Thursday, November 17, 2016

Toddler Meals ~ Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

This may be the perfect fall morning breakfast: warm and filling with some of the flavors of the season! My son loves apples. After "mama" and "baba" (daddy in Mandarin), apple was the first word he spoke clearly and employed frequently. This oatmeal recipe is simple and cooks up in under ten minutes. When he was a baby, I gave my son primarily steel cut oats. However, steel cut oats take around 25-30 minutes to cook which is not great when you have a toddler running around your knees. Rolled oats, fresh fruit, and spices are still very healthy and oh so tasty!

I cook rolled oats in water because my husband is lactose intolerant. I add a little milk (almond milk for my hubby) to the bowls for serving. You can cook directly in milk, substituting milk for the water, if you prefer.  Also, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for an easy, no-cook variation of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Yield: Approximately 3 - 1/2 cup servings
Prep and Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

1 apple, peeled and diced
1 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp milk, per serving

Start the water boiling in a heavy bottomed or non-stick pot. Peel and dice your apple. Add the apple to the boiling water, reduce to a simmer, and allow it to cook for around two minutes. Add the rolled oats, cinnamon, and stir. Allow the apple and oats to simmer uncovered for around five more minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch your pot closely as it becomes dry to make sure the oats don't stick to the bottom. When the water is fully absorbed, remove from the heat and stir prior to serving.

To eat immediately - Divide into bowls and stir in the milk. The milk adds some creaminess and (bonus!) helps cool the oatmeal in case your toddler is waiting impatiently for breakfast.

To eat later - I spoon the oatmeal into 1-cup glass bowls, filling around 1/2-3/4 full, cover, and refrigerate. I microwave 30 seconds and then stir in the milk just prior to serving.

Prepped Apple

Water, Apple, Oats, and Cinnamon

Finished Cooking

An easy weekday breakfast option is overnight oats. I replace the cooked apple chunks with unsweetened apple sauce.

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 2 minutes

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a 1-cup glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Eat cold right out of the fridge or for a warm breakfast microwave 30 seconds. Stir before serving.


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