I am one of those people that really just jumps in head first to all things Christmas during this time of year. I can’t help it!! I love decorating our home, trimming the tree, and putting up the lights and I never forget to do so while listening to the Holiday hits next to a lit fire. My husband always laughs because I bust out all of our Christmas movies the first day of December just to get us in the spirit. He probably thinks I am a little overboard, but I think it’s just the right amount of cheer. I cherish all the Christmas nostalgia close to my heart and I can not wait until next year to share it all with our little baby girl. Another tradition we usually imbibe in, is holiday egg nog brandy cocktails while adorning the tree. This year, I didn’t partake, for obvious reasons (by the way, this preggo lady is so ready for any kind of libation! Just 2.5 more months!). Although, I didn’t sip a Holiday Nog cocktail (sad), I still was able to enjoy all the flavors because I made this oatmeal. It is seriously one of the best (super easy and healthy) festive breakfasts I have had in a while. The most important part of this recipe, that I hope you take with you for the rest of your oat-cooking life, is the step-by-step guide to making perfect oats every single time. Now, I did not come up with this method, but after I learned it I have never strayed. The tip to this perfect oatmeal comes from Megan Gordon, author of the book “Whole Grain Mornings” and the blog “A Sweet Spoonful”. I have followed her blog for a few years now and am always inspired by her recipes. Her book is one of my go-to’s when making breakfast in my home because I am always looking for hearty and healthy twists on classic dishes. If you don’t already own her book you should go out and get it now or at least add it to your Christmas list. So what are these perfect oatmeal tips and tricks, you ask? Well I have listed them here, concisely, so that you will never forget:
1. Always toast the oats first. The toasting brings out the nuttiness of the oats (and nuttiness = flavor).
2. Use a big pot when toasting the oats. The bigger the pot the more room the oats have to spread out and cook evenly.
3. When you have added the milk and water and everything is boiling together, only stir the mixture once or twice. Stirring the oatmeal too frequently breaks those fragile little oats up and they become gummy. Gross.
4. Turning the heat off, covering the pot, and letting the oats soak up the liquid without disturbing them for 7 minutes allows them to stay in tact and to cook to perfection.
Sounds pretty simple, right?? Well it is! It’s pretty great because it is a hands-off recipe that is perfect for those busy mornings! I made a few adjustments to her recipe; like making sure to brown the butter before adding the oats (more flavor!) and then doing all the cooking in the one pot (because I am a hater of washing dishes) and the oats still came out just as great. I also altered the flavors to make it holiday worthy and so that I could indulge in that nog I had been craving! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Enjoy!
- 1 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup holiday nog (see note*) (or any milk or nut milk of your choice), plus more for serving
- generous pinch of salt
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup + 1 TBSP water
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup raw pistachio nutmeats (slivered almonds or toasted pepitas are also great!)
- fresh berries or brown sugar, for serving
- 1. Brown the butter; in a large saucepan, add the butter over medium heat. Let melt and cook until a brown hue is visible (about 5 minutes). Add the oats and toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to smell fragrant and nutty for about 5-7 minutes.
- 2. Add the water, the 1/4 milk (nog), salt, and cinnamon. Stir the oats into the liquid TWICE (careful not to stir the oats too much). Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow the oats to sit for 7 minutes untouched. Don’t peek. Don’t stir. After the 7 minutes, uncover and serve immediately. Serve the oats with a splash more holiday nog (or milk), the dried cranberries, pistachios, and berries. Enjoy!
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days. Reheat with a bit more liquid as the oats tend to dry out a bit.
- I am absolutely in love with Califia Farms Almond Milk Holiday Nog. You can find it at Whole Foods or Hanson’s Market. Any non-dairy nog would work though; there is a delicious coconut milk nog that you can find at most grocery stores. I have not tried these oats with real egg nog, although I would imagine it would be a bit heavier and more rich, yet still delicious! If you are making these oats any other time through out the year, substitute the nog for your favorite milk or nut milk!