Lately, I have been on the constant prowl for recipes that would work well with persimmon. My philosophy is this: persimmon has a muted but pleasant flavor, and pairs best with bold flavors. That is why I used this delightful fruit atop my Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal; it contributed a calm sweetness to an otherwise “loud” oatmeal base.
Next up? Gingerbread.
I have made gingerbread oatmeal a variety of ways: with banana, with sweet potato, and with pumpkin. Truthfully, they all work beautifully, and it all depends on what “background flavor” you want in your life (i.e. just pick your favorite). Alternatively, you could use grated zucchini or yellow squash for a nutritional filler that adds no flavor.
Additionally, I received the best Christmas present ever: new oats to try! BetterOats hooked me up with two varieties of their oatmeal: these “Pure & Simple” multigrain packets, and quick-cooking steel-cut oat packets (which I will review on Wednesday). While I use oats from bulk containers for my everyday use, I love the convenience of packets for travel purposes. It’s great to throw oatmeal packets into my suitcase when packing to stay with friends who may only have Fruity Pebbles in their cupboards.😆 (See “10 Tips for Eating Oatmeal While Traveling” and “How to Make Oatmeal Anywhere.”)
When people think “oatmeal packets,” they generally think of pre-flavored oatmeal, like Maple & Brown Sugar and the like. While BetterOats does offer these (and the ingredients list is impressively “clean,” if you’re into that kind of thing), they also have unflavored packets, which is perfect for control freaks like me who ultimately just want Fudgy Banana and Peanut Butter Oatmeal every freaking day.
(P.S. My mother has been eating BetterOats for a few years now. She’s obsessed with Thick & Hearty Apple Cinnamon packets.)
What I find particularly amusing about BetterOats packets is the fact they include a “fill-to” line on the packet. In other words, you can actually use the empty packet as a measuring cup for the liquid. Fewer dishes to wash!
The bulk of the packet is oats, but it also includes barley, wheat, quinoa, rye, and flax. This amounts to 40g of whole grains per packet and a beautiful combo of both soluble and insoluble fiber. You’re welcome, digestive tract.
“Metabolically, the two together [soluble and insoluble fiber] are an unbeatable pair. The insoluble fiber forms a latticework for the soluble fiber to sit on, while the soluble fiber bridges the gaps in the latticework to maintain its integrity.” – Robert H. Lustig, Fat Chance (bad title, great book)
For this recipe, I wrote the ingredients list to be adaptable to your preferences, but for the record, I used a mixture of zucchini and banana. Why? Because I had a small chunk of zucchini to use up, but not enough to get the job done. I guess that means you can mix and match the fillers you use. In fact, if you do that, you might not end up with a super pronounced BANANA flavor or PUMPKIN flavor, etc.
- [reads] “How I Maintain a Very Humble Budget Eating Vegan” by One Green Planet
- [vids] “How Structural Racism Works” by Professor Tricia Rose (long but good)
- [eats] I made these Blueberry Rosemary Scones for my all-vegan Christmas brunch and they were aaaaamaaaaazing!
What you'll need:
- 2/3 cup milk of choice, or water*
- 1 packet BetterOats Raw Pure & Simple "Bare" flavor (multigrain hot cereal)*
- 1 ripe, small banana, OR 1/3 cup fruit/veggie puree**
- 1/2 tsp mild molasses
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 a persimmon (I use the Fuyu variety), for topping
How to make it:
- Bring milk to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Mash banana thoroughly and stir into oatmeal. (Or add whatever fruit/veggie filler you are using.)
- While the oatmeal is cooking, prepare your persimmon. You can either dice it, slice it horizontally, or a mixture of both.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. If desired, add sweetener to taste. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice, persimmon, and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).
Just an FYI:
*If not using regular old-fashioned oats, use 1 cup liquid and 1/2 cup rolled oats. **Possible fillers: pumpkin puree, applesauce, mashed sweet potato, chestnut puree, grated zucchini. If you choose something that is less sweet, you will probably need to add maple syrup or another sweetener.