How is it August already?! I feel like the summer has just flown by. We have been getting rain almost every day in Colorado, which has been amazing. It has kept the temperatures cool and the grass green. I don’t ever remember the grass/fields being this green all the way to August. As the summer has flown by, so has my first dietetic internship rotation. I have completed over 260 hours of the 400 food service management hours I have to do. I have improved the nutrition education programs for the dining halls, written a food allergy policy, attended chef interviews, made over 40 pounds of pasta (at one time!), learned how to ice a cake and make focaccia bread, made some gluten-free baked goods in the special gluten-free bakery, and more! I have already gotten so many great experiences, I cannot wait to see what else I end up doing in the 1,000 hours I have remaining. Since my internship is keeping me busy and somewhat out of the kitchen (I am able to eat at the dining halls for lunch), I haven’t been experimenting with new recipes as much. Instead, I have been obsessing about a few other things…
Running. In less than 5 weeks I am doing my third half marathon (second trail half marathon). I am doing the Black Squirrel Half Marathon in Lory State Park just outside of Fort Collins. With 13.1 miles of singletrack and close to 2,000 feet of elevation gain, I have been doing most of my training on trail with some hills. This weekend I ran 10 miles with a good friend, and next weekend I am easing up before I ramp up to 12 miles before the race. I am loosely following this training plan.
Baking bread at home. Since bringing gluten back into my diet a little under a year ago I have been thoroughly enjoying all of the things that were forbidden while I was following a gluten-free diet. I’m talking beer, bread, tortellini, and tortillas galore! Rather than wasting my gluten on store bought bread, I have been experimenting with making bread at home. And when a friend gave me a liquid yeast starter he has been keeping alive since the 80’s that really fed the fire. So far I have made a few soft breads (similar to a sweet bread), yeasted banana bread, yeasted waffles, pizza crust, King Arthur’s No-Knead Crusty White Bread, and NY Times’ No-Knead Bread. All of them need some work, but I hope to be a self-taught crusty artisan bread master sooner or later.
Chickens. After I successfully defending my Master’s thesis in May, the husband gifted me with four cute little chickens. It has been such an adventure learning how to care for them (which isn’t that hard) and watching them grow. We have an Ameraucauna (named Goose), a Red Star (Laverne), a Barred Rock (Maverick), and we used to have a Wellsummer (Shirley), but that one turned out to be a rooster. Unfortunately, roosters are not allowed within Fort Collins city limits, so we had to give her (him) up, but we think he found a good home where he can make over 30 hens real happy. As the three hens have grown, and still have more growing to do, we began to feel a little uncomfortable keeping them in the small coop we originally got for them. The husband did some research, found The Garden Coop, bought some plans, and spent a few weekends building this amazing new coop for them in our back yard. Now that we have more space we hope to get some more hens. I’m crossing my fingers for a Silkie.
Slow Cooker Whole Oat Groat Porridge. With the warm summer temperatures I struggle with making stovetop oatmeal or mixed grain porridge for breakfast even though it was I crave every…single…day. Instead, I have been making this Slow Cooker Whole Oat Groat Porridge. I enjoy it warm on the first day and cold as leftovers (mixed in yogurt or kefir). It would be a great breakfast for those that aren’t morning people or don’t have a lot of time to make a hot breakfast. Just mix it up in the slow cooker the night before and wake up to a delicious ready-to-eat breakfast.
Whole Oat Groat Porridge
Serves 4 | Recipe by Lauren Larson | http://newestobsession.com
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 8 hours
¾ cup whole oat groats
¼ cup whole rye berries (or more oat groats)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
¼ cups chopped pitted dates (or other dried fruit)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 whole cinnamon stick (optional)
4-6 whole cardamom pods (optional)
2-3 star anise seeds or pieces (optional)
Toppings (e.g. milk, kefir, yogurt, nut butter, and/or fresh fruit)
- The night before, spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Add oat groats and rye berries (or more oat groats).
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pour in almond milk.
- Sprinkle in pitted dates (or other dried fruit).
- Add remaining ingredients (if using) and give it a quick stir.
- Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours.
- In the morning, serve topped with warmed or cool milk, kefir, yogurt, nut butter, and/or fresh fruit.
Instead of reheating leftovers try mixing them with about ½ cup of yogurt for a cooling summer breakfast.
Guess what I’m having for breakfast?!