Autumn HEALTH & FOOD LIFESTYLE

CHAI SPICED APPLE & WALNUT OATMEAL

December 26, 2016
CHAI SPICED APPLE & WALNUT OATMEAL

Chai Spiced Apple & Walnut oatmeal recipe.

 This chai spiced apple & walnut oatmeal breakfast is perfect for those chilly mornings where you can curl up with a blanket – bliss. Roasting the apples in the oven with warming chai spices and sweetening them with a hint of date syrup really brings this dish to the next level.

Playing around with spices is a fantastic way to change up your breakfast routine, and I love the combination of the fiery ginger and freshly ground black pepper with the sweetness of nutmeg and cinnamon. Plus you’ll take advantage of the powerhouse of different benefits from the chai spices. Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices to include in breakfast dishes. It’s been shown to help lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease factors by lowering levels of cholesterol in your body, and it’s loaded with antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

While you might have heard of ginger for its soothing anti-nausea effects, cardamom is part of the ginger family and so you will also have the added bonus of cardamom’s digestion benefits in this dish as well. On top of all of these benefits from the spices, apples are an excellent source of soluble fiber (especially if you leave the skin on) and walnuts are full of heart healthy fats and plant-based protein.

In this recipe, I’ve included measurements for batch roasting. As the roasting time for the apples is around 35 minutes, it’s ideal to make enough for a few days (you can even double the recipe if you’re a family). For a super quick breakfast the following day, you can make a yogurt bowl with plain yogurt, roasted apples, candied walnuts and granola. As for the candied walnuts, you can also use them as a crunchy addition to your lunchtime salad (think feta cheese, rocket, and pear with candied walnuts).

CHAI SPICED APPLE & WALNUT OATMEAL RECIPE 
Oatmeal (one serving):

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup water or milk of choice (keep additional water/milk on hand)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Chai Spiced Apples (3 servings):

  • Four apples (I used Gala)
  • 1 heaping tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp date syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 6 whole cloves, ground
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper (adds a nice kick – highly recommend!)
  • ½ tsp sea salt

 

Candied Walnuts (3 servings):

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp date syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt

 

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Spread walnuts evenly on a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Toast the walnuts for 6 minutes. While the walnuts are in the oven, melt the coconut oil (it’s easier to mix this way). Add the melted coconut oil, date syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt to a bowl. After 6 minutes, remove the walnuts from the oven and toss together with the mixture in the bowl. Spread everything back out on the baking paper, and return to the oven for a further 4 minutes. Since the date syrup is darker, it’s difficult to tell when the walnuts are browned, and not burnt. Err on the side of less time in the oven, and taste once they are cool – they should be crunchy and sweet. Set aside to cool.

Turn the oven temperature up to preheat to 200 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the apples into bite sized pieces, and set aside. Melt the coconut oil, and add to a medium sized baking dish together with the date syrup (the baking dish should be big enough to easily stir all of the apples). You can also quickly melt the coconut oil in the baking dish for a few seconds in the oven while it’s preheating. Mix together all of the spices in a separate small bowl, making sure that the spices are combined well. Add the chopped apple to the baking dish with the coconut oil and date syrup, stirring to coat all of the pieces. Add in the spice mixture, and stir again making sure that each piece of apple is covered. Roast in the oven for around 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the apples are soft.

When the apples are done, take out of the oven to cool slightly while you cook the oats. Add the oats together with the sea salt, and water/milk and cook on the stove until small bubbles appear. Turn down the heat and keep stirring, adding more water or almond milk along the way to prevent it from sticking or coming out too thick.

Once the oats are cooked to your liking, add to a bowl. Roughly chop the candied walnuts with a knife and store the leftovers in a mason jar. Top the oatmeal with a few spoons of spiced apples, a handful of candied walnuts, and a bit of granola or almond butter drizzle, if desired.

Enjoy your chain spiced apple & walnut oatmeal

Fiona x

 

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