pour some into a travel mug and leave the house in a rush - often forgetting an important project for school or even my mittens that protected my hands from the brisk wind, as well as keeping them warm as they wrapped around a cold mug, in my wake.
That was before I woke up early enough to allow myself the time to enjoy those dreaded hours, still dark before the sun rose, and just wanted to sleep as much as possible, without wasting a second on making and eating breakfast at home. However, as the days became shorter and jackets became heavier last winter, as they have begun to now, I replaced my mug full of smoothie with a hot drink to warm my hands, and left breakfast behind me, where I began learning to appreciate it at the kitchen counter before I left - keeping warm all the while.
This morning my parents and I awoke to a late start, and incidentally, a late breakfast, which then causes morning coffee time and then lunch to be pushed back farther into the day. I write this before lunch today, at three in the afternoon just as dad comes in the door with lunch in his hands - soup.
But today, I took coffee time on a healthier route, and announced it to mum and dad,
"I'm making something for you!"
I planned a detour from the unnatural high to low caused by the caffeine. Instead of grinding beans and putting them at the bottom of the pot, I heated apple juice on the stove, and as it simmered softly a comforting aroma of spices and cooked apples filled the kitchen, and then laid out delicate cups on matching saucers along the counter top.
Autumn smells filled the rooms.
Then, all the ingredients went into the blender, and maybe in excitement, I pressed the button to blend, without checking the speed or fit of the lid.
Across the counter, little droplets of smoothie were scattered, and oats congregated on the inside of the blender's lid, although luckily they were too large to escape from inside. It even got on me, and I had to run my arm under the cold water from the tap to relieve the burning sensation from the hot liquid. Fortunately, there was no evidence of a burn a short while later. Although evidence of my carelessness was left along the back splash, and on the jars that line the counter.
"You've left quite the mess here,"
Mum informed me as she wiped it clean.
I served the drinks, and we sat at the counter cherishing the warmth and taste, the rain heavily falling outside the house, where we were nestled in comfortably.
Don't let cold weather and a bad nights sleep get the best of you, and don't opt for an unsatisfying cup of too-strong coffee to wake you up for only a few hours either, instead, try this perfect fall drink, which warms you right up, and will get you going with all it's vitamins and nutrients, and the energy that's packed in!
Apple and oats go perfectly with the blend of spices, and the almond add a perfect punch to your energy drive. This smooth and comforting smoothie is the perfect replacement for summer's popsicles and drinks, too cold to imagine having at this time.
When blending the ingredients, make sure it is on the lowest setting to begin with, and hold down the lid as you press the button. For a smoother drink, grind the almonds beforehand, or try replacing them with other nuts such as pecans, or even dried fruit such as dried dates.
|Everything - before apple juice - in the blender|
1 1/2 c apple juice
1 c water
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c unsalted almonds
1/2 c quick oats (wheat-free)
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
In a saucepan, bring the apple juice and water to a simmer.
Add spices and simmer for another 5 minutes.
In a blender, combine almonds, oats and maple syrup, and pour in apple juice mixture.
Blend on low until smooth.
Pour into mugs and serve.
Labels: almonds, apple, breakfast, Cinnamon, clove, drink, fall, ginger, harvest, maple syrup, nutmeg, Oats, protein, smoothie