turmeric oatmeal with stewed dates and brazil nuts (gf, df, v)

December 9, 2020

Earlier this year I wasn’t feeling well. I had horrible heart burn, stomach pain, and my hair was falling out in shocking amounts (an iron deficiency) – oh, and there was a pandemic lockdown and the kids were home indefinitely. I had to eat really gentle foods, things that were easy on my system and soothing. I ended up prefacing all the recipes I came up with during this time as “healing” – e.g. healing broth, healing curry, etc. This was my “healing oatmeal” – selenium from the brazil nuts, anti-inflammatory components from the turmeric, oats to soothe an angry stomach, along with fibre and nutrients from the dates – but this dish has transcended the hard phase and I love it still. The concept is taken from a drink my mom always made for me postpartum: chopped dates with soaked, peeled, and sliced almonds warmed in a pot of homemade almond milk and honey. It was a drink that you would both sip and eat and offered me so much comfort. The idea of healing drinks and foods was given to me by my parents, but really they play a big part in our culture. This is my interpretation, a riff on classic oatmeal, which I’m passing on to you. PS: This is not an Instagram friendly looking recipe; there isn’t a sundae-like rainbow of toppings – it’s meant to be simple, hearty, and nourishing, and it’s best that way.

turmeric oatmeal with stewed dates and Brazil nuts (gf, df, v)

4 servings (or a couple days’ worth).

I usually make a pot of oatmeal, store it in the fridge in an airtight container, and then just reheat in a small pot.


1 cup rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten-free)

3 cups water

½ cup to 1 cup almond milk (alternatives: oat, dairy)

½ tsp to ¾  tsp turmeric (1/2 tsp if you don’t want it as pronounced)

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp kosher salt

3-4 mejdool dates chopped or sliced (3 if you want it less sweet)

8-10 brazil nuts (or 10-12 almonds), sliced thinly or chopped up

For the topping per bowl: sliced banana, 1 to 2 sliced brazil nuts, a sliced date, honey or maple syrup


1. In a medium size saucepan add oats, water, turmeric, salt, dates, nuts and cinnamon, and turn to medium-high heat.

2. Once it comes to a boil, turn down to a gentle simmer and let it cook for 10 to 15 mins, stirring as you go to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add more water if you feel like it’s drying up too much.

3. The oats are done when they’re completely soft and thick. Meanwhile, the dates will have broken down, combining with the oats, leaving flecks of brown and a glossiness to the mixture. Taste to see if you need to add a little more salt or cinnamon.

4. Now slowly add the almond milk till you get the consistency you want – the whole cup if you like it looser, a little less if you like it porridge-y and dense. Let the milk warm through completely and take off the stove.

5. To serve, ladle into a bowl and sprinkle with reserved nuts, a sliced date, cut up banana and a dash of cinnamon. It’s sweetened from the dates, but you can also drizzle with a little honey or maple syrup if you like.


 *If you’re going through a particular rough patch or want to optimize digestion I would suggest soaking your nuts and oats separately overnight in water, otherwise they’re fine straight from the jar/bag. If you do soak the oats this will lessen the cooking time, but make sure you cook the oatmeal till the dates have mostly broken down and incorporated in.

*Steel cut oats would be wonderful here too – I would just suggest soaking them overnight to quicken cooking time (they take double the time to cook) and break down the phytates.

Leave a comment or question, or just say hi below! I’d love to hear from you. Also, you can share the recipe by using any of the little social buttons: facebook, instagram, twitter, or pinterest – whatever’s your jam. 🙂

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