I’ll start with my usual disclosure for the vegan police: yep, honey. As I always say, I’m “one of those vegans”–go ahead and berate me in the comments. I’ve received more hate from YouTube trolls and sixth graders misbehaving in the hallway than you can imagine. I can most certainly handle your lambasting. I briefly discuss my views on honey on my Plant Proud! page.
Alright, good. We’re past that. Moving on.
So my first attempt at tahini was not the groundbreaking experience I had hoped for. As it turns out, tahini is not peanut butter. It is not rich like peanut butter. It is not warm and cozy like peanut butter. It is neither sweet nor salty like peanut butter. In fact, it’s pretty darn bitter. It’s kind of like creamy sesame oil with a bitter aftertaste.
(I’ve totally convinced you to try it, right?)
But here’s the thing: tons of people using the #oatmealartist tag on Instagram are topping their oatmeal with tahini! Thus, I must be missing something. Just like I conquered my hatred of coconut, maybe tahini will soon be a beloved ingredient in my fridge as well.
After my previous attempt, I decided to “doctor up” my tahini to help me adjust. Since this recipe already added honey, I didn’t sweeten it, but I otherwise would have added a drop of maple syrup. Instead, I added a drop of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon. Game-changer. Then, when combined with the honey in the final product (which, by the way, came from Italy as a present from my boyfriend <3), it created a pleasant flavor profile.
I’m always indecisive about how to include apples in my oatmeal. This time, I decided to go with half-grated, half-diced. It might be my new go-to (as much as I hate the process of grating things–bleh). Tip: if you have a small appetite like me, you can cut your apple in thirds. Grate a third, dice a third, and store the remaining third in the fridge for a salad later.
Finally . . . this is awkward, but I could use your help. If you feel inclined, I really need help financing my grad school. Here’s how you can help me…
- [tunes] HOLY SALCHOW. You guys. This is ONE girl. Who’s REALLY good at the violin. Playing ALL parts to “Requiem for a Dream” by herself. I challenge you not to drop your jaw.
- [vids] TED Talk by Johann Hari – “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong“
What you'll need:
- 1 medium apple (I used Fuji)
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Optional: pinch of ginger, allspice, and/or nutmeg
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Prepare apple first. Cut in half. Finely dice one half and grate the other half.
- Add milk (I use 1/2 c soy milk and 1/4 c water) to a saucepan over medium heat and add diced apples. Bring it to a low boil and let the apples cook for a minute or two, and then add oats.
- Reduce heat to medium low (it should be at a simmer).
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add grated apple, vanilla extract, cinnamon, any other spices you want to incorporate, and salt. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with tahini and honey, and add any other additional toppings (I used pecans. Raisins would also be a nice touch). I think this would also taste great with a heavy pinch of coarse salt.
Just an FYI:
Feel free to adjust the amount of apple you use based on your appetite. I only used 2/3 of an apple. If you are new to tahini and find it bitter, doctor it up with a drop of vanilla extract and/or some cinnamon. Vegans who (rightfully) skip honey can use agave or maple syrup instead. No tahini? Sub in another nut butter.