Hot oatmeal, while tempting during winter months, can only be dressed up so many ways. Hence, we're restyling our cold-weather breakfast routine with these warm grain squares, made with red quinoa, bulgur wheat, rice milk and old-fashioned rolled oats, sweetened with a mixture of ground dates and date sugar. The wholesome bars, served with sliced fresh pears in heated rice milk, are just the morning makeover we've been looking for.
Warm Quinoa-Oat Squares with Date Sugar
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 8 servings
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Nonstick pan spray
½ cup red quinoa, rinsed under cold water
½ cup bulgur wheat
1½ cups rice milk, plus more, warmed, for serving
1½ cups water
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
8 dates, pitted
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons date sugar (or ¼ cup granulated sugar)
½ cup walnut halves
2 ripe pears (such as Bartlett or Anjou)--halved, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick pan spray. Line the baking pan with a long sheet of parchment paper, letting the sides of the paper hang loosely over the pan edges to create a sling. Lightly coat the parchment with the nonstick spray.
2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the quinoa, bulgur, rice milk, water and salt. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the quinoa has uncoiled and the bulgur is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the oats, vanilla extract and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the dates and date sugar until the mixture is crumbly, about three 3-second pulses. Transfer the date mixture to a bowl and add the walnuts to the food processor. Pulse until the walnuts are coarsely ground, about three 1-second pulses. Add the walnuts and the date-sugar mixture to the oat mixture and stir to combine.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula and bake until the top is lightly browned and the bars are set but still soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes.
5. To serve, carefully pull up the sides of the sling to lift and transfer the quinoa-oat square to a cutting board. Slice the bars into 8 rectangles and serve in bowls with the warm rice milk and chopped pears. Calories per Serving: 250; Sodium: 80mg; Total Carbohydrate: 45g; Fiber: 5g; Fat: 6g