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Monday, February 2, 2015

Cranberry and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

When I was young Admiral would occasionally make us raisin oatmeal sweetened with brown sugar. I learned from him that the trick to great raisin (or cranberry) oatmeal is to add the raisins (or cranberries) to the water at the very beginning. that way they plump up as they soak and come to a boil. And BONUS: They slightly sweeten the water so that you need less sugar!

One of Bailey's all-time favorite snacks is dried cranberries. (Raisins are a close second.) I've honestly never seen her turn them down. In fact, the handful of times we've had to ask Yaya, Admiral, or Nana to babysit in an emergency they've always fed her raisins or Craisins for snack (or dinner). She will eat every cranberry in sight and then ask for more, and she won't stop until you quit giving them to her.

And that is why this oatmeal is her favorite!

This oatmeal is a quick, hot alternative to cold cereal, perfect for chilly mornings. Oatmeal has protein and carbohydrates to jump start your metabolism in the morning and keep you full until lunch, but isn't so heavy that it leaves you feeling sluggish. The plump, juicy cranberries bring a tart sweetness and the brown sugar adds a richness and depth of flavor that you just don't get with white sugar.

Cranberry and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Source: Adapted from an Admiral Original

1 3/4 cups water (or 1 cup water and 3/4 cup milk)
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
pinch of salt
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp butter (optional)

In a small saucepan bring the water (or water and milk) and cranberries to a boil.

Stir in the salt and oats and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and melt in the brown sugar and butter.

Serve warm.

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