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Not that I’m ever adverse to a little bit of light cooking in the morning – in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the chance to play with cinnamon and wooden spoons that really rolls me out of those cozy quilted covers, moreso enticing than even the smell of warm oatmeal and just slightly-stewed fruit tucked inside like a juicy wholesome present.  I’ve never exactly been able to shake the oat habit, but it has undergone a little bit of a makeover since my raw experiment this summer.

And you know what I found out?  Raw oats are equally fabulous as the cooked kind.  They’re a different creature to be sure, but if you like your oatmeal on the chewy side you are in gold territory here.  As an added bonus: absolutely no cooking (obviously!).  Also, they apparently have seven times the iron and potassium as cooked oats, and when you’re eating full raw, a big bowl of warming grain is nothing to shake a (leafy green?) stick at.

Raw Oatmeal 

(what I actually like to do is grind up a whole batch of various grains in large quantities and use them for the next few days so I’m not always making a construction-zone-level racket during my supposedly zen breakfast-making experience!  I like to go with 60% oat groats / 30% kamut groats / 10% other grains like brown rice or kasha.

A spice grinder is your best bet here, and you’ll probably want to get some completely pulverized, and some just barely cracked, for the best result)

  • 1/3 cup ground up oat mix
  • 1 cup water (or raw nut milk)

Mix these two together in a bowl and leave to sit overnight, covered.  

In the morning, rise yawning and with clean tummy ready for food!  Leisurely stir in (not too strenuous now)…

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed

Don’t skip these two!  They’re vital for that subtle “cooked” sweetness and texture.  Keep adding…

  • 1 piece of soft fruit, diced 
  • 1 tbsp each dried fruit & nuts 
  • pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • sea salt

And then stir it all together until it becomes smooth and porridgey, and adjust things to your liking.  To be totally honest I kinda like it as thin as milk, and really salty, and I like to throw in an extra sliced banana because banana is awesome, but this is breakfast and not building robots and it’s so entirely up to you that I feel almost silly suggesting any ratios on it.

Anyone else tried raw oats or would be willing to try it?  Let me know if you like it!  And when berries come into season… there’s the whole purple blueberry phenomenon to get excited about!  Hehe. ;)

Ah, remember the hearts? (now why can I never seem to keep from smiling at the thought of little cookie cutters?)

I made them to adorn a roasted eggplant & chestnut bisque (with blood orange and mint), but the trick is that I made them spicy!  It’s pretty simple to do, and I learned a new method for making polenta thanks to Mark Bittman – instead of boiling the water and then adding the cornmeal, you first whisk the cold water with the grain so there’s no lumps at all.  Granted, I’ve never had huge lump problems with polenta, but I do think this was easier.  It even accommodated my using a hand mixer attachment instead of a real whisk because, uh…. it was closer!  It’s SO almost the same thing.
Spicy Ras-el-Hanout Polenta Croutons

1 cup coarse cornmeal
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Ras el Hanout spice
1 tbsp olive oil
– In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornmeal, salt, spices and water completely.  Then, jack up the heat to boil and as soon as it does boil, reduce the heat to a very low bubble and stir every minute or so until the grain is completely cooked through and the porridge is thick.  It’ll be about 12-15 minutes.  
– Then, whisk in the oil and spread the polenta on a baking sheet lined with greased plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 2 hours to firm everything up.
– When it’s firm – cut it up!  Cookie cutterized, or into little crouton-cubes, either way.  
– Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom in olive oil.  Fry them up, about 5 minutes a side, until they’re nicely browned and slightly firm when you poke them.  Top onto salads or soups or just snack on them, they’re really nice.
Mmmm, speaking of cornmeal and how utterly delicious it is, I made some mini fluffy cornbreads from the Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.  I’ve had this book since I was a little girl, or at least my mother always kept it’s dry-bound oft-used pages up on the bookshelf for as long as I can remember.  Granted it’s chock full of dairy and eggs, but what is viable for a vegan is really lovely, and the cornbread is no exception.

I replaced the egg with some flaxseed and added chopped thai chili and diced red onions, and they came out just barely sweet and nutty tasting!  This isn’t a big-ol sopping up chili with a hunk of hefty corncake kinda cornbread, but light and refined kind of puff of mais-muffin that’ got a crisp crust and is pretty low fat too.  Almost alarmingly charming.  ^.^

Chocolate Midget Cake with Tiny Ganache (pg. 24)

Happy birthday to KG!  It’s a 200th poststravaganza of um… well…
… that I finally made that cookzine!  Actually, a while back, I made this in the space of one week, entirely handwritten (legibly) and full of the same recipes I’ve used since high school to absolutely perfect results, plus some extra new concoctions and no shortage of adorable drawings of FOODS all over thar place!  I’m gonna put it up on my Etsy sometime tonight, so if you want a copy, it’ll be real easy.

There’s some from the blog, and some new inventions, as well as some from my friends.  Some are veganized versions of comfort food I grew up with (Coconut Peanut Noodles – although growing up we had it on oh-so N. American tri-coloured rotini).  There’s the Raw Rosewater Cheesecake in all it’s dreamy creamy glory!  My sister added in this amazing Quinoa Salad that relies on copious, copious amount of poppyseeds, and it totally transcends anything I thought it could be.

Hi Satchmo.  =^-^=

(maybe next zine I’ll make-a-up some kitty treats?  Catnip nori bites?)

I could also totally get behind a totally-soup zine.  But anyway, the ones in here are good.

Oh yeah!  Speaking of soup, I made a whole million of polenta croutons in twee shapes for a soup yesterday! 

But that’s next post.  :D