Curating Recipes: Apple Cinnamon Instant Pot Oats for the Whole Family

Ready for your house to smell like the apple-cinnamon-y goodness of fall? Forget the scented candles; just get cooking!

This recipe for Instant Pot oatmeal couldn’t be simpler — or tastier.

Bursting with flavor, this oatmeal serves up a nutritious, comforting breakfast the whole family can love, from baby to nursing mama.

The Secret’s in the Instant Pot

I’m hardly an Instant Pot-everything kind of gal, but once I made my first batch of oats this way, I never looked back! It’s been game-changing for preparing grains, and I can’t help but spread the word.

With the Instant Pot, there’s no need to hangout by the stove. No more waiting for water to boil; no more stirring; no more stove top mess.

Just throw the ingredients in the pot, set the timer, and walk away. Return twenty minutes later to oats that are plump, moist, and cooked to perfection.

Making Space for Healthy Grains

Grains have gotten a bad name lately, with many of today’s most popular diets failing to incorporate this ancient staple.

But I believe healthy grains still deserve a spot in a well-balanced and sustainable lifestyle, especially for children, and nursing or expecting mamas.

A serving of rolled oats — a dry 1/2 cup that plumps to one cup when cooked — contains about 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. It boasts vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium, and provides the carbohydrates babies, children, and mamas need to tackle a busy and stimulating day.

For almost double the fiber and protein (and a lower score on the glycemic index), select a 1/2 cup of steel cut oats in lieu of rolled.

A Best First Grain for Baby

When I was ready to introduce my babies to grains, I chose oats over rice cereal.

Mushy, soft, and gently sweet, a runny oatmeal makes a great first grain for baby. For babies brand new to solids, plain oatmeal can be thinned using pumped breast milk for an added nutritional punch and some natural sweetening.

Rice cereal remains popular for babies, but when you compare the two from a nutritional standpoint, oats win the day.

This nutrition label is from Earth’s Best Organic Infant Rice Cereal, and shows that the product contains no fiber, and about 2 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup). Also worth noting, the main ingredient in the cereal is brown rice flour.

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Cereal, Rice

Oats May Bolster Milk Supply

Oats are currently one of the most touted foods for enhancing a nursing mother’s milk supply.

But in preparing this post, I got to wondering…could I find any scientific evidence to support oat’s milk-boosting claims?

It’s moments like these that make blogging so stimulating; providing opportunities to question some of that ‘common knowledge’ I’ve long taken for granted.

And what did I find? It turns out, there’s not!

Not yet, anyway.

In this article, kellymom (a wonderful nursing resource for new and experienced breastfeeding mamas alike) acknowledges this lack of scientific research, but highlights the anecdotal and traditional evidence in support of the beneficial affects of oats. Kellymom proposes that the ‘iron’ and the ‘comfort’ provided by oatmeal contribute to the dramatic improvements reported by so many women.

And in this fascinating article from The Lactation Nutritionist, the author points out that just because the studies haven’t been done, doesn’t mean oats don’t work.

She notes the need for research in this area, calling upon universities to tackle the seemingly untouched topic of galactagogues (breastmilk enhancing foods or drugs). She goes on to provide her own theory for so much anecdotal success, suggesting that the avenanthramides from oatmeal increase NO production, which in turn increase blood flow.”

So while the science isn’t there (yet), there’s still anecdotal and traditional evidence, which, combined with a robust nutritional profile, make oats a healthy and promising choice for nursing women.

Recipe

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
    • Prep: Less than 5 minutes
    • Manual Cook Time: 9-10 minutes
    • Natural Release Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2-3 organic* apples of your choice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups organic oats
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • Optional Toppings: Frozen blueberries & chopped roasted almonds

*Apples once again graced this year’s EWG ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, a compilation of fruits and vegetables shown to contain the highest concentrations of pesticides, which makes them a great item to prioritize purchasing organic!

Directions

  • Chop apples into cubes (I like to include the skin for added nutrition and flavor)
  • Add all ingredients to the pot
  • Stir to mix the cinnamon and apples evenly among the oats
  • Set Instant Pot to ‘Manual’ mode
  • Set Instant Pot cook time for 10 minutes (steel cut oats) or 9 minutes (rolled oats)
  • After cooking, leave oats in Instant Pot for 10 additional minutes
  • Release any remaining steam when ‘L10’ is reached
  • Stir and serve
Before

After

Serving Ideas

I love to top this oatmeal with frozen organic blueberries and coarsely chopped, roasted almonds. The blueberries cool the steaming oatmeal so that it can be eaten right away, while adding the perfect touch of sweetness.

For my toddler who’s not quite ready to crunch nuts, I mix in almond butter instead.

Before drowning your oats in maple syrup or brown sugar (like my beloved husband), please promise me you’ll at least try this oatmeal with the frozen blueberries alone! It’s so perfectly, subtly sweet, you won’t even miss the added sugars.

I hope you enjoy my favorite version of this old classic! Whether your little ones are back to school in the classroom or in the kitchen, now’s the perfect time for a convenient, nutritious breakfast the whole family will enjoy.

2 comments

  1. I still have yet to unbox my Instant pot. I need to do it for some new fall recipes. Maybe that will make me feel excited about cooking again. We all love oatmeal, so we’ll give your recipe a try! Yum

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh gosh, the hardest part about the Instant Pot is getting started! When you’ve been cooking for a long time, it’s not appealing to have to learn to work with a brand new machine. But I promise it’s totally worth it for preparing grains! Don’t be intimidated by all the buttons; you can cook tons of recipes just using ‘Manual.’

      Also, can you tell I’m pretending it’s fall over here. 😂

      Like

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