Winter Survival Cooking: Maple Cardamon Oatmeal

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It is my childrens’ third snow day.  For the last three Monday’s my kids have been kept home because of blizzards, snow and today, a coating of ice so thick my car looks like a popsicle version of itself.  I might not be able to drive until spring.

We are all deprived of precious sunlight.  A hint of grass under the snow would be a welcome sign that spring is on the way.  For now, though, it is a sea of white.

I know what you are craving right now, because I am looking for the same thing.  Too many days indoors, too little physical activity, a whole lot of boredom and we can start rummaging through the cabinets.  Anything to make us feel better.

I am no where near desiring a daily green smoothie or anything that resembles cold and raw. We want hearty, warm, filling.  And it has to taste good of course. While were at it, we might as well throw in some healthy benefits, such as great tasting spices and good for you fats, like almonds and the hemp seeds I have been wild about lately. These add interest and so much flavor.

warming, winter ingredients, so good for you!
warming, winter ingredients, so good for you!

Though it might feel difficult right now, the last thing we want to do is blow it all on winter.  In a few weeks the temperature will rise (it has too, right?) and the prospect of sundresses and bathing suits will be upon us.  Doesn’t that sound nice?

This morning, as I was stirring my oatmeal, adding a dash of this and a pinch of that, I realized that you might be a little burnt out on the plain old oatmeal that you’ve been slogging through all winter. Let’s jazz up our tired, worn out winter stand by’s with something a little bit more exciting and delicious.


I frequently tell clients to use the “add-in method” when eating good for you foods, such as oatmeal.  Start simple – plain oatmeal, unsweetened yogurt, for example – then add in flavorful spices, fruit and other condiments that add interest.  It tastes so much better.  And so good for you!

Maple Cardamon Oatmeal

Makes one serving


1/2 cup traditional oats
1 cup almond milk (you could also use plain water if you’d like, or another milk)
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon real maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (I wrote about this delicious spice here)
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or almonds or walnuts
2 teaspoons hemp seeds (you can also use chia seeds or flax seeds)
½ cup berries, such as raspberries (you can use frozen)


1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the oats, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and spices.

2. Let simmer for 5 minutes, or until the oatmeal absorbs the almond milk. Top with nuts, seeds and fruit.

Copyright© Heather Carey, MS 2015

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