I’ve eaten plenty of oatmeal in my day. Until very recently, I couldn’t imagine there was a tastier way to enjoy it than with a nice pat of organic butter and some brown sugar. You know how the butter melts in and mixes with the slightly chunky brown sugar? And how it transforms the virtuous oatmeal into something a little rich and decadent? Well, I just love that.

Sometimes I add fruit, and sometimes I add nuts. Sometimes I add some raw milk or cream and sometimes I go with maple syrup instead of brown sugar. No matter what goes on top of my oatmeal, though, it’s always been pretty sweet: even though I try to minimize all sugars in my diet, it just never occurred to me to eat savory oatmeal.

But then I tried it. And I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

Savory Oatmeal with figs, pine nuts, and feta

Have you been there yet? To the land of savory oatmeal? Give it a go. I think you’ll love it.

Though there is a hint of sweetness here in the form of the dried figs (they play so nicely with the salty feta and the oily pine nuts, after all), you can feel free to use fresh figs or leave them out altogether. I used thick rolled oats, but you can make this recipe with steel-cut oats, if you prefer (keep in mind you’ll need to cook them longer, about 30 minutes). Be sure to use gluten-free oats if you follow a gluten-free diet.

Oatmeal with Figs, Pine Nuts, and Feta

Oats are high in fiber, magnesium, and the spectrum of B-vitamins, but like most grains, they contain naturally occurring compounds (phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors) that can make them difficult to digest and bind up some of their nutrients. For this reason, it’s a good idea to soak the oats in a mildly acidic liquid (such as water mixed with a little yogurt or lemon juice) before cooking in order to maximize their “digestibility” and to make sure you derive the benefits of the nutrients they contain. When I remember, I do soak my oats in the refrigerator overnight. The oats absorb a lot of the water, so I add more before cooking them in the morning.

Oatmeal with Figs, Pine Nuts and Feta Cheese

Ingredients:

*2 cups water
*1 cup organic thick rolled oats
*6 dried calmyra figs, diced
*2 tablespoons pine nuts, raw or lightly toasted in a dry skillet
*1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, or more to taste
*extra virgin olive oil- to taste
*fresh ground pepper (I used a mixture of black and pink peppercorns that I ground coarsely in a mortar and pestle)- to taste

Directions:

1. Combine water with oats and figs in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is just about absorbed (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool slightly

2. Spoon the oatmeal into serving bowls and top with the pine nuts and feta cheese. Drizzle in some olive oil and top with the black pepper.

Savory Oatmeal with figs, pine nuts, and feta

More savory oatmeal:
Savory Oatmeal with Gorgonzola and Walnuts from The Kitchn
Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Onions and Ricotta from In Jennie’s Kitchen
Mark Bittman’s Savory Oatmeal with Scallions and Soy Sauce

 

28 Comments

  1. 1

    Monet — November 5, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    So beautiful. This looks like such a wonderful way to start (or end a day). Figs, pine nuts and feta are some of my most favorite things. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 2

    Tweets that mention Oatmeal with Figs, Pine Nuts and Feta | Healthy Green Kitchen -- Topsy.com — November 5, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greek food by Sam, Winnie Abramson. Winnie Abramson said: Oatmeal w/Figs, Pine Nuts and Feta (inspired by @pennydelosantos) http://su.pr/2u8k5N [...]

  3. 3

    healthy mamma — November 5, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    Very interesting recipe. I never would have thought to combine feta & pine nuts w oats, sounds good! Ive always believed in soaking oats too, thx 4 sharing!

  4. 4

    Stormy @LaMaoomba — November 5, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    Wow – this is a new combination to me, but it sounds really good. I just bought some freshly-harvested pinon pine nuts. This is the incentive I need to shell them.

  5. 5

    Jessica — November 5, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    I never would have guessed to add figs, pine nuts and feta to oatmeal, but I love it! I’ve made a similar combo for quinoa before, but can’t wait to try this. Sounds decadent!

  6. 6

    Cookin' Canuck — November 5, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    This is a fantastic idea! Plus, the flavors that you chose to incorporate are really lovely – a little sweet, a little salty.

  7. 7

    Kristina @ spabettie — November 5, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    I love figs and feta… I have not made very many savory oats… I would LOVE this one!

