This recipe is my new favorite way to start the day, especially when it’s a horrifyingly cold one like today. My love of breakfast cereal is well documented, but in an effort to eat more healthfully and reduce some of the sugar in my diet I’ve been eating a lot more oatmeal. When I was growing up my parents would often make oatmeal on cold weekend mornings. Periodically I’d try it, but even covered in raisins, and brown sugar I never liked the texture or the flavor. Even when I made the switch to steel cut oats, which have a firmer texture than old-fashioned oatmeal I still wasn’t thrilled with how they tasted.
Fast forward to this past fall and a conversation with my sister-in-law, Megan, who mentioned that she often cooks oatmeal in apple cider. Cue light bulb moment. I can’t believe I didn’t realize that what my oatmeal needed was to infuse the water with flavor so that the grain itself would absorb it too.
After lots of experimentation with ratios and amounts I’ve come up with a combination that I absolutely love and truly look forward to eating every morning. It takes a little more effort than just pouring a bowl of cold cereal, but there’s something about the ritual that feels indulgent and worthwhile, like I’m starting the day right.
Apple Cranberry Steel-cut Oatmeal (yield: 4 servings)
2 cups 100% apple juice
1 cup water
1 cup McCann's Quick & Easy Steel Cut Irish oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup (1 medium) diced apples, prefer Macintosh or Granny Smith
Heat the apple juice and water in a medium sauce pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and kosher salt to the hot apple juice mixture.
Next, sprinkle the Irish steel cut oats into the spiced apple juice and swirl the pan to gently stir. Reduce the heat to low.
Meanwhile, core, quarter, and dice the apple into 1/2" pieces. After the oats have cooked for 1 minute, add the dried cranberries and diced apples to the pan.
Simmer the oats, cranberries, and apples for another 3-4 minutes until the oats are al dente, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula to prevent the oatmeal from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Serve immediately with an additional sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
This is super simple and definitely small kitchen friendly. I used a small sauce pan, a small cutting board, utility knife, dry and liquid measuring cups and measuring spoons. A rubber spatula will also be your best friend when it’s time to stir and serve!