Oh, winter. Despite the fact that it blows through Chicago at the same time every year, I’m never ready for it. As I’m sure is true for most Midwesterners, the hardest part is getting out of my warm, toasty bed in the morning. I really need something to motivate me to throw off the covers and start my day, aside from the promise of coffee. This winter, it’s going to be oatmeal.
Warm, hearty, sweet and slightly tart, this morning meal is inspired by the change in seasons. As we get ready to say “goodbye” to apples for the year and usher in a new crop of winter produce, we’re presented with a delicious opportunity to step up our oatmeal game. Tip: When shopping for your ingredients, be mindful that you’re choosing a sweet apple for this recipe to balance the tartness of the cranberries.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup apple, diced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tsp. cinnamon + more for serving
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 2 Tbsp. roasted pecans, chopped (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
- Combine the oats, apple, cranberries, cinnamon and water in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a gentle simmer over medium/low and place a lid on the pot slightly askew to avoid cranberry explosions (they may pop – this is normal!)
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue to heat until the oats have reached your desired consistency and the cranberries are soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon.
- Divide the oatmeal between two bowls and top with roasted pecans, maple syrup, and an additional dusting of cinnamon. Serve immediately.