    HAPPY WEEKEND !

  8. 8

    Pure2raw Twins — November 5, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    Wow love this!! The figs and being savory, yum!!! Never had savory oats but looks delicious and something I will have to try sometime.

  9. 9

    Sarah (Syrup & Honey) — November 5, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    I JUST got on a savory oatmeal kick, too! Although, yours sounds even better than what I’ve been enjoying: with toasted sesame oil, a few shakes of soy sauce, and a handful of peanuts.

  10. 10

    Jeanette — November 5, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

    An interesting twist, haven’t thought about savory oatmeal either, but great idea to reduce sugar intake.

  11. 11

    Jessica — November 6, 2010 @ 2:26 am

    I have never tried savory oatmeal, but this sounds so delish! Thanks for the info on oatmeal, I should soak mine from now on.

  12. 12

    Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food — November 6, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    The only savory oatmeal dish I’ve ever had was haggis, served in Malawi of all places! I think I prefer you recipe, which I can just picture being a tasty, healthy, and warming lunch on a cold winter day.

  13. 13

    Liz the Chef — November 6, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    I will try this! I love oatmeal but have been kidding myself as I rationalized about all the sugar I was using. Good idea!

  14. 14

    BigFatBaker — November 6, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

    Great post! I have never had savory oatmeal before, and after reading this – I am totally making this recipe tomorrow. Such a good idea! I would have never thought…

  15. 15

    briarrose — November 6, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    This looks wonderful. I have never considered going savory, but what an excellent idea. Love the mix of flavors you have.

  16. 16

    Nutmeg Nanny — November 7, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    What a delicious look oatmeal! I have never thought of enjoying it savory either. I will have to give this a whirl!

  17. 17

    Oui, Chef — November 8, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    I was skeptical at first read, but I must say that this recipe is growing on me. Brown sugar and cream has always been my favorite way, but my wife always finds by oatmeal too sweet for her liking, I bet we would both love it this way. I’ll try it soon and let you know how it goes. Thx – S

  18. 18

    sara — November 8, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    Mmmmm, what a great idea! I have never tried savory oatmeal either, but it sounds very yummy! :)

  19. 19

    Felicity Lingle — November 8, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    I love oats, they’re so cheap, easy and versatile. I need to try this!

  20. 20

    Susan — November 9, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    I have never even thought about savoury oats before. What a great idea. Sometimes I feel like sweet things in the morning and sometimes savoury. Now I can do both!

  21. 21

    Squeaky Gourmet — November 12, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    oh my goodness what a great idea–i want to try some right now. I love the pictures you shared as well–beautiful presentation!

  22. 22

    Amanda — November 16, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

    You know what’s funny Winnie? I do NOT like oatmeal. BUT this actually sounds really good to me. I never thought of eating it with savory add ins, how fabulous!

  23. 23

    carrie @ gingerlemongirl.com — December 15, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    Why haven’t I ever thought of making a savory breakfast with oatmeal?? Now I want to try this! Thank you SO much for sharing this on my “A GF Holiday: Breakfast/Brunch Roundup!”

  24. 24

    Moving on – Savory Oatmeal « Butter Sweet Melody — January 17, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    [...] Fig, Pine Nut and Feta Oatmeal from Healthy Green Kitchen [...]

  25. 25

    Jessie — March 4, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    What a great idea! I would have never thought to make oatmeal a savory dish, but since this looks so good I think I might try it! I have been trying to think of new recipes to put in my new lunch box from Laptop Lunches (it’s this great bento-style lunch box) and I think this might just fit the bill!

  26. 26

    Aggie — May 24, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    I have seriously been craving savory oatmeal lately! I’ve been eating a bowl simply with salt and pepper and a fried egg on top. Now THIS is what I want next. I need some feta, but maybe gorgonzola will work. I have everything else. Looks amazing.

  27. 27

    Lowering Cholesterol with Food: Oatmeal for Breakfast — July 12, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    [...] Oatmeal with Figs, Pine Nuts and Feta from Winnie at Healthy Green Kitchen [...]

  28. 28

    Irish Oat Broth with Leeks | Healthy Green Kitchen — March 14, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

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