When it comes to breakfast, I’m an oatmeal kinda gal. I eat it all year round — stick-to-your-ribs porridge when it’s cold outside, and a light muesli with berries when it’s warm.
I got hooked years ago while on our honeymoon in Ireland, where I’d skip the “full breakfast” in favor of a big, steaming bowl of oatmeal. It was unlike anything I’d ever tasted, and I’m sure it was likely made with lashings of milk, or even cream, and probably some butter for good measure.
But you don’t need cream and butter for a delectable breakfast. My go-to in the winter is baked oatmeal — the flavor combinations are endless. And there’s the added bonus of being able to pop it in the oven and forget about it while you get a handle on the rest of your morning.
I like to use steel-cut oats, also called pinhead, which are popular in Ireland. The pearl-like nubs of whole oat groats have a nice nutty flavor and chewy texture — not quite as mushy and gluey as flaked oatmeal can be.
Normally I like to include diced apple, dried blueberries and almonds, but this variation uses dried mango and toasted macadamia nuts, topped off with rich, buttery chunks of caramelized mango.
For great tips on how to cut a mango, check out www.mango.org.
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 oz dried mango
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Sucanat
- 3 cups unsweetened plain soy milk
- 1 tbsp vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
- 2 cups cubed mango
- 1 tbsp Sucanat
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Put the macadamias on a small baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden, giving them a shake part way through. Keep an eye on them -- it doesn't take long to go from nicely toasted to overly browned. When done, remove from the baking sheet to a cutting board -- you don't want them to keep cooking. Leave to cool slightly. Don't turn off the oven.
- Meanwhile, lightly grease a 3-quart (2.8 L) casserole dish.
- Chop the mango into smallish pieces (I find it's easiest to do this with clean kitchen shears) and add to the casserole dish, along with the oats, flaxseed, hemp hearts, cinnamon, salt and Sucanat. Add the soy milk and stir to combine. (Some of the cinnamon will float on the top, but don't worry -- it will get mixed in later.)
- Roughly chop the macadamias. Add to the oatmeal mixture and stir to combine.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until most of the soy milk has been absorbed and the oatmeal is creamy. Stir well and set aside while you prepare the mango.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add butter. Once butter has melted, add the mango and sprinkle with Sucanat. Cook, stirring often, until the fruit softens and takes on a bit of a caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how ripe the fruit is.
- To serve, scoop the oatmeal into a bowl and top with the caramelized mango.