My mom used to make us oatmeal all the time. And today would have been her birthday, so this is in honor of my sweet mom, Irene. I think she would have loved this recipe with the toasted oats, and vanilla applesauce instead of cinnamon.
It’s still one of my favorite breakfasts (that is, when I run out of my Sourdough bread for my morning toast!) I’ve upped the ante a bit and added a Vanilla Applesauce. It goes perfectly with the toasted oats (say that with your best Minnesota accent!). It’s so easy, and you can make a batch for the week.
If you haven’t ditched the cinnamon yet with your applesauce, you will now. Honestly, vanilla and apples are an even better match-up. Mom would approve.
Let’s talk oats, shall we.
What’s so dang great about ’em? For one thing they, taste great in just about anything you add them too, hint Banana Oat Bread, etc.
Oats are super nutritious, (I’m not a doctor, but I play one on my recipe website. (: But seriously kids, even the Mayo Clinic says so
- Oats help lower cholesterol and are high in soluble fiber
- Oats are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Oats are great at holding in moisture, use some ground up in a muffin or quick bread recipe, but the flavor!
Go for the real deal here (not the processed ‘honey’ junk in the box). Rolled oats are so quick and easy to make. Plus, you’ll be doing something good for yourself.
Why toast the oats? Glad you asked
- Flavor, baby! Toasting the oats, adds a wonderful nutty flavor to the oats.
- Use whole vs. quick, but if all you have is quick, go for it
- Be sure to keep an eye on them, they can burn quickly, a toaster oven is perfect for toasting oats and nuts, since you can time it. Ahem, above.
- Oats, as well as nuts, are finished toasting when you can smell them. After which your risk burning them.
How do you like your oats?
- Some people prefer brown sugar, you do you
- Some people also like to pour milk over the top, again, you do you
- Some people like a pat of butter on their oatmeal. I’m not going to argue with that
- Try making the ‘compote’ with peaches or plums, or frozen mango. Get creative!
Toasting the oats brings out a delicious nuttiness to the oatmeal. The applesauce is really more of a compote, mash it down as much as you like to make it saucier.
For the Oats
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups whole milk (any milk alternative works great here)
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup, add more when serving if you like
- Toasted almonds or pecans, (optional)
For the Vanilla Applesauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 4 to 6 (about 2 lbs) Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples, roughly peeled*, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (or maple syrup is delicious too)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet , place the oats, spread evenly about the pan. Toast for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats start to smell fragrant and nutty.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat add the milk, kosher salt . Bring to a low boil. Add the toasted oats and stir to combine. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
If the oats are soft and creamy, and to your liking (give it a taste!), they are ready to serve. To serve, top with a little more maple syrup, add some toasted almonds or pecan if you like. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
Keywords: toasted oatmeal, how to toast oats, vanilla applesuace, toasted oatmeal with vanilla applesauce, heatlhy oatmeal, easy oatmeal