I love apple pie. It’s in my genes really. My dad is a complete apple pie fanatic. I think it got into his blood growing up in the Midwest (along with a love of corn). Apple pie isn’t really all that healthy though, and when you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast, pie isn’t exactly on the list of things your mom would approve of. While I can’t say this adaptation of pie for breakfast is a health food, it’s definitely better for you than stealing a few bites of that leftover pie in the fridge.
What you need (makes 6 servings):
4 cups old-fashioned oats (quick-cooking)
4 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup natural, unsweetened apple sauce
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves (optional – you could use 1tsp. apple pie spice blend to substitute the cloves, allspice, and nutmeg)
1/2 tsp. ground allspice (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup flour (whole wheat would work)
1/2 cup cold butter cut into pea-sized pieces
For the topping, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 cup of oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter in a small bowl either with a pastry cutter or by rubbing the ingredients together with your fingers (I like to use my fingers but you have to work quickly to keep the butter from getting too warm). Spread mixture over a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for about 35 minutes or until crisp. Crumble into a bowl and set aside.
For the oatmeal, pour the milk into a large saucepan and add ground spices. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming. Once the milk is boiling gently, add 3 cups of oatmeal. Stir frequently until the oats begin to thicken – about five minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the applesauce and continue stirring frequently until desired consistency is reached. It will thicken the more you stir. If it goes too far for your tastes, add a little more milk (I love thick oatmeal).
To serve, spoon oatmeal into bowls and top with crisp topping. If there’s any leftover topping (yeah, right!), you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge to put over baked apples or pears for dessert later.
What better way to accompany a delicious hot breakfast of heart-healthy oats than an indulgent latte? The following instructions are super-easy and will leave you wondering why you ever spent $4 at that pretentious coffee shop.
Simply brew your favourite dark roast coffee (use a scoop or two more than you would usually…and using a French press will yield even better results, but it’s not necessary). Fill your desired coffee mug halfway with whole milk and then pour into a large microwaveable measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds. Carefully remove from microwave and add sugar if desired (powdered sugar dissolves easily and helps keep the milk foam light). Now, here’s the only tricky part: insert a whisk into the milk and roll back and forth violently between your hands (this and kneading bread are two great ways to relieve stress in the kitchen). The milk will start to foam. Continue whisking for 45-60 seconds. [Or, if you have a clean jar sitting around, you can do it Martha Stewart’s way.] Fill your mug halfway with brewed coffee, pour in milk, spoon remaining foam on top, and enjoy!