It seems I am a rare specimen these days. The last of a dying breed. I am a breakfast eater. That's right, I take the time every morning to prepare and enjoy a healthy, hearty, warm breakfast, even if that means getting up at a ridiculously early hour.
Now that's not to say that I put a whole lot of time or effort into my breakfast most mornings. Oh no, most mornings I eat exactly the same thing and I am here to share it with you.
This year I made a new and wonderful food discovery. To preface this, I have never been a huge oatmeal fan. Too gloppy and goopy and (let's face it) snotty. Something consumed out of small instant packets on long backpacking trips and certainly not the way I usually want to start off my day. That was what I thought until I discovered steel cut oats. Oh the wonders! This was not the goobery oatmeal I was used to. Oh no, this was something much more. This had texture, and flavor. I immediately set about trying to find the perfect, healthy way to dress up my new discovery. After many a trial and error (not such a huge fan of plums and oatmeal, or dried cranberries for that matter) I finally hit upon the perfect combination and thus was born banana bread oatmeal. That's right, you get a perfectly healthy scrumptious breakfast AND you get to use up all those overripe bananas that you haven't gotten around to baking with (yes, I know they're on your counter). Anyway, here is my ridiculously simple, one serving bowl of banana bread oatmeal. Enjoy!
Banana Bread Oatmeal (Serves 1)
1/3 cup Steel Cut oats
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy milk or any other milk of your choice (alternately you could do just 1 cup water or 1 cup milk, this is just what works for me)
Splash of vanilla extract (optional, or you could try other extracts, coconut perhaps? almond?)
1 large overripe banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1-2 Tbsp toasted walnuts roughly chopped
Extra milk or soy milk for pouring over top
Put oats, water, soy milk, and vanilla in a pot over medium heat. Simmer 20 - 30 minutes. Place almonds in a preheated oven (to about 400) or a toaster oven and toast 5 to 10 minutes. While nuts toast and oatmeal cooks, go shower, put on makeup, pick out clothing, get ready. Once oatmeal is done cooking, break up overripe banana into a bowl and smash with the back of a fork into a pulp. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in cooked oatmeal and stir well to combine. Top with toasted nuts and milk. Enjoy! :)
It goes without saying that this dish lends itself to an infinite number of variations. I've used walnuts instead of almonds, added different spices, mixed in raisins, and even went so far as to mix in pumpkin puree (don't ask, I was in a fall-ish mood, it was surprisingly decent though). Have fun with it!