I have become quite the oatmeal maker lately, and it’s been really fun to try out different ingredients throughout the cooking process and for garnishes. Eating oatmeal early in the morning, especially in these cold winter months, has been therapeutic for me. It’s so comforting, it’s hot, it’s flavorful and it’s packed with nutrients. After the holidays were over I had gained a few extra pounds, and it wasn’t good weight thanks to all of the desserts and leftover turkey sandwiches. When this happens every single year I seem to develop acid reflux, or if I eat poorly for a few days. After doing some digging I discovered that oatmeal is actually really good for reducing reflux, so naturally I began to eat it in the most unlikely fashion, not just because I was hungry and for that fact it’s good for me.
Cooking oatmeal with just a bit of salt and water can often taste bland, although that is hands down the best way to eat it. The moment you start pumping in butter, brown sugar and heavy cream, the only that’ll be singing is your taste buds, not your stomach. Now because I’m always on the hunt for the most flavorful dishes I’ve been experimenting with how to make oatmeal really tasty without all the extra ingredients in it. My first test went really well when I make this Blueberry and Almond Oatmeal Bowl Recipe with Almond Milk, Fresh Fruit and Seeds. Sure there is some natural sugar in blueberries and almond milk, but it is plenty to get the flavor juices working. Sticking with that same method of cooking where I add all of the flavor throughout the cooking process, I decided to make this Coconut Almond Steel Cut Oats with Papaya and Pepitas.
Since dairy can lead to acid reflux as well, almond milk is always a fantastic alternative. I found a great toasted coconut-almond milk blend that I used to cook the oats in. Regardless if regular cow’s milk gives you acid reflux or not, cooking oats in any milk will result in extremely flavorful and creamy oats. Honestly it’s the only way I cook oatmeal nowadays. Along with cooking the oats in that coconut-almond combo I added in a bit of vanilla and a wee bit of honey. At the very least if you want some sweetness in your oats stick with something natural such as honey, molasses or agave. Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats are literally the best; They’ve even won an award for the best oatmeal. They are nutrient packed, loaded with fiber and are so tender after being cooked you won’t be able to stop eating them. Note that steel cut oats always take a bit longer than regular rolled oats, because you need them to open up. Steel Cut oats have less fat, less calories, less carbs, less processing and more protein than regular rolled oats. The benefits are ridiculously abundant and make for the perfect start to your day.
One of the things I’ve been obsessed with lately is accessorizing oatmeal. Much like my blueberry-almond oatmeal I loaded it up with fruit and seeds, and the same went for this Coconut Almond Steel Cut Oats with Papaya and Pepitas. I figured dated would help add a little natural sweetness to this dish so I cooked them up in some coconut oil. Along with the date I added in some papaya, dragon fruit, toasted coconut and salted roasted pepitas. This step in the process is always optional just because of availability of fresh fruit so be sure to find what’s available or what’s on sale. Happy oatmeal cooking everyone!
Coconut Almond Steel Cut Oats with Papaya and Pepitas
- 3 cups of coconut-almond milk
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla
- ½ tablespoon of honey
- pinch of Kosher salt
- 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 10 seeded and cut in half dates
- 1 cup of papaya, using a melon baller
- 1 cup of dragon fruit, using a melon baller
- ¼ cup of salted roasted pepitas
- ½ cup of toasted coconut
- Bring the coconut-almond milk, vanilla, honey and salt to a boil and then stir in the steel cut oats.
- Turn the heat to low, add on a lid and cook for 25 minutes stirring every minutes, or until tender and creamy.
- heat the coconut oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and add in the dates and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Set aside.
- Add the cooked oats to two separate bowls and garnish with the cooked date halves, papaya, dragon fruit, pepitas and toasted coconut.
- Serve hot!
Hello, I’m Billy Parisi, but to some I’m known as “Chef Billy Parisi.” I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but for the most part I’m a Food & Content Creator, Sometimes TV Host, Digital and Social Strategist, Influencer, Picture Taker, Coffee Drinker, Daddy, Husband, College Sports Enthusiast, Fashionisto, Film & Music Lover!
I’ve been in the kitchen since I started washing dishes in a restaurant at the age of 13, and during that time I knew immediately that I wanted to be a chef. I graduated from Arizona’s Scottsdale Culinary Institute and the University of Missouri, and have logged several years as line cook, sous chef, and executive in some of the Midwest’s finest restaurants. I currently live in the city of Chicago with my wife Lindsay and daughter Olivia and cook up new inventions, mash-ups, fusions and twists on old classics. I’m incredibly spontaneous and outgoing, and run 2 small businesses BPMVC, and my latest venture 5 Loaves 2 Fish!