Tuesday, April 1, 2014


When Billy and I take a road trip our favorite restaurant to stop at is The Cracker Barrel.  They’re always conveniently located right off of the freeway, and we know that we’re going to get a yummy, home style meal; not my home style of cooking, but home style none the less.  We actually have a Cracker Barrel only about 15 minutes from home, but we never think to go there if we’re not travelling…weird.

One of my favorite things to eat at The Cracker Barrel is the fried apples; it’s kinda like eating an apple pie without the crust.  

Fried apples are a special occasion treat, because they are drenched in butter, which is also why they’re so dang yummy.  So when I get a hankering for those yummy apples, Apple Cinnamon oatmeal is how I satisfy that craving. 

I used Scottish Oatmeal in this instance, but you may use your favorite oatmeal.  Cooking the diced apples in maple syrup and cinnamon really gives them the flavor of fried apples.  I like to add flax meal and nuts to my hot cereal for texture, fiber, essential fatty acids,  and nutrients.

Apple Cinnamon Scottish Oatmeal is satisfying on many levels; it’s nutritious, it keeps you feeling full and happy for hours, and it tastes like fried apples with none of the guilt, so you can eat it every day if that’s what you want to do!

Here’s what you do.

Because of the milling process Scottish Oatmeal has different textures all in the same bag, so it creates a mushy oatmeal that still has some texture.

You're gonna need an apple; I like the tartness of Granny Smith. 
Dice the apple into about 1/2 inch cubes, peel on or off is your choice.

Combine the apple, water, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. 

This allows the apple to absorb the flavors of the maple and cinnamon; reminiscent of the fried apples at The Cracker Barrel.

Now add the milk and bring it back up to a boil. 

Keep a very close eye that the milk doesn't boil over on you.

I like to cook my hot cereal in milk for added calcium and protein, but you can totally use all water.

Stir in the salt, oats and flax meal. 

Be sure that you are stirring while you slowly pour in the oats or it will be a clumpy lumpy mess!

Once it comes back up to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook for 10 minutes longer; stirring frequently.

Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to sit covered, for 2 minutes,

Top with some chopped nuts and perhaps a drizzle of some more maple syrup.

And, if you like, pour some milk over the top.  

Apple Cinnamon Scottish Oatmeal will keep your tummy full and your energy up for all of the morning hours!


Serves 4

1 ½             cups                       Granny Smith Apple, ½ inch dice (1 medium apple)
1 ½ cups + 2 Tbsp.                       Water
¼                cup                        Maple syrup
¼                tsp.                        Ground cinnamon
1 ½             cups                        Milk
½                tsp.                        Salt
1                 cup                         Scottish Oatmeal
2                 Tbsp.                       Flax meal
¼                cup                         Chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts

   1.       Combine the diced apple, water, maple syrup and cinnamon in a 2 quart sauce pan; bring to a boil.  Once the boil starts, cook the apples for about 3 minutes.
   2.       Add the milk and once again bring the liquid to a boil, watching the pan that it doesn’t boil over.  Slowly whisk in the salt, oatmeal and flax seed.  When it comes back up to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, place a lid on the pan and allow the porridge to sit for 2 minutes.
   3.       Serve the porridge in individual bowl and top each bowl with about a tablespoon of chopped nuts.  You may also serve the porridge with more maple syrup and milk.

Note:  *If you don't do dairy, just replace the milk with more water.
**You may use rolled oats, or Irish oatmeal in place of the Scottish oatmeal, in that case adjust the liquid (using half milk and half water) and the cooking time according to the package instructions.

***Irish Oatmeal takes longer to cook so to keep the apples from over cooking (thus being a mealy mush) don’t add them until the last 15 minutes of cooking.

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