Banana Bread Oatmeal



I love bananas, but I have a bit of a problem with them.  My ideal banana is slightly on the green side. Mostly yellow, but still with a tinge of green in the hue. Bananas stay at this point for about half a second. I’ll eat yellow banana as well, but once the brown spots begin to appear, I have an issue.

Which leaves me with the problem of what to do with a good portion of my bananas. Of course, there’s banana bread, and you can freeze them to put into smoothies, but I’ve also found that these bananas are perfect for sweetening oatmeal. As bananas ripen, the sugar content actually goes up, which is part of the reason I prefer them green, since I like that hint of tartness. (It turns out, the health benefits of the bananas change as they ripen -- check out this link for more info.)  


I find that by cooking them into oatmeal, I can make that sugar content work for me. I often won’t need another sweetener in the oatmeal when I’ve used some overripe bananas, except for maybe a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey as a topper.  The spices and the need for overripe bananas also remind me of making banana bread, which definitely is not a bad thing.


It’s really nice to not think about preparing breakfast on most mornings, so I’ll often prepare myself big batch breakfast that I can then portion out and reheat throughout the week. Steel cut oatmeal becomes very easy to portion out once it’s cool. After you refrigerate it a while, you can basically slice through it like a cake.


I’ll cook it without milk so that it’s more stable, then I’ll reheat it with a little milk to give it a little creaminess. Of course, you can use the milk of your choice. 

 Adding spices and raisins give make this a warm cozy brekkie.  I’ll finish it all off with an additional sprinkle of nuts and maybe even some more banana slices.  Lately, I’ve also taken to making a little griddle cake of sorts out of some of the portions, whenever I feel like I need a little change in texture.





Banana Bread Oatmeal

Ingredients

1 cup quick cooking steel cut oats
2-3 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp clove
¼ cup raisins
⅛ cup pecan pieces 

To serve:
milk of choice
choice of maple syrup more pecans, and sliced banana

Instructions


1.  Mash up bananas and heat them in a pot with a little water.  Once the water is nearly evaporated and the bananas have cooked a bit and are quite soft, add 3 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the cup of oats, the vanilla, and the spices and reduce heat. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the oats are nearly cooked through.


2. When the oats are about ¾ of the way cooked, stir in the raisins and the pecans, then allow the oats to finish cooking for minute or two.

To Store:

If not eating right away, allow the oats to cool down then pack into a large tupperware and refrigerate. Once cool, you can slice the oatmeal into portions.

To Serve:

Reheat desired portion in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of the desired milk of your choice. A minute or minute and a half should be plenty in the microwave, stirring halfway through. 
 
OR

As an alternative or for a change of texture, mold a portion of the oatmeal into a thin round. Heat a greased non-stick pan over medium-high heat and cook until golden brown on one side, flip and repeat on the second side. Transfer to a plate.
Top with your choice of maple syrup, pecan pieces, and/or banana slices.




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