I used to be a cereal and milk kind of girl. I lived for the crunchy sweetness paired with ice cold milk, first thing in the morning, or anytime of day, really. Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Oh’s, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Banana Nut Crunch, and oh so many more. The best part of eating cereal is the nostalgia, followed by refilling your bowl endless times because you have that sweet milk left over, and over, and over.
My love affair with cereal has ended, though, and has been replaced by a serious desire for oatmeal. Nowadays, after my morning run, I come home and look forward to a piping hot bowl with my coffee. It is so good, good for you (fiber, hello?), inexpensive, and the possibilities of flavor combinations are virtually endless…
I usually eat it topped with sliced banana – my staple fruit (if I don’t have bananas in my house, I almost get anxiety) – and some dried fruit and maple syrup. But the other day, I discovered the most delicious, decadent, form of eating oatmeal. Oatmeal cooked with banana. I’m not exaggerating when I say the banana actually melts into the oatmeal. And it tastes just like banana bread. Seriously?!
That’s a bold claim, but trust me on this. Weekday breakfast isn’t usually supposed to be so luxurious, but I feel like I’m spoiled now. This comes together so easily and simply that your morning routine will not be obstructed in the least bit. It’ll be done in the time that your beverage of choice is brewed.
You might even say farewell to cereal for good when you say hello to this perfect breakfast.
Banana Bread Oatmeal
Note: I usually stick to steel cut oats, which are nuttier in flavor, firmer, and take longer to cook. But I find that the softer texture of regular rolled oats work better in this recipe.
Serves 1 (This recipe can easily be doubled. Or tripled, quadrupled, quintupled..)
1 cup milk – I use soymilk (alternatively, you can substitute water, or use 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 cup water)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 banana (overripe works here)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon golden raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
A few dashes cinnamon
Bring milk (or water) to boil over medium high heat. Add oats and banana and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for a little less than five minutes, stirring often. You’ll want to turn the heat off when the oatmeal has absorbed the liquid, when you can pull the oatmeal away from the pan with a spoon, like this:
Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to bowl and top with walnuts, golden raisins, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Try not to lick the bowl when you’re done. If you’re alone, it might not be such a big deal.