Posts Tagged with oatmeal

Baked almond oatmeal: breakfast of…barbarians?

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Spring may have officially started over a month ago, but these chilly mornings remind me that pleasant spring weather hasn’t arrived just yet. As we patiently wait for it, now is the perfect time to indulge in winter treats once or twice more, like sipping hot cocoa or pulling on a cozy sweater. In that spirit I decided to try our baked almond oatmeal — what breakfast food suits a chilly morning better than a piping hot bowl of oatmeal?

Oats, widely praised by nutritionists as an energy-boosting source of fiber and other nutrients, weren’t always held in such high regard. When Europeans first began cultivating them 3,000 years ago, some viewed oats as nothing more than a diseased version of wheat. Greeks and Romans, in particular, considered oats unfit for human consumption and fed the crop to their horses instead. Maybe their negative reputation was due to the fact that oats spoil quickly after being harvested, though nowadays that isn’t an issue because the oats have been processed in some way to prolong their viability: steel-cut, rolled, flaked, or ground into flour to avoid going rancid.

While Romans may have refused to eat their oats, “barbarian” Germanic tribes to the north used the tiny beige circles as a staple food and went on to eventually crush the Roman Empire. During their conquest the barbarians would chop oats with steel blades, mix them with water, and bake oat cakes over a fire – a snack that fueled them through the many long days of violence. After the fall of the Roman Empire, oat cakes became increasingly common fare over the centuries. Thank goodness they’d lost their stigma as animal feed, because no matter who or what eats them, oats seem to do a body good.

I reaffirmed the ‘goodness’ of oats when I ate our baked almond oatmeal for breakfast. Next to our amazing breadpudding pancakes or savory selection of omelets, the thought of oatmeal might seem a bit uninspiring. Not at Southport Grocery! The baked almond oatmeal can easily hold its own in our breakfast menu.

What’s so special about our oatmeal? It isn’t the just-add-water, microwavable mush being peddled on most grocery store shelves these days. Those “convenient” products are quick to prepare because the oats have been processed to the point where water is the only thing necessary to make them palatable. Our oatmeal is a much more natural combination of steel-cut and rolled oats, then we toss some thinly-sliced almonds in, add a beaten egg and a tiny bit of sugar, and bake to a hot and crisp perfection. The first thing I noticed when digging my spoon into the oatmeal is that I could actually see whole pieces of almond and oat – no beige amorphous mush here! The oats have a dense and chewy mouthfeel, contrasting with the crunchy almonds.

What really sold me on the baked almond oatmeal is its flavor. The few simple ingredients give the oatmeal a clean and earthy taste, with a hint of sweetness. It’s finished with a dusting of powdered sugar, and is accompanied by seasonal fruit and a ramekin of cream. I mixed the sides in to my liking and felt satisfied after eating only half, but I wasn’t bouncing off the walls from a sugar high that some other breakfasts have been known to induce. In fact, while my to-do list that day didn’t include crushing the Roman Empire, I did have the steady energy I needed to complete my work. And that’s what I appreciate about our oatmeal:  it’s a perfect choice for when you want a breakfast that’s simple yet satisfying.

For those who also want to enjoy quality oatmeal at home, we do carry the steel cut oats in our grocery. The baked almond oatmeal recipe is printed on the packaging.

Pro Oats – a powerlifted meal

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Pro Oats is protein added oatmeal made in our wonderful city of Chicago.

Protein, in oatmeal? What about my store brand?

This is your store brand on… protein. It has lots of full size, organic dried fruit, full rolled oats, and lets not forget the kick of protein. Everyone knows we need more protein in our diet, but some of us don’t eat meat or aren’t up to having steak every night. The folks over at Pro Oats found that they had been adding protein powder to their oatmeal every morning and there wasn’t anything available in the store – so they made their own. But we’re over looking the oats and the fruit – both are organic. This isn’t wimpy little blue berries or sissy strawberries, these are buffed full size dried fruit, and not just a couple but a enough to have some in your bowl every morning.

So who makes it?

Local Chicago fans of oatmeal and protein. They put all they have into it, and it truly shows.

I’m unsure, I don’t do any body building…

Your in luck then, neither do we, but everyone should get more protein. We like to grab a bowl of this oatmeal before a long day at work – it keeps us full and energized for the day. Or before spin class, it gives us a little oomph to get over those big hills. Eat it every morning for that extra kick, or to try and stay on diet – the protein will help you keep full. It is the perfect start to your daily routine.

I need a bag, where can I pick one up?

Here, on our shelves. Pick up a bag of Blueberry Dance or Fuzzy Apple – both fantastic. Looking for a flavor we don’t have, or we’re low on your favorite? Let us know, we can always order it! Pick up a bag of Pro Oats and get ready for your day.

Baked Almond Oatmeal Recipe

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

baked almond oatmealBaked Almond Oatmeal

2 cups old fashion oats
½ cup steel cut oats
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ tablespoon salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2½ cups milk
2 eggs
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix together old fashion oats, steel cut oats, baking powder, salt, sugar,
brown sugar, milk, eggs, almond extract & sliced almonds.

Portion equally into six 8 oz ramekins.
Bake until set and light brown…about 20-25 minutes.