I was not an oatmeal person until very recently. First of all, nothing could compare to the dinosaur oatmeal that was consumed by every child in America in 1999. I also was not a fan of eating plain with just steamed milk, which is how my dad eats it almost every morning (and loves it)! Although I had tried putting bananas in or some cinnamon, it still tasted so bland to me. In general, I’m not really a huge fan of breakfast food- pancakes, waffles, French toast (DUH) but I never loved cereal, oatmeal, breakfast wraps, etc.
When I started working at a coffeeshop on campus, we sold all different flavors of packaged oatmeal- apple walnut, vanilla almond crunch, maple pecan, mixed berry, etc. I tried a few of them and LOVED them! Who knew oatmeal could be 1) healthy and 2) delicious and flavorful and full of texture and color?!?! I certainly did not know that.
I’ve recently started venturing into making my own oatmeal- usually some variation of fruits, nuts, spices, and natural sweetener. One of the great things about this recipe is that there is no added sugar- all of the sweetness comes straight from the fruit so it really is good for you!! (Something else I learned recently is that the packages of maple and brown sugar oatmeal