Grilled peaches, chocolate chunks and almonds on top of creamy cinnamon and vanilla steel-cut oatmeal.
Reading about people lining up outside actual bookstores to buy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has given me a serious case of déjà vu. While I wasn’t one of those rabid fans who turned up to the bookstore three hours early dressed as their favorite wizard or witch, back in the day I was quite the Harry Potter fan.
Did I really just write ‘back in the day’? Man, I’m getting old.
Anyway, the recent return of Pottermania reminds of the time that I nearly – nearly – set the house of fire. And it was entirely the fault of Harry Potter.
Quite a few years ago I was in my room, completely engrossed in one of the Harry Potter books. Even back then I’d say to myself, ‘I’ll just read for twenty minutes, and then I’ll go to bed.’ Then twenty minutes would pass, followed by another twenty minutes, and another… Little did I know that, more than ten years into the future, I’d be saying the same thing in reference to BuzzFeed and Pinterest.
As usual, I was reading while my fluffy toy Hedwig sat next to my bed on the nightstand. Then I had the good sense to move my precious Hedwig from the nightstand to a higher position: on top of the lamp. I returned to my book and happily kept reading.
Around ten minutes later my Dad burst into the room in a panic. ‘Do you smell smoke? Is something on fire?’ he yelped. Then we both looked at my lamp and I screamed.
Hedwig’s ass was on fire.
Unfortunately (for both me and Hedwig), my lamp used one of those old incandescent lightbulbs that produced more heat than light. But luckily we – well, my Dad – put out the mini fire and the only thing burnt was Hedwig’s rear end.
So maybe that incident was my fault rather than Harry Potter’s. But at the time I insisted that if Harry Potter’s adventures weren’t so interesting, I would’ve noticed that my room was filling with smoke. (Nothing could ever be mini Claudia’s fault).
So, what does all of this have to do with today’s recipe? Basically nothing. Although it does involve grilled peaches, which – unlike my poor Hedwig toy – are supposed to be charred.
This breakfast combines a few of my favorite things: creamy steel-cut oatmeal, chopped chunks of chocolate and warm peaches. I grilled my peaches using a grill pan on the stove, since it’s much easier (for me, anyway) than firing up the barbecue. But if you’d prefer to use an actual outside grill, then don’t let me stop you.
Oh, and if you’ve never tried the combination of peaches and chocolate, then trust me, you’re missing out. As delicious as peaches are by themselves, nearly everything’s better with chocolate.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup steel-cut oats
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- 2 - 3 peaches, halved and pitted
- Chopped dark chocolate
- Sliced almonds
- 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.
- Stir in the cinnamon and blackstrap molasses.
- Gently simmer the oatmeal for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the oats have softened considerably but are not completely cooked. As the oats are cooking, add more almond milk if the oatmeal becomes too dry.
- Stir in the vanilla bean paste, and sweeten with maple syrup (if using).
- Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grease the pan with cooking oil spray, and then place the peaches sliced-side down onto the pan.
- Cook the peaches for 5 – 10 minutes, or until charred. For softer peaches, flip the peaches and char the other side.
- Once the oatmeal is soft and creamy and the peaches are charred, divide the oatmeal between two bowls. Top each bowl with two charred peach halves, as well as plenty of chopped dark chocolate and sliced almonds.
Blackstrap molasses give the oatmeal a slight brown sugar taste. If you don’t have this ingredient, replace the maple syrup with brown sugar.
While cooking the peaches, keep an eye on the oatmeal and stir in additional almond milk and/or turn down the stove heat if necessary.