Jen here. I know … it’s been a long time since I last posted. Amanda and her friends tackled their plant-based whole foods journey this year, and I just sat back and watched, and read, and learned. I haven’t switched over completely, but I have been making slow adjustments in my own diet, and encouraging my family to eat more vegetables.
With that in mind, and to stay in the keeping of the season, and to give you something else to do with the leftover sweet potatoes you bought to make Erika’s chili, I made Oatmeal with Sweet Potato and Apricots this morning. I was inspired by the recipe I found in 3 Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery by Seppo Ed Farrey with Myochi Nancy O’Hara. This is a book I’ve had for over 10 years, and whenever I read it, I want to be there, eating in that dining room.
Oatmeal with Sweet Potato and Apricots from 3 Bowls (2-4 servings)
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 3 cups) 4 dried apricots, chopped (tiny, because they expand and might weird your kids out) 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract “Bring 5-1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the oats, sweet potato, apricots, and salt and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender and the sweet potato is cooked, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.”
That’s the basic recipe. I stirred in a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and lightly sweetened with maple syrup and brown sugar. Another time, I’ll use blackstrap molasses. There’s a variation in the book to make it either plain (use only 5 cups of water and omit the sweet potato and dried apricots, vanilla optional), or cinnamon apple (applesauce or fresh apples, peeled and grated, added after 15 minutes of cooking, along with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla).
This was mostly a success this morning, except my apricots weren’t chopped fine enough, and my 10-year old daughter didn’t like the chunks (they expand; I thought they were pretty tiny when I put them in). She was fine with the sweet potatoes, so I’ll try again.
In my experiments to encourage my kids (10 and 6) to eat more plants, I have discovered that they’ll eat spinach leaves wrapped around mandarin orange segments, they’re more than willing to eat broccoli, and they love salad bar night. Looking for more ideas and suggestions to work with my picky kids … but I think time and exposure are the big secret. Just keep offering, and they’ll join in sooner or later.