Monday, January 7, 2013

Jicama "oatmeal"

Jicama "oatmeal"...brown color is because I added LOTS of cinnamon!
While you certainly won't fool anyone into believing that this is real oatmeal, this is a nice way to have the experience of digging into a hot creamy bowl on a cold morning. It's like cauliflower "rice" or zucchini "noodles" in that regard: it doesn't really duplicate the grain-based food itself, rather, it's a way of preparing veggies in a comforting, familiar way.

I was inspired by this recipe for cauliflower "oats", but I wanted to find a way of nixing the sweetener. Cauliflower is relatively sweet on it's own but has a sulfurous sort of flavor that I think you'd need to mask aggressively. So, I turned to jicama. The flavor reminds me a bit of apples so I went with an apple-cinnamon flavor for this recipe. It took me many, many tries to get this right. If I cooked it on the stove top, the jicama really wanted to stay crunchy unless I simmered it for a very long time. Thus, it seemed more practical to cook it in the slow cooker overnight so that it's ready in the morning.

I used my mini slow cooker; I have not yet tested it with a large model. If you use a big crock pot, let me know how it works. Typically, you want your slow cooker to be at least 2/3 full to prevent overcooking (source), so with a larger model you may need to reduce the cooking time. I'm not sure though! You'll have to try it :) Though with this recipe, I had more trouble with undercooking than overcooking.

This fits the Whole9 meal template precisely: A plate full of veggies, two eggs as a protein source, a bit of fat from the splash of coconut milk and ground seeds, and a bit of fruit. Most of the "fauxtmeal" recipes out there are based on lots of nuts and mashed banana with no veggies at all, so I wanted to provide a Whole30-friendly alternative. That being said, while flax is technically approved, the Whole9 team advises that you only consume it occasionally. So if you find yourself eating this very often I'd probably experiment with other nuts instead. Ground hazelnuts, macadamias, or perhaps coconut flour would be worth a shot, though I've not tested them myself. The other note I'd give to those doing Whole30 is to not go too crazy with toppings. In particular I would not load this up with nut butters, dried fruit, and so forth. Otherwise this is a great and very filling breakfast choice! ETA 1/13/13: I asked the Whole9 time for an "official" verdict on this recipe. It is indeed Whole30 approved, but they recommend some extra protein. You could either add something on the side like a piece of blueberry breakfast sausage, or try stirring an extra egg into the "oatmeal". I haven't tried it myself but I see no reason why three eggs wouldn't work. Additionally, it's a good idea to rotate this breakfast with other more colorful veggies.

JICAMA "OATMEAL"
Serves 1

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 oz peeled jicama, cut into chunks 
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk*
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Pinch salt
  • 1" piece of vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs ground golden flax seeds (other nuts or seeds may work, but I haven't tried them personally. I would recommend trying walnuts if you avoid flax.)
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened applesauce or a fourth of a fresh apple**
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
*Trader Joe's brand is just water and coconut milk, with no gums or sulfites. Alternately you can mix 3 Tbs full-fat coconut milk with 2 Tbs water.

**I like Granny Smith apples or Granny Smith applesauce, but you can use any variety you like. If you use fresh grated apple, just core the apple wedge and grate the flesh only, discarding the skin.

DIRECTIONS
  1. "Rice" your jicama. I did this by putting it in a blender, covering it with cold water, then pulsing until it was in rice-sized pieces. I recommend pulsing and keeping an eye on it to ensure you don't over-process. Then I drained the jicama well in a sieve. You will have about a cup.
  2. Put the jicama in a crock pot with the salt, water, and coconut milk. If using vanilla bean, cut it in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, then put the seeds along with the pod in with the jicama. Cover the slow cooker tightly, and if yours has a steam vent, plug it up with a chopstick. Cook on high for at least overnight, but ideally for 12-24 hours. If you cook for fewer then 12 hours it will still have a bit of a crunch.
  3. Before you go to bed, you can combine the ground flax or walnuts with the cinnamon and apple pie spice to have it ready in the morning.
  4. When you are ready to eat, remove and discard the pod from the vanilla bean. Beat the eggs with the applesauce or apples and, if using, vanilla extract. Stir it into the crock pot rapidly. Continue stirring until the mixture is thickened and the eggs are no longer runny. Turn off the heat, stir in the ground nuts/seeds and spices, then serve with the toppings of your choice.

3 comments:

hwalkerf said...

Is the idea for the eggs to cook in the warm mixture? Is there an amount of time you would recommend? (Not sure I would be able to tell if eggs are runny or not if mixed in, but would be able to observe if overall mixture was getting thicker...) Thoughts?

Erica said...

hwalkerf, yes the idea is for the eggs to cook in the warm mixture. You will definitely be able to see when they are cooked. When you stir them in, they are initially runny. Once they're cooked, the whole porridge thickens and you'll see a few bits that look a bit like egg drop soup (just keep mixing them in and they'll disappear)

kyle said...

Loved the flavor but mine was really runny. Next time I don't think I am adding any water other than to help my blended. Thanks!

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