It’s cold, the wind is blowing and many are ready for this winter to be over. And what comes to mind on a snowy, wintry day? Warm and bubbly dessert baking in the oven while I play American Girls with my daughter or build some kind of Lego machine with my son. Might I add that engineering isn’t my strong suit? Even more interesting and fun! Wouldn’t trade it for summer right now.
What dessert can you make to remind you of warmer days to come but also keep you in the moment?
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
It’s colorful and features spring fruits with a sweet and crunchy topping which will definitely transport you to another season.
As Americans we tend to miss out on four key nutrients: Potassium, Fiber, Calcium and Vitamin D. What is one food that can help us out with those? Whole grain oats. Oats are naturally a good source of fiber and potassium. Not that I would recommend eating dessert every day to get your daily oat intake, but it won’t hurt on a day like today. Here are five other ways besides dessert to use them:
1. Berry Good Oatmeal. Use milk to prepare it for more calcium and vitamin D.
2. Meatloaf. Add oatmeal to your lean ground beef to keep it moist and stretch your meat a little farther.
3. Crispy Chicken. Combine 1-1/2 cups quick oats with 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices (try parsley, garlic, oregano or onion powder). Beat one egg with one tablespoon water in a flat, shallow dish. Dip chicken breasts in the egg mixture, then coat with the oats mixture. Bake on sheet pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
4. Smoothies. Did you make too much oatmeal for breakfast? Throw a couple of tablespoons into your blender cup and whirl it into your smoothie for extra creamy-ness and a fiber boost.
5. Granola. Homemade granola is simple to make and when you walk into the kitchen, the aroma will send you into a bakery. Combine 5 cups old-fashioned oats with 1 cup slivered almonds, 3/4 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread on two rimmed cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees (that’s right, 250) for 1-1/4 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
2 cups (1-inch pieces) frozen rhubarb
2 cups fresh quartered strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
2. In a separate bowl, mix oatmeal, flour, sugars, margarine and cinnamon. You may want to do this with clean hands because it is so easy this way. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit mixture.
Thank you to Oldways and Quaker Oats for a little inspiration on this post. What’s your favorite way to use oatmeal?