I love oatmeal, any oatmeal. Okay, that's not technically true. I don't like those little packets of flavored oatmeal that the only prep required is the addition of hot water. That stuff is gross. But I do love real oatmeal, be it rolled or steel cut. It's just so yummy.
I also feel very virtuous when I eat oatmeal. It's like a giant jump start to the day. No matter what I eat later on, I can still cling to the fact that I had a healthy breakfast. If I go down the road of no return and have french toast or pancakes to start the day, I know that it's all downhill from there. And isn't life enough of an uphill battle without starting out rolling downhill?
A friend of mine recently made a brilliant suggestion to me vis a vis my morning oatmeal. To be fair, this friend is also a nutritionist so she knows what she's talking about. Anyway, she suggested cooking my oatmeal in skim milk and adding a half of a mashed banana to the oats as they're cooking.
Now you might be saying "I always cook my oatmeal in skim milk", or "I always add a mashed banana when I'm cooking my oatmeal". Well, then you're way ahead of me.
You see, I always figured that cooking the oats in water was the better approach. After all, wasn't it always preferable to cut the calories? The simple answer to this is no. First of all, cooking the oats in skim milk has all the obvious health benefits. But, more importantly to me, cooking the oats in skim milk make the whole concoction taste well, creamier and way, way more decadent. And who doesn't want a little decadence for breakfast, especially if it's good for you. The mashed banana is just the icing on the cake. A little banana add a who lot of sweetness and I'm all for that.
Topped with a couple of fresh (or frozen if you live in the winter wasteland where the only fruits available from October to March are bananas, apples, and pears) berries, this is a winner of a breakfast.
And it's good for you too.
Recipe: Creamy Oatmeal with Banana
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup oats (your choice)
1/2 banana, mashed
Pinch of kosher salt
Fruit for garnish (optional)
Over medium heat, combine the milk, banana, and salt and bring to a simmer. Add the oats and continue to cook over medium heat according to package instructions, being careful not to let it boil.
Serve hot with fruit on top.