Monday, July 15, 2013

Strawberry Basil Oatmeal

When I think about fresh herbs, I reflect on just how far my food journey has taken me. Until a couple years ago, I had never really experienced fresh herbs before. "Flavor" to me used to mean dumping sugar on top of my Frosted Flakes.*  The idea of using fresh dill to season potatoes or a sprig of thyme to add zest to a homemade soup was absolutely foreign to me. I think the first time I experienced fresh herbs (that I can actually recall) was the summer that my mom grew chives out on our backyard deck, just a few years ago.

* In my mother's defense, I did this behind her back; she did not approve. :)


Fast forward a couple years... I find using fresh herbs to be terribly inconvenient, but I still make the effort now and then. I despise how recipes always call for a minuscule amount, but stores sell them in rather large packages. Not helpful! Thus, I typically only buy them if it's either an important recipe or it's something that requires a hefty amount of herbs!
This week, I have fresh basil on hand because I used it to make a homemade pasta sauce (whaddup?). Immediately, I knew it was my chance to tackle this Strawberry Basil Oatmeal. Look at me, all sophisticated and whatnot. :)

No, but in all serious, this was one of the most sophisticated bowls of oatmeal I've ever enjoyed. I mean...LOOK AT IT.


Gawwwd.

The amount of basil you use depends on your current acquirement of the flavor combo of fruit + basil. Strawberry and basil is a new combination for me, so I played it safe and just used one large basil leaf (and loved it). However, I could see bumping up the basil flavor and not regretting it! Just make sure you put almost all of the basil in the oatmeal while it's cooking and be more skimpy on the topping. I went a little overboard for the pictures, and I ended up eating around those ribbons. Raw, liberated basil = a little too pungent for me.


I also highly recommend creating a lovely balsamic reduction to drizzle over the top, if you're into that kind of thing. I skipped this for two reasons: 1) I couldn't find my mom's balsamic, even though I truly believe she has some, and 2) I don't actually like balsamic that much. (I know, I know. But it's slowly growing on me. I tried some super high-quality and fresh balsamic a few months ago and surprisingly liked it!) Instead, I offered an alternative of adding the vinegar directly into the oatmeal, which results in a more subtle flavor. Since I couldn't find my mother's balsamic, I actually substituted red wine vinegar, and it surprisingly turned out really great!

Strawberry Basil Oatmeal

by The Oatmeal Artist
Prep Time: 3 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries, hulled
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1-3 basil leaves (I used one large leaf)
  • 1/8 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional, see notes above)
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add flax or chia seeds, do so now.) FYI: The liquid in this recipe is a reduced amount than usual because you will be adding extra liquid later with the pureed strawberries.
  2. Puree 4-6 of the strawberries with the lemon juice. I used an immersion blender to do this.
  3. Using the chiffonade method, cut your basil into ribbons.
  4. Once more of the liquid has absorbed in the oatmeal, pour in the strawberry mixture, optional balsamic, basil ribbons, and salt. Stir.
  5. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice, remaining strawberries, and any other additional toppings (Greek yogurt [I used SoDelicious Greek Style in the photos], more basil ribbons, balsamic reduction, etc.).
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**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Would this work with dried basil?

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps, but I personally don't like the taste of dried basil. If you do, it'll probably be okay.

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  2. I LOVE basil! It's the only plant I've been able to keep alive. This is on my must try list :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah, I had a basil plant last summer and loved it! I hope you like the recipe.

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  3. I started off making strawberry, spinach, and basil smoothies then tried strawberry-basil oatmeal combo. I thought I was being so clever but I'm glad others like this flavor blend as well. I can't wait to try the balsamic reduction! I've also found that strawberry, rosemary, and thyme oatmeal is good too

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    Replies
    1. Kudos to you, then; you beat me to it! You WERE clever!

      I'm not a huge rosemary fan. Tastes like a pine tree, y'know?

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  4. This flavor combo is the best! I love a strawberry basil lemonade on a hot day (: I must try this soon

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness. That sounds delightful!

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  5. Fresh and delicious! What else could anyone need? :) It's only a pity what there's almost no strawberries right now in the country I live in.

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  6. Can this be done as an overnight oatmeal? What would you alter?

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    Replies
    1. Hmm...that's a tricky one. I wouldn't recommend it. If I did it, I would puree the strawberries, reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup, and not add the basil until I'm ready to eat it. :)

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  7. This was one of my favorites ever. I made it last summer (including the balsamic reduction!) and it was just... So. Good! I also took it as inspiration and made a mango rosemary oatmeal similar to this and loved it! :)

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    Replies
    1. Oooooooh, that sounds DELIGHTFUL. I'm not a huge rosemary fan, but when it's used right, it's incredible.

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  8. This was the very first homemade oatmeal I've tried, and I've chosen after browsing ALL of your fabulous recepies. Guess I'm adventurous! :) Anyway, I LOVED IT! You are amazing, and brekfasts are much more fun time since I've discovered your blog.

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