When the weather turns crisp, I start craving warm spices and hearty meals. Although breakfast is pretty much my favorite meal of the day, I rarely have any desire to cook in the morning – I’m lucky in that my office has a full hot breakfast bar, but when left to my own devices, I’ll choose convenience almost 100% of the time.
For this reason, I tend to lean on oatmeal and yogurt all year round for breakfast (with the occasional egg thrown in here and there), but I like to mix things up when seasons change. While I love to add berries to my breakfast of choice during the warmer months, once the leaves start to turn I’m all about apple and cinnamon. Here are a couple easy, delicious options to get you going in the morning:
Apple Pie Oatmeal
1/2 Cup apple cider
1 medium apple, cored and roughly chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Cup rolled oats
1 1/2 Cups milk (I typically use 2%, but non-dairy will work just as well)
Pinch of salt
Handful of chopped glazed pecans (I like to use maple pecans, but walnuts would also be delish here)
Splash half & half, cream, or milk (optional)
Combine the apple, cider, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the cider reduces by about half and apples are tender (about 5 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients (leaving half the nuts for garnish) and turn heat back up to medium-high. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until desired thickness has been reached. I like to serve this with a splash of half & half and remaining nuts…if you wanna get really wild, I highly doubt a splash of maple syrup would ruin things here.
Apple-Cinnamon Yogurt Parfait
1/2 Cup vanilla yogurt (I love Noosa for this, but any vanilla yogurt will work – use your favorite)
1 Medium apple, cored and chopped
1/4 Cup granola (I like Nature Valley here – it’s cinnamon-y and extra crunchy)
1 Tbsp Craisins or dried cherries
1 Tbsp walnuts
This one’s really simple, guys – spoon yogurt into a dish and top with remaining ingredients. If you want to get fancy you can layer it (hence the “parfait”), but who are you trying to impress here?