Red velvet cake batter oatmeal made with beet puree (not food coloring) and topped with cream cheese.
Is Red Velvet considered Christmasy? I mean, it’s red. And cream cheese frosting is white, so we’re covering both the Santa Claus colors.
Alright, technically this oatmeal is pink. But that’s close enough for me to claim this would be a festive twist to your usual breakfast. Especially if you topped it with red and green M&M’s – or a Christmas cookie!
Of course, if you’re feeling a bit Bah humbug about the holiday season, then forget everything I just said (typed). Red velvet works for any occasion, no?
Unlike many red velvet cakes (and red velvet cookies, brownies, ice creams, milkshakes etc.), there’s no funky food coloring in this breakfast. While I’m not vociferously anti-food coloring, it’s not really an ingredient I want in my morning bowl of oats.
Instead, the red (okay, pink) color comes from beets – also known as beetroot. A little beet puree adds a burst of color without making your oatmeal taste like root vegetables.
Since I’m too lazy to prepare and roast my own beets, I bought pre-roasted ones. Then all you need to do is whirl them in a blender or food processor, and voilà: beet puree.
This really goes without saying, but just in case a certain someone hasn’t had their morning coffee yet, make sure you use red beets.
Let’s quickly talk about that all-important cream cheese topping. Below I’ve included my lazy person’s cream cheese frosting. It’s just cream cheese and maple syrup whisked together with a fork. Plus a teaspoon or so of confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar) if you’d like a thicker or sweeter frosting.
It may not been an overly authentic cream cheese frosting, but for an oatmeal (or pancake!) topping, it certainly gets the job done. Of course, if you’ve been making a batch of cupcakes and just happen to have actual cream cheese frosting in the fridge, then use that by all means.
(Truth time: I actually do have cream cheese frosting in my fridge right now from making cupcakes earlier this week).
The chocolate chips on top of the oatmeal are technically optional. But as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I love adding chocolate to my oats.
Breakfast, like most things, is better with chocolate.
Question of the Day
How is your December going?
For me, December 1 began with my apartment building having no hot water. Then no running water whatsoever. So that was fun. But I’ve also been making gingerbread-flavored everything, so that actually has been fun.
- For the oatmeal
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup steel-cut oats
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup beet puree
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon butter extract
- 1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
For the cream cheese frosting
- 2 tablespoons spreadable cream cheese
- 1 - 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Confectioners' (icing) sugar, if necessary
- Chocolate chips (optional)
- In a saucepan, bring the almond milk and water to a boil, and then turn down the heat to medium-low. Add the steel-cut oats and salt, and stir well.
- Add the beet puree and applesauce, and stir until completely incorporated. Stir in the cocoa powder, vanilla bean paste and butter extract, and sweeten with maple syrup to taste.
- Steel-cut oatmeal generally takes 20 - 30 minutes to cook. As it’s cooking, add more almond milk if it looks as though the oatmeal is drying out.
- Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together the spreadable cream cheese and maple syrup until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, whisk in more maple syrup. If the frosting is too thin or not sweet enough, whisk in a teaspoon of confectioners' sugar (and increase as needed). Set aside.
- Once the oats have softened and are creamy, divide the oatmeal between two bowls. Top each bowl with some cream cheese frosting and sprinkle over a few chocolate chips. Enjoy!
To get ¼ cup beet puree, you’ll need (approximately) 1 small, cooked beet – otherwise known as beetroot. Make sure you use a red beet!
Preparation time does not include preparing the beet puree.
Make it vegan/dairy-free
If you use some dairy-free cream cheese, this oatmeal can easily be veganized.
Butter extract gives the oatmeal a slight 'buttery' taste. If you don't have any, just leave it out.