Waking up on a cold October morning and knowing I need something warming and substantial to get my day started, the first thought is to make a pot of oats. Standing by the hob, sipping on a mug of tea that I’m hugging into myself and stirring the cinnamon through the almond milk. It smells like Autumn. The trees outside the front of my flat are already starting to show bare branches. Storm Ophelia stripped them throughout the night. The colder months are my favourite, I’m so happy we are in the latter part of the year.
I was at a wedding at the weekend. It was beautiful; the bride, the ceremony, the hotel. However, I did have to take myself up to my room out of the sea of people that was only going to grow as the reception drew nearer. Being an introvert can be difficult when it comes to occasions like this. You want to celebrate the happy couple, spend time with family and friends, share a meal with the happy couple’s nearest and dearest then dance your heart out at their party because everyone is so high on love. I wish I could get caught up in it all but I can’t. There’s nothing wrong with take a little time to self soothe and then join in the madness again. I had to keep reminding myself of this all weekend. Self-care and knowing your limits is important, be gentle with yourself but don’t let it steal all the fun.
Warm apples mixed with cinnamon really call out the feeling of Autumn for me. Whether they’re baked into a pie, galette, a spiced loaf or used as a topping on pancakes. I like them in my morning bowl of oats. The mellow sweetness from the coconut sugar with the warming flavour of cinnamon is a combination I can’t see myself tiring of. I’ve added cacao nibs and puffed quinoa both for texture but also for some bitterness. Cacao nibs are a daily ritual for me, their mood boosting properties and antioxidants make sure they have a permanent place in my cupboard.
Oats with Warm Cinnamon Apple, Puffed Quinoa and Cacao Nibs
1 cup oats
1 cup plant milk (I used almond)
1 small apple, grated
1tsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (feel free to add a little more if you like things on the sweeter side)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cacao nibs
In a small pan add the grated apple, coconut oil, coconut sugar and cinnamon. Cook on a low heat until soft and slightly sticky, approx. 8-10 minutes. In a small saucepan add the oats and plant milk. Cook for roughly 10 minutes on a low-medium heat, stirring fairly regularly throughout. Serve warm, topped with the apple, quinoa and cacao nibs. I’d also recommend a tbsp of your favourite nut or seed butter drizzled on top.
I don’t like my oats very sweet but you can add a tsp of coconut sugar or maple syrup to them whilst cooking if you prefer things sweeter.
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