I’ll Crumble for Ya….

 

oatmeal platter
Photo by Monserrat Soldu00fa on Pexels.com

 

Oh, did you need an ear worm this morning?  One to provide a soundtrack for this entry?Substitute “crumble” for “tumble” and here you go.

Crumbles are great for scratching the dessert itch while providing a lot of fiber, not a lot of sugar, and fruit. They go together pretty quickly and only take about 30 minutes to bake. I make them in a 9″x9″ pan. It fits in my toaster oven so I don’t have to heat up the house with the big oven.

My method is a spin off of the one in Trina Hanhamann’s The Nordic Diet. I cut the recipe in half and added some extra spices and leave out the chopped almonds and use different fruit.

For four servings, you will need:

Fruit, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Apples are great as are pears. Cherries  (pitted) work as do all berries except strawberries. Fresh, canned, or frozen all work well.  Toss with a couple of tablespoons of flour or cornstarch and a couple of tablespoons of your preferred sweetener and cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to taste. I use coconut sugar.

Oatmeal, preferably old fashioned rolled. Steel cut would not work in here at all–they just aren’t intended for baking.  About a cup and a half will nicely cover the fruit. Mix with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add a third of a cup of sugar, a dash of salt, and pour over the fruit.

Dot the top with butter, either dairy or vegan.

Now pop into a 375 (350 if using a glass pan) oven for about 30 minutes. When the top is nicely browned and the fruit is bubbly, it’s done. Let it cool for about 10 minutes or so before tucking in to it. A dollop of plain or vanilla yogurt makes a nice topping as would a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

And with all that fruity and oat-y goodness I see no reason why you couldn’t have some for breakfast. I know I have, and I will do it again.

Oatmeal Morning

e77e12fab99df33a7a99cd3b2e63bb90.jpg

Rain came through the soybean field on Saturday. It finally broke the endless string of days hovering between the high 80s and low 90s with tropical humidity levels. The windows have been opened since then.

The six a.m. sun turned the condensation on the window pink. The crickets’ songs of harvest time harmonized with the fan’s steady whir, gently waking me up. Make coffee, mix Oakley’s breakfast (he wakes up when he hears the microwave beep), then sip coffee while I offer prayers and intention to The Great Mystery. A few lines in my journal, and we begin the day.

That’s pretty much how every day starts. Today I had a definite craving for oatmeal. I’ve had yogurt or eggs or toast with a reasonable amount of nut butter on it and some fruit, but this morning I wanted oatmeal. Maybe it was the coolness of morning, but that called to me. So I had a packet of instant oatmeal with flax, a spoon of almond butter, and blackberries. I do instant because the need for portion control overrides the other benefits of plain ol’ rolled oats, plus you can’t make cookies with it, so it prevents scarfing down the dough.

If you can actually get the cookies in the oven or not sit and fudge with portion sizes, whole grain or rolled oatmeal is a great breakfast. The fiber fills you up, helps to keep cholesterol in line, packs in a good amount of magnesium (helps with generally feeling mellow as well as keeping muscles relaxed), and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Wanting lunch at 10 is a bit awkward. If you give in to the siren song of the donut to get you through until noon, that can cause a bigger blood sugar crash that will leave you feeling rotten and craving more sugar.

The biggest issue is making sure that you choose toppings that won’t play havoc with your nutritional goals for the day. Recipes abound for high-sugar variations on the oatmeal theme that pretty much negate the benefits, so I find it best to just stick to fruit and milk with a tablespoon of nuts or nut butter to boost the protein.

One of the spins gaining popularity in recent times is the jar breakfast: put oatmeal, milk of choice or yogurt, and fruit in a jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning the oats will be soft enough to be edible. That way a person can reap the benefits of the humble oat year round without turning on the stove in hot weather.

It may not be the most exciting of breakfasts, but it’s reliable and does its job. You can’t ask for much else.