Monday, August 22, 2011

Brown Sugar Carrot Oatmeal

My cupboards are bare today. I have not paid a visit to any farmers' market this weekend. I'm reluctant to go grocery shopping due to the impending Tota family vacation to Seattle (which will be a goldmine of material -- both from a comedy and culinary standpoint), so I wondered what I was going to prepare for breakfast this morning. I had just been out for a refreshing early morning run (yes, you can hate me for being one of those people who manages to wake up at 5 AM and go on early morning runs), and I had worked up an appetite. I knew I had a tub of Quaker instant oats (yawn), but was clean out of the raisins I normally mix in. Upon further investigation, I found myself in possession of a bag of those Craisin thingies, to which they add all kinds of white sugar (no thank you). I knew the only fresh produce I owned was a bag of carrots. "Well," I thought to myself, "that could be interesting. Why not find a way to incorporate carrots and oatmeal?" And so Brown Sugar Carrot Oatmeal was born.

For a creamier texture, I would have used buckwheat or steel cut oats which pack a nutritional punch to rival that of instant oatmeal, which is stream treated for faster cooking.

First I grated a carrot. Actually, I couldn't find the grater, so I just used a peeler to peel it into strips and chopped those up. I brought a pan to low/mid heat and added a decent pad of butter -- maybe a little less than half a tablespoon.
I mixed the carrots into the butter until they started to glisten:
Then I put about a half cup of oatmeal in a bowl:
Added about 3/4 cup 1% milk:
And nuked it in the microwave for about 90 seconds (yours might take longer, but our microwave does NOT mess around):
Documenting the intricacies of microwave oatmeal.
Back at the stove top, I added a spoonful, maybe two teaspoons, of brown sugar to the pan, letting it melt and coat the carrots. Finally, I chopped some almonds, about four, and let those warm and mingle with the carrots at the very end, adding some protein, vitamins and nutty antioxident power to bolster the beta carotene and fiber of the carrots.
Finally, I spooned the mixture into my oatmeal, enjoying every bite of the creamy oats with the sweet, carmel-y carrots over the top.  I have to admit, I drew inspiration for this breakfast from a traditional Indian dessert called carrot halwa, whose flavors, like cardamom, would also shine in this oatmeal. Raisins, too, would add a lovely bit of tartness to offset the sweet.
It's not much to look at (I was hungry, I had just run five miles
and picture-taking was not high on my list of priorities at the moment),
but it sure was a nutritious, non-typical and TASTY breakfast delight!

1 comment:

  1. sounds delish! i too just experimented with a carrot/grain mix, inspired from this: