Confession: I did not buy vanilla beans for this recipe. *gasp*
Truthfully, I found something better: vanilla bean paste (Christmas present from my sister! Thanks, Amy!).
Now, I’m sure the quality of an actual vanilla bean is higher than that of my paste, but the difference is that I have the next best thing up in my cupboard, easily accessible, whenever I need it, for a fraction of the cost. Look at the pictures! You can see the little vanilla dots if you look closely!
The purpose of this recipe is to highlight the strawberries. Vanilla extract would have worked, but sometimes, plain old extract is just a little underwhelming (as much as I love it). Using vanilla beans (or vanilla bean paste!) gives this simple recipe life!
What you'll need:
- 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/4 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 4 or more medium-sized strawberries
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or about 1/3 of a vanilla bean)
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/4 c water) 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.)
- Dice up at least two of the strawberries and add to the oatmeal. You can add all of them now, but I like my strawberries less cooked, so I added the rest of mine later. This is just to help flavor the oatmeal.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add vanilla bean paste and salt. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, dice up remaining strawberries and stir into the oatmeal.
- Then, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (more strawberries, shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).