Ok, ok it has happened. I am fully embracing fall. Bring on the flannel, the boots, the PSLs. But before you go full-on leaf raking, tailgating and pumpkin carving, make yourself a tasty bowl (or mug, as the case may be!) of this chai apple oatmeal.
Before I ever liked coffee, I was a tea drinker. It started out simply enough; I remember drinking a whole lot of Bigelow Constant Comment and plain green tea throughout high school. When Starbucks came within a 20-minute drive of my small town, I tried the sugary-sweet frappuccinos and lattes made with espresso, but I’ve only recently begun to really appreciate the actual taste of coffee. For years my drink of choice has been the chai latte (and recently, the slightly less sweetened “Oprah cinnamon chai”).
The inspiration for this bowl of oats comes from the flavors of chai–cinnamon, cloves, ginger and just a bit of black pepper. Really! You only need a tiny bit (half a grind or less) but it really brings out the warmth and subtle bite you’d expect from a good mug of chai. I’ve left out cardamom and star anise since I usually don’t have those ground on hand, but if you do I’m sure they’d be a nice addition.
- 1 apple, diced
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- dash ginger
- dash cloves
- half a grind of black pepper
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tbsp raisins, optional
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup milk
- Place the diced apple, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves and pepper in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the apples begin to soften and the spices smell toasty, being sure not to let them burn.
- Stir in the oats and raisins, if using, and add the water and milk. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let sit at least 5 minutes before stirring and serving.
*Nutrition facts calculated using 1/3 cup 1% milk.