Banana Nut Oatmeal

It seems for the past 3 weeks all I have been having for breakfast was smoothies. When I woke up today, it seemed so chilly in my apartment that I just wanted something warm instead of cold, pulverized fruit. I'm actually getting low on groceries, so I was pleased to find I had all the ingredients to not only make oatmeal, but a really delicious one at that. I really needed an energizing breakfast because I have a stressful load of schoolwork that I need to do by Tuesday (hence why I am low on groceries...no time for shopping). Truth be told I really wanted to make banana nut muffins or pancakes, but I compromised with a bowl of oatmeal flavored with banana, pecans, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. The addition of the banana makes the oatmeal so creamy, which sometimes is not the case with old-fashioned oatmeal, which retains a lot of texture once cooked.

It's been about 3 hours now since I had it and I'm not hungry yet which is highly unusual for me. Therefore this is a good breakfast if you tend to be like me (ie: ravenous by mid-morning). If you prefer a higher protein breakfast, you can stir in a little whey or soy protein powder at the end. Vanilla-flavored protein powder would be good, and I often add it to oatmeal. But after all those smoothies with whey powder I really wanted to escape from a habitual flavor and try something different.

Banana Nut Oatmeal
Printable Recipe

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp 1% milk (soy or almond milk may be substituted)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon (leave a little out for garnish)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
pinch salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp chopped pecans (reserve some for garnish)

1. In a small saucepan, heat the water and 1/4 cup of milk over high heat until boiling.
2. Blend in the cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt as the liquids are coming to the boil.
3. Once the liquids are boiling, add the oatmeal and immediately drop the heat to medium-low. Stir frequently for about 4 minutes. The oatmeal should soften and the liquids should thicken.
4. Blend in the banana and nuts and once they are incorporated serve the oatmeal, drizzled with the remaining milk and sprinkled with a little more cinnamon and topped with a few pieces of pecan.

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