Sometimes I get in breakfast ruts, making the same smoothie or pancakes over and over and over again. These last two weeks it’s been this date-sweetened apple pie oatmeal. Remind me again why ruts are a bad thing?
I am so incredibly smitten with dates. Have you tried them? I love how they’ve replaced my need for brown sugar in oatmeal. They’re sticky, sweet, and so satisfying. Cut up into steamy oats and they add the perfect amount of sweetness my sugar-loving palate needs.
The apple pie version actually came about by accident. I’d grown quite fond of making a berry compote version but ran out of berries. In my desperation I turned to apples. Honesty, because I was in a hurry the first time I sliced up my apple and microwaved it for convenience (I can almost hear people slinging enzyme-laced insults at me from afar). But you could also saute your apples to keep this process au naturel.
In this recipe I baked them. But if you’re short on time make modifications as you see fit (like the microwave). Just don’t tell the enzyme fairies.
I love, love, love this bowl. It’s thick, creamy, warm and full of apple-cinnamon flavor. I usually top mine with toasted pecans, which I highly recommend. But in a pinch I used walnuts instead. Just one serving is so satisfying and always keeps me full ’til lunch with plenty of fiber and protein. You could even add a dollop of almond butter or other nut butter for extra protein, if you wish.
I enjoy my oatmeal on weekday mornings since it’s become part of my daily routine. But it would also be a lovely breakfast to make for guests or lazy weekend mornings – the best kind of mornings in the history of weekends.
Sub out other seasonal fruits as well! I love strawberry, mixed berry and blueberry versions as well.
Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal
- 2 tart or sweet apples (peeled, cored and evenly sliced)
- 1 tsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (GF for gluten-free eaters)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup dairy-free milk (I used unsweetened almond)
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 whole dates (finely chopped)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon and honey. Bake for 5 minutes then roll over parchment paper and tuck it in so they’re in a “pocket” to trap in moisture. Cook for 10-15 minutes more (20 minutes total) until soft. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over high heat, add oats, pinch salt, water and almond milk and stir. When it comes to a boil, reduce to low-medium heat and cook until thick and creamy. Add the chopped dates a few minutes after you reduce the heat so they can soften and sweeten the oats.
- Once thick, remove from stove top. Add a little almond milk if it’s too thick for your liking.
- Arrange 1/3 cup baked apples in bottom of a serving bowl and top with oats. Other toppings may include, nuts, nut butter, flaxseed, honey, maple syrup, or cinnamon. I prefer mine with a few toasted pecans and flaxseed.