We just returned from an incredible vacation in Palm Springs. Blue skies, 90 degrees, warm pools, margaritas, mermaid Barbies … yeah, I’ve gotta admit to far more Barbie than margarita, considering our preschooler was in tow, but nonetheless. Ahhhhh.
Here in Seattle, winter wasn’t necessarily the coldest, but it was certainly a wet one. Luckily, the sun came out for our first couple of days back, and I’m just experiencing spring fever all around.
I created this Toasted Steel-Cut Oats with Coconut & Tropical Fruits in mid-January, when the world was much more gray, and food with a tropical vibe was feeling a bit like salvation.
The super-simple oatmeal itself doesn’t necessarily need to be covered in tropical fruit, but it’s certainly a nice addition. The base recipe for the oats is a bit of a discovery in itself – creamy and full of flavor. One of the secrets is to toast your steel-cut oats in a pinch of coconut oil before you start simmering it. This really helps bring out the toasty flavor of the oats – a bit of a game-changer when it comes to the steel-cut variety.
Then, the oats are simmered with coconut milk and water, and flavored with a bit of vanilla at the end of the process. I try to add very little sweetener to my morning oats, but I found a tablespoon of pure maple syrup added to the whole batch made a nice difference.
And finally, the toppings. Nuts, raisins, seeds … really anything goes. But this combo of mango, papaya, and coconut is pretty dang nice. Sunshine on the table, if not in the sky.
Toasted Steel-Cut Oats with Coconut & Tropical Fruits
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 cup steel-cut oats (not quick-cooking)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (lite or full-fat, either work fine)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Shredded coconut or coconut chips
- Diced fresh mango
- Diced fresh papaya
More delicious stir-in/topping options:
- Diced pineapple
- Sliced bananas
- Chia seeds
- Chopped macadamia nuts
- Dried chopped mango
- Golden raisins
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the steel-cut oats and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Carefully pour in the water all at once (the water may hiss and sizzle because the pan is so hot, so keep this in mind. The faster you can pour in the water, the faster the pan will cool down). Stir in the coconut milk, pure maple syrup, and salt.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Top with mango, papaya, and coconut and an extra drizzle of coconut milk if desired. Or try other assorted toppings - whatever you wish!