Grab the spices and sweeteners that go into traditional gingerbread, simmer them with toasted steel-cut oats, and end up with a hearty, winter holiday-flavoured porridge – excellent fuel for any snowy-day outdoor activity.
I like to top sweet oatmeal with a dollop of tangy plain yogurt for a flavour contrast. A sprinkling of chopped crisp, tart apple also works particularly well.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1½ cups steel-cut oats
4½ cups water
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons light (fancy) molasses
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice or cloves
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1½ cups milk
Dried cranberries, chopped apple, yogurt, and/or additional milk (optional)
Add oats to a large saucepot. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly darker in colour, 4 to 5 minutes. Add water, sugar, molasses, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice or cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat so oat mixture is simmering. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in milk and cook until milk is mostly absorbed and oats are tender, about 10 minutes more. Divide among bowls and add desired toppings.
I do not provide nutrition analyses of the recipes I post for various reasons, but mostly because I would rather not uphold diet culture messaging about choosing foods based on their caloric value or macronutrient composition. Humans survived for millennia without knowing the calorie and nutrient content of the foods they ate. They were fine – really.