Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée


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Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. 

Brûlée is  on my brain.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  I suspect it’s because I’m fortunate enough to be traveling to the mountains of Vermont to attend the blog brûlée in about 6 weeks from now! (More on that later, I promise.) So it just seemed inevitable that my trip was going to be preceded by a recipe for something sprinkled with sugar and placed under the broiler.  Sure enough, I’ve got a brûlée recipe I ‘m uber excited about posting today,  featuring the powerful combination of oats and dairy!

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You probably already appreciate that good things come in pairs including  wine and cheese, rest and relaxation and Batman and Robin. Today’s topic  is about yet another  dynamic duo, oats and dairy. This powerful combo, when eaten together, can help fill food and nutrient gaps and provide important health benefits. Did I just say food and nutrient gaps? Yes I did, because the truth is,  if you don’t get enough of the nutrient rich food groups, like whole grains and dairy, you could be missing out on  essential nutrients that keep you and your family healthy. Oats are a great way to get whole grains and fiber. You can choose old fashioned, instant or steel cut oats; they are all 100% whole grain. Milk, yogurt and cheese provide the nutrients that are often lacking in the diets of both kids and adults, namely — potassium, vitamin D and calcium.

I have always known oats and dairy to be  important for good health, and  also a  tasty pairing which is why I am so happy to be able share a recipe that showcases this combination in a delicious option for breakfast and beyond. Each serving of oatmeal brûlée provides 1/2 of a serving of the important whole grains and 1/2 of a serving of nutrient packed dairy.  Please note I am using  lactose-free milk; I am one of 30 million Americans with some lactose intolerance. I find lactose-free milk a great alternative for both drinking and cooking; it tastes great and provides the same nine essential nutrients as regular milk. I do tolerate small amounts of lactose so I made my custard with butter, but included a #lactosefree substitution in the recipe.  When I first made this, I thought it would be best  served lukewarm, but after putting the leftovers in the refrigerator, my family has enjoyed it as much, or more cold. Yes, I am serious. So either way, add some interest to the meals you plan for yourself, and your family, with the healthy and delicious combo of oats and dairy in a versatile  oatmeal brûlée.

For more delicious options  incorporating oats and dairy into your healthy diet,  please see the links at the bottom of this post.

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Oatmeal Brûlée

makes 4 servings

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 level tablespoons cornstartch
  • 24 ounces Lactose-Free 2% Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (or substitute trans fat free margarine-like spread without milk for a lactose free diet)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

for the topping

  • 1 cup prepared quick cooking steel cut oats, made according to product directions (for lactose-free diet make with water or lactose-free milk)
  • 8 teaspoons caster sugar
  • raspberries and /or blackberries for garnish
  • fresh mint for garnish

Instructions

1. Pour lactose-free milk into a microwave safe measuring cup and heat in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until hot to the touch (this will reduce cooking time.)

2. In a medium sauce pan (NOT OVER HEAT), combine the eggs, sugar and cornstarch. Beat with a wire whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

3. Whisk hot milk into egg/sugar mixture while the pan is set over low to medium heat. Cook whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

5. Cool for 5-10 minutes .

6. Divide custard evenly into 4 six-ounce ramekins. Top with 1/4 cup cooked steel cut oats.

7. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar spread  in a fine even layer.

8. Place ramekins on cookie sheet. Move the top rack in your oven as high as it will go.

9. Place cookie sheet on top rack of oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes rotating ramekins to brown evenly. Remove when sugar is melted and brown.

10. Serve lukewarm after the sugar is set about 5 minutes or refrigerate and serve cold. Garnish with fresh berries and mint.

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