Posts Tagged ‘Back-to-school food’

Warm Cinnamony Buttery Banana Nut Muffin Oatmeal

August 10, 2009

My husband and I consume approximately 150 bowls of oatmeal a year, each. It is my all-time hands-down favorite breakfast food for flavor, fullness and nutrition. Naysayers, or in my case, “house guests” have entered my kitchen and poo-pooed the very idea of receiving a freshly prepared piping hot bowl of oatmeal.

“No thank you,” they say in their most naive and misinformed way, “I’ll just have some coffee.”
No, no, no. I resist the urge to argue, to persuade, to conjole.  None of it ever works. Instead I tempt them…
“I bet you have never had banana-nut-muffin oatmeal.”
“Nana nut oatmeal?” They say in an intrigued and small-child voice longing for it to be true like, “friendly pony,”  “fat-free icecream,” or “tax incentive.”

It is not their fault. Oatmeal has been slandered in the media, ignored by hollywood trend setters and quite frankly destroyed by well-intending mothers. Yes, I said it. ‘It’s mom’s fault.’ The public has been lied to and the only recollection of oatmeal they have is of an orphan’s mushy meal or the sad pre-packaged bowls of a working-parents childhood.

“Yes,” I coo careful not to spook them, “…warm, cinnamony, buttery banana nut muffin oatmeal.” I comfort them, pour them a cup coffee and serve them,  in their own words, “the best oatmeal ever.” What’s the secret?  How could oatmeal go unnoticed, unrecognized and under appreciated for so long?

First, you must buy the correct oatmeal. Quaker Oats “Old Fashioned” oatmeal is the only kind. Next, follow package directions:   for example, one portion combines 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup boiling water and a dash of salt. The oatmeal needs to boil for approximately 5 minutes. During this five minutes magic can happen. Throw a non-stick skillet on medium and toast some walnuts quickly. Mash a ripened banana, then mix it into the oatmeal with cinnamon. Once the water has boiled off remove oatmeal from heat, add a bit of vanilla extract, ladle into bowl, top with a bit of butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, cover with toasted walnuts and then add a little half and half to the edge of the bowl. The smell of cinamon permeates the kitchen and a piping hot breakfast snakes at the air making your toes twitch on cool tile in anticipation. That is the perfect banana nut muffin oatmeal.  Now, I am trusting you to use the sugar and big fat items in small portions. Add them at end to control the amount and keep things reasonable. Now, that your tummy is happy, here is the really good news.

Oatmeal can fight cancer, reduce bad cholesterol, reduce your likelihood to get heart disease, make you feel full longer and is a good source of protein. Remember to be creative with the oatmeal. Some of my favorite combinations are: green apple and pecans; banana and peanut butter; cranberries,apricots and almonds.  The dried fruits expand when you add them to the boiling water in the last five minutes and help to complete your masterpiece.
Now you know better, live better with flavorful, nutritious, piping hot oatmeal. 

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