It's hard to get the kids out of the carb rut for breakfast. This is a filling, protein & fiber rich oatmeal that keeps them full until lunch. Leftovers are even great cold, or make up a big pot the night before and place in individual bowls for a quick breakfast in the morning! I created this myself and have made numerous variations of it, and this is the one my kids ask for over and over! For the sake of good health, it's not a real sweet oatmeal. If you or your kids require a sweeter taste, add more maple syrup or top with brown sugar at the table. You could top each serving with sliced almonds instead of stirring in the chopped walnuts. In fact, I prefer it that way, but I have one daughter who won't eat the protein rich nuts unless they're hidden! I recently made this for guests with only one medium apple (that's all we had in the house), and this fed two children and 3 adults a good hearty breakfast. The kids had seconds, so I estimate the recipe to be about 6 servings. Cooking time is an estimate, depending on how soft you like your apples.
- 2 apples (medium to large sized, I like to use Braeburn, Jonagold, or Gala)
- 1 cup water (approximate(just enough to cover the apples in the kettle)
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3 1⁄2 cups milk (I use skim)
- 1⁄2-1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc, or a combination)
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1⁄8 cup real maple syrup (NOT maple flavored pancake syrup)
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon cinnamon (1 teaspoon is a lot of cinnamon, use less if you aren't cinnamon nuts like we are)
- brown sugar (optional)
- Core and chop apples into small, bite-sized cubes. Peel if you wish. I leave the skins on (more fiber), but if the texture bothers you, peel apples first.
- Simmer apples in water over medium heat until tender. Time varies depending on the type of apple and how tender you like them. I generally cook them until very tender, but if you want more recognizeable pieces of apple in the finished oatmeal, leave a little more firm. Add a little more water if the pan cooks dry.
- Add the dried fruit about half way through cooking the apples in order to soften and rehydrate. (If you forget, just cover them with a little water and microwave them a few seconds before adding to the apples).
- Add oats and milk, bring just to a simmer, reduce heat, and slowly cook until thick, taking care to stir occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pan. Since this is old fashioned oatmeal, this will take at least five minutes.
- Once the oatmeal is cooked and thick, remove from heat and stir in nuts, syrup, and cinnamon.
- Let stand five minutes. Place in individual serving bowls. Thin & cool with a little milk and sweeten with brown sugar or more maple syrup, if desired.