Friday, May 29, 2009

Fruit and oatmeal

If you are serious about getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet, you need to start with breakfast, and it needs to be more than the traditional glass of orange juice.

Oatmeal lends itself to pairing with fruit. Although raisins and apples are the most common, a lot of other fruits work as well. For instance, strawberries. We had some excellent local organic strawberries that we had brought with us on our trip to Washington, but not all of them made it whole, and they messed up the rest enough that it would have been hard to eat them out of hand. So we brought them back home, sorted the good from the bad, cut off their tops and sliced them all in half. I put them in a pot with about a half cup of brown sugar that had hardened in my cupboard, set the heat to low, and let them cook until they were all soft and the sugar was bubbling. I put the syrupy mixture in the fridge overnight, then added it to the oatmeal in the morning. One thing to note, however: The acid in the strawberries will cause whatever milk you add to separate.


  1. You probaby do this already, but grilled peaches/nectarines are one of my favorite ways to eat fruit. They are particularly good lightly brushed with a bit of lime-flavored olive oil. Either on the outdoor grill or the indoor grill pan. A great accompaniment to scallops, chicken, or for a light dessert...

  2. I don't do it nearly enough. Thanks fore the reminder, Tina. And grilling is especially good if the fruit is almost ripe enough to eat, but not quite. I've done that with not-quite-ripe avocados with good results, too.

  3. Hey, I came across this recipe in La Cucina Italiana. Have not tried it. It seems it would be a good use for small, organic, very ripe berries (the kind I used to get in Monterey, and maybe the kind you are now finding). Sometimes berries are a great buy, so this would come in handy. The color is beautiful, too.

    2 1/4 pounds strawberries (preferably small), trimmed and halved
    1 lemon
    1 (750-milliliter) bottle aquavit (40% alcohol)

    SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: cheesecloth, clean 750-milliliter bottle with cap or cork, funnel

    Put strawberries in a bowl; zest and juice lemon over the top and stir to combine. Cover and let stand at cool room temperature or chilled, stirring occasionally, for 24 hours.

    Pour aquavit over mixture; cover and let macerate at cool room temperature or chilled for 24 hours. Reserve bottle and cap (you will need 2 bottles).

    Strain mixture into a bowl through sieve, pressing to extract liquid. Wrap strawberry pulp in cheesecloth and squeeze over bowl to extract as much liquid as possible; discard remaining pulp. Let mixture settle for a few minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl (preferably with a pouring spout). Pour liqueur into bottles, seal and chill until ready to serve.

    Note: Strawberry Liqueur keeps, chilled, for up to one year. The flavor becomes smoother over time.