Monday, December 16, 2013

Gingerbread Oatmeal

This post is on the new blog:

Christmas is a strange holiday. It’s not when you’re a kid – it’s just all about the magical fat man who somehow breaks into your house and leaves presents behind. But then it becomes about a bazillion other things. If you think about it, Christmas can be:

  • A holiday with deep religious significance
  • A day to complain about how materialistic our society has become
  • Time to decorate your house with lights!
  • The time of the year when you have a heart attack when you see your electricity bill (not the mention the damage to the environment)
  • A day off work
  • A day where you’re (hopefully) paid more than usual to turn up to work
  • A day to spend with family and friends
  • A day to lament the fact that you have to spend time with your family, as Relative X doesn’t talk to Relative Y, and you have to prepare a huge meal that you’ll be eating for weeks because you didn’t realize that not everyone has elephant-sized stomachs
  • And, of course, if you work for Fox News, it’s time to claim there’s a “war” on this almost-universally-celebrated-in-one-way-or-another holiday 

So, yeah, it’s an odd time of the year. Regardless, I love it. Why? For one thing, I’m far too materialistic and love decorating my apartment with random Christmas paraphernalia.

And then there’s this:

The food! Christmas is a time where you totally have an excuse to get out that butter and sugar and start baking!So, with the perfect excuse of “it’s festively mandatory”, I baked some gingerbread cookies with my dear friend Emilie. We made a ridiculous amount of gingerbread – the cookies took up four baking trays! Two weeks later, I still had gingerbread in my cupboard. Due to extreme laziness ingenuity we decorated the gingerbread before putting them in the oven. Here’s a sample of the many gingerbread cookies we made:

Unfortunately, I don’t actually have the recipe for the gingerbread cookies. But my friend does, so if I can get the recipe from her, I’ll post it soon.

But I do have the recipe for the gingerbread oatmeal (as, you know, I made it and all).

As you can see from the picture above, I had this oatmeal with a gingerbread man – which was definitely just to ensure that I had the spices right. Really. Ok, it wasn’t – I just like cookies.

But, I can tell you that the oatmeal and the gingerbread man actually tasted really, really similar! Hooray!

So I hope you enjoy this oatmeal recipe as much as I did. And don’t get suspicious when you see the banana in the recipe – trust me, with all of those spices, you can’t taste it at all. It just adds sweetness and a wonderful texture.

Oh yeah, the other thing I love about Christmas is the presents!

Gingerbread Oatmeal

  • 1 overripe banana
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, rounded
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, rounded
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of allspice or mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • Gingerbread men, chocolate chips, or chopped pecans, to serve

  1. Mash the banana in a small bowl. Mix in the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the almond milk to a boil, and then turn down the heat to medium-low. Add the rolled oats to the saucepan and stir. Add the mashed banana mixture, and stir again.
  3. When you are pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer it to a bowl and top with some gingerbread men, chocolate chips or chopped pecans. Enjoy!

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