breakfast

Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries

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We love a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast in winter. Oatmeal is one of the most filling breakfast foods out there, but it’s also, well, a little dull on its own. So we’ve been experimenting with ways to spice it up, and came up with this recipe for Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries.

 

This Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries recipe works for a number of reasons: it’s super easy to make, and you can make multiple servings and save them for later, so you don’t have to cook from scratch every day. It will also keep you full until lunchtime, so you’re not tempted to snack on unhealthy stuff before your next meal.

 

Best of all, Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries tastes amazing. We can’t think of a better way to jazz up oatmeal than with the sweet burst of berries. Because you’ll be heating them on the stovetop, this is the perfect way to use some of the less-than-perfect fruits from your summer farmers’ market haul; save the prettier specimens for topping cereal or granola, or eating as snacks straight out of the bowl.

 

Seared Oatmeal with Stewed Berries

Makes 4 large or 6 small servings

 

Ingredients

4 cups plus 1/3 cup water, divided

1 cup organic steel-cut oats

4 cups mixed berries—strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

3 tablespoons honey or agave

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

1/3 cup water

Fresh mint (optional)

Whipped cream (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the 4 cups water to a boil. Gradually stir in the oats. When the oatmeal starts to thicken, about 5 minutes, turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove the cooked oatmeal from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Lightly grease an 8” x 8” baking dish. When the oatmeal has cooled for several minutes but is still a loose consistency, pour it into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Allow to cool almost completely, and then place in the refrigerator, covered with foil or plastic wrap, to set, preferably overnight. Cut into equal squares or rectangles.

  3. In a large saucepan, combine all but 1/2 cup berries, the honey, orange zest, and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. When the berries soften and the juice turns syrupy, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining berries.

  4. Place a small amount of butter, margarine, or canola oil in the bottom of a saute pan and heat over medium. When warm, add a slice of the chilled oatmeal, and cook until beginning to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until golden brown, about five minutes. Repeat with as many servings of oatmeal as needed.

  5. Place a rectangle of seared oatmeal on a plate, and spoon the stewed berries over the top. Garnish with mint or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

 

Berries for Breakfast: 7 Ways to Use Your Favorite Fruit to Start the Day

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Berries are the undisputed champ of the breakfast table, and with good reason: they’re not just a healthy way to kick off your day, they’re also incredibly versatile and full of flavor. And did we mention crowd-pleasing? We can’t think of another food that’s universally loved by both adults and kids.

And since there’s evidence that eating something sweet with breakfast can actually help you lose weight and keep it off, we think it’s a great time to make strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries a regular part of your breakfast routine. Here are seven of our favorite ways to enjoy berries for breakfast:

  1. In smoothies. Mix with cow’s milk or yogurt (or non-dairy milk or yogurt) and a banana for a rich, creamy texture. Or for a powerful antioxidant boost, blend with a handful of spinach or kale, plus a teaspoon of fresh ginger for a zingy wake-up drink.
  2. Fresh on top of oatmeal or cereal. Gluten free or low-carb? No problem! Try this nut porridge recipe, and sub out the apples and raisins with your favorite berry mix.  
  3. Fresh on top of pancakes or waffles, or a bowl of yogurt. We also love them cooked into the pancakes or waffles—just drop a handful of berries into the batter, once you’ve poured it into the waffle iron or skillet—with yogurt drizzled over the top! Add a handful of chopped walnuts for extra protein.
  4. Blended with acai, another superfood, to make acai bowls. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries all lend sweetness to the acai, and the combination creates a vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant blast that’s unmatched by any single food. Top with granola and more fresh berries, or for a tropical twist, add mango and pineapple chunks.
  5. In baked treats like muffins, scones, popovers, coffee cake, and sweet breads. Use a .5:1 mix of wheat and all-purpose flour for extra fiber, or try experimenting with almond flour for a gluten-free, protein-rich, flavor-packed breakfast you can grab on the go.
  6. Cooked into conserves or jams and spread over freshly made warm bread or toast.
  7. In homemade granola bars and oat squares. We’re partial to this vegan berry oat square recipe, featuring blueberries and strawberries, mixed with oatmeal, spices, and maple syrup.