Monday, February 20, 2012

If You Like Pina Colada and Gettin' Caught in the Rain

I have to admit, I have a total weakness for pina coladas. Yes, I know they are sickeningly sweet. But the combination of coconut and pineapple along with the cool, creamy sweetness of the concoction just gets me every time. But it probably goes without saying here on HGK that drinking a pina colada is like a once-in-a-decade event for me. It helps that I live in Cleveland and not Saint Something or others.

I spent much of my weekend experimenting with NuNaturals Stevia products. I had some real highs and some real lows. If replacing the sugar with stevia in a recipe was easy, everyone would be doing it by now, right? Well, it's not that simple. I'm learning as I go.

I'll share my successes with you. My failures? I'm sharing them with the garbage pail.

I've been making batches of oatmeal, four servings at a time, and refrigerating single servings so that I have a healthy and convenient breakfast every day. Oatmeal is like a blank slate, and we can get really creative with the ingredients we add to it.

I began yesterday's batch with a pioneering spirit. Inspiration struck. I wondered what would happen if I included the flavors in a pina colada?

It was a risk. It could have been a bomb.

But it wasn't. It's phenomenal, one of the best original creations I have ever made.

Pina Colada Oatmeal
serves 4

Print me!

1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
2 cups alternative milk, I used unsweetened almond milk
2 small very ripe bananas (fresh or frozen), cut into 1/2" slices
1/4 cup partially defatted, unsweetened coconut (I get this at Whole Foods and my local Indian Market)
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 Tbsp coconut extract
optional: sweetener-8 drops NuNaturals Liquid Vanilla Stevia drops (or to taste) or 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Place all ingredients into a large pot (I use a stock pot to avoid the boiling over that always occurs with a sauce pan). Bring to a boil.

Lower to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.

Taste. You may not need any additional sweetener. Sweetened with liquid stevia (I used 8 drops) or maple syrup if desired.

Do you like pina coladas? Or do they totally turn you off?
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