Chocolate Almond Butter Steel Cut Oats (Vegan, Gluten Free)

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What day is it? Snow Day Saturday! Okay, I know that saturdays are saturdays, but being snowed in makes it a lot easier to get excited about doing “nothing”.  Or in this case, creating some tasty oatmeal to warm me up on this cold morning in Harrisonburg.  As I was going to bed last night, the only thing I wanted was chocolate to fix a not-so-hot day.  So I decided to dream about the chocolate peanut butter oatmeal I would make in the morning. When I woke up, I forgot that I didn’t have any banana (one of the staples in my fast, 5 minute oatmeal) and I had much more almond butter than I did peanut butter.  So, I decided I’d spend the extra time with some steel-cut oats and try out the almond butter.  I even dipped some almond butter in my cacao to make sure the combination would be a good one! Though I was skeptical, this turned out to be a delicious breakfast–so delicious that I even surprised myself.

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One thing I love about steel cut oats is that you can really chew them.  I am a big fan of having a satisfying bite, with something crunchy or substantial to chew on (usually chia seeds, the seeds on raspberries, hemp seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds…the list goes on).  This oatmeal totally hits that requirement! It is creamy, chewy, chocolatey, comforting, and charge you up! It is super dense, and sure to keep you warm, this coming from a continually cold person.

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Chocolate Almond Butter Steel Cut Oats (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Serves 1

Ingredients
3/4 cup almond milk (or your milk of choosing)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup steel cut oats (make sure they are gluten free!)
1.5 Tbsp almond butter
3/4 Tbsp cacao
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey (though the honey is not vegan)
1/4 tsp Salt

Method
1.  Bring the almond milk, water, and salt to a boil in a small pot.
2.  Add the oats, turn the heat on low or low-medium and cover for about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
3.  Stir in the cacao, almond butter, and maple syrup and let it sit for about 5-10 more minutes, depending on how soft you want the oats.
4.  Take off the heat and enjoy!

Notes:
Garnish with some more almond butter, hemp seeds, maybe bananas if you have them.
If you are as big a fan of cinnamon as I am, you will want to add cinnamon to this recipe–
DONT!  While I find that the cinnamon adds a great dimension to chocolate, it tends to mask
the nut butter. So try to resist if you want to have that great nutty flavor.
Definitely test this out with peanut butter or any other nut butter you have!

DSC_0421I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and just remember to experiment and have fun! Go take charge of your life and do what you love (I think this is the caffeine in the cacao talking…not bad advice I guess).  Stay warm wherever you may be, and thanks for stopping by.

Love,
Lucy

Zucchini Steel Cut Oats

Today was a snow day! I couldn’t have been happier to wake up to see the text that I had the day off–my immediate response was to dive into the kitchen to prepare breakfast that could take longer than 5 minutes. The only thing I can really make, however, is oatmeal, because that is pretty much all I have on hand.  I remembered that I had a stray zucchini too, so I decided to do my limited take on Oh She Glows’ Zucchini Bread Oatmeal.  

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I didn’t have a grater, so I was able to practice my knife skills by slicing up the zucchini into the smallest pieces I could.  I ended up with a rough micro dice, which worked out well with the texture of the steel-cut oats because they were about the same size.  It was warm, creamy, delicious, and just what I needed on the snowy morning.  There were other liberties I had to take to make the recipe work as well–I used dates instead of raisins, just put in extra cinnamon instead of nutmeg, and didn’t add any vanilla. I was pleasantly surprised with how well it all turned out!

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The great thing about this recipe is that you can add a vegetable serving to your breakfast without tasting it, though it is pretty easy to spot the beautiful, bright green amongst the oats.

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Gluten-free Vegan Zucchini Steel-Cut Oats
Makes 1 serving (on the larger side)

Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk (or half almond milk, half water or any combination thereof)
1/2 cup zucchini, grated or diced
1/4 cup gluten-free steel-cut oats (or rolled oats if that is all you have!)
2-4 Tbsp roughly chopped
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp coconut butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tspn cinnamon (add to taste)
pinch of salt

Method:
1.  Place the almond milk, oats, salt, and cinnamon in a small pot and turn to medium-high heat on the stove.  Bring to a boil, then turn it down to low or med-low heat to simmer while covered.  Let the oats simmer for 10 minutes (less time if you are using rolled oats).
2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Stir occasionally.  Take off the heat once your reach your desired level of creaminess and enjoy!

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Note:
At the end, I added some of my protein powder, maybe 1/4 of a scoop, which thickened it up a little bit, and added to the flavor.  If you feel like you want more protein, test out adding some protein powder to a small portion before adding it to the whole thing.  Other sources of protein you could add would be hemp hearts, more nuts, or some nut butter.

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I hope you have a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by!

Love,
Lucy