Things are still a little out of sorts and every which way with the new place.
But, I've got the kitchen and living room in order, which means that I have a place to cook and a place to plop after a long day of unpacking and organizing. All is right in the world.
And I am positively loving being just one mile away from an adorable little coffee shop and a swanky wine bar. I am set for beverages in this new town.
I've been so busy unpacking that I haven't had time to make my usual batch of granola to go with my morning yogurt. I could use a little something other than coffee and Theo's Peppermint Stick dark chocolate to fuel me this week, so thank goodness oatmeal has stepped up to the breakfast bar.
Make that whipped banana oatmeal.
I was inspired by the idea over at Kath Eats Real Food several years ago and haven't turned back to regular oatmeal ever since.
Growing up, I always thought oatmeal was bland and therefore, did not eat it. But in my older and wiser years, I've learned that just a few simple tricks take it to deliciousness. You see, whipping in banana naturally sweetens the grains and emulsifies things a bit, giving them incredible gusto and volume. Brilliant.
And toppings are a must.
Do yourself a flavor favor and promptly scoop a spoonful of peanut or almond butter onto the piping hot oats so it gets all melty. Then drizzle it with honey or pure maple syrup. To die for, people.
This recipe is just a base canvas for inspiration. I like to change up the toppings with the season. Here, I kept things simple with pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut, and some flax seed meal stirred in. But in the summer, I love fresh berries with a little creme fraiche and lemon zest. And in the fall, pears with spiced pecans or maybe some pumpkin swirled in. So many options! I don't think I ever repeat the same bowl. And don't even get me started on savory oatmeal - that's a post for another day. Let's just say that it involves a drippy egg, which is always a good thing at my house.
I make my oats with water and milk for a little extra protein and a little extra creaminess. You can try coconut, almond, or soy milk as well. Add more milk + water or banana if you like things even creamier and more voluminous.
Alright, I best get on to the closets if I want to wear something other than stretchy pants and an oversized sweatshirt for some events this weekend.
whipped banana oatmeal // serves 1
1/2 large banana or 1 small banana
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
small pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon flax seed meal
pinch of spice, such as cinnamon or nutmeg
scoop of nut butter, such as peanut, almond, or sunflower seed
drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup
other seasonal toppings as you see fit
Cut the large banana half or small banana in half. Cut half of it into slices to use as a topping and set aside. Chop the other half into small pieces, not quite mashed and leaving just a few bigger chunks.
Combine oats, milk, water, and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow mixture to heat. Once it begins to bubble, add the chopped banana and vanilla. Stir vigorously to "whip" the banana into the oats. Continue stirring occasionally, but don't walk away too far because this all happens fairly quickly. Just before oats reach desired consistency, stir in flax seed meal and cinnamon. Cook slightly longer, but remove from heat before oats get dried out, as they will contain to cook and absorb moisture. Scoop into serving bowl, and top with nut butter, honey or maple syrup, reserved banana slices, and other desired toppings.