As the weather gets colder, I find myself craving warm breakfasts to start my day. I find lately that I tend to base my breakfast decisions on what kind of fruit we have around the house and a couple weeks ago, we had a big box of mangos. We got them at a great price from a warehouse store, but they were going bad faster than we could eat them, and I was tired of just eating plain mango. I wasn’t sure what else to do with them, but one frigid morning I decided that there must be a good oatmeal recipe that uses mangos. And where else to look but my favourite oatmeal blog The Oatmeal Artist!
What did I find?
There are quite a few mango recipes on this site, but the one that intrigued me most was Mango Coconut Cardamom Oatmeal because I couldn’t tell you what cardamom smells or tastes like, yet I happen to have it in my cupboard. Don’t ask me why. Also, according to the blog, both mangos and cardamom are popular ingredients in Indian cooking, and I felt like trying something different.
What did I change?
Okay so this recipe only calls for ¼ a mango. Say what? First, I had a lot of mangos to use up and second, I love mango, so I definitely changed that. I used an entire mango for this recipe, putting half in while the oatmeal cooked, and saving half to top the finished product. And it was mango-goodness, I tell you!
Another thing I changed was to use coconut milk in place of regular milk. I too know a little something about Indian-style dishes (not that much really, but that sounds impressive, doesn’t it?), so I knew using coconut milk would jive with the other flavours and as a bonus might add just a little more coconut goodness. Plus we had run out of regular milk.
And for this recipe I didn’t just use any old rolled oats, oh no. I decided to branch out and steel cut this oatmeal party! I’ve only recently gotten on the steel cut oats bandwagon, but I don’t intend to jump off anytime soon. They have so much more texture and flavour so that the oatmeal isn’t just mush. It’s a yummy difference! The only disadvantage is that it takes about 3 times longer to cook (15 min vs. 5 min), but I’m okay with that.
Finally, I added to the toppings of mango and coconut just a sprinkle of brown sugar. Technically this recipe says to add whatever toppings you want to go with the shredded coconut anyways. I found the bites with brown sugar to be my favourite because it seemed to draw all the spicy, mango-y, coconut-y flavours together. It was heavenly!
What did I learn?
First of all, this was one of my first times making steel cut oats and I had to remind myself to be patient. I was so excited to try out this new recipe that I found myself watching the pot. But it takes a little time for those oats to soften, and nobody wants to eat undercooked oatmeal. I had to relearn me some patience.
And I learned that cardamom is a strong spice, and the pinch that this recipe calls for is really all it needed. I was tempted to add more, and I’m so glad I didn’t. I could taste it through all the mango and coconut and brown sugar, and if I’d added more it probably would have been overwhelming instead of pleasantly flavourful.
That’s about all I learned because I think I may be becoming a bit of an oatmeal pro! I won’t pat myself on the back just yet though, because I totally let this pot boil over, and it might have happened more than once…
This oatmeal was so yummy that I ended up eating it again the following morning! Mm mmm, mangos. I’m glad there’s such an awesome resource for all things oatmeal at my fingertips. I’d never have thought of creating an oatmeal creation like this. If you like oatmeal, I highly recommend you check out The Oatmeal Artist for some inspiration!