RECIPE. Feb 28, 2011

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Crisp

I made this early this week as a “dessert” and convinced myself it was healthy enough to have for breakfast. I mean, it is, right? Well, if not, I really don’t care because it was just too good not to consume immediately every morning. I have a few cooking blogs I really love but they have fallen to the side since my diet has been altered. I know what it takes to change recipes so that I can eat them, but sometimes it just takes way to much work and I work hard enough. While I was with some girls at lunch, one mentioned this blog and I took a curious look. My energy and excitement for cooking was renewed.

This lady has it all figured out and I’m a devoted follower from now on. She makes vegan food with a very healthy spin. If you didn’t know, vegan does not equal healthy, it just means there is no animal products. This does not mean you cannot consume incredible amounts of junk food and sugar on a vegan diet, you can. So it was so exciting to find a blogger who is catering to both my nutritional needs. The bonus? She posts nearly every day. Score one for me. So I may just be taking quite a few recipes from her blog and reposting them, I hope she doesn’t mind. I hope she is flattered to have such a devoted fan.

One of the key ingredients to this dish, and several of her dishes is chia seed. Yes, as in Chia Pet. Unbeknownst to many of us, this little seed packs a powerful nutritional punch, enough to knock you into shape. This seed balances blood sugar, contains Omega 3’s, is a complete protein, keeps you feeling full longer, has anti-oxidents, can replace almost half the butter in most recipes and is high in calcium. To think we were just trying to put green grass hair on little ceramic animals, shameful. You better believe I’m about to find out a lot more about this little magic seed and how to incorporate it in as many dishes as possible. Here is a little more info on how to add this seed to your own recipes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in the peeled and chopped sweet potato. Cook over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Give the pot a quick rinse and then add in the oats, milk, and chia seeds. Whisk well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

With a potato masher, mash in the cooked sweet potato and the banana into the pot. I left some chunks for texture. Now stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Cook on low for another few minutes. Make the crunchy pecan topping by mixing together the pecans, flour, Earth Balance (or butter), and brown sugar with a fork. until very clumpy. Pour the oatmeal into 8x8 dish and spread out evenly. Now sprinkle on the pecan topping.

Transfer the oats to a casserole dish (8inch/4cup or whatever you have!) and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, at 350F. After 20 minutes, set oven to BROIL and broil on low for a couple minutes, watching very closely so you do not burn the topping. Remove from oven and serve. Feel free to put in fridge and reheat in the morning for an incredible breakfast. I topped it off with some rice milk, granola and ground flax seed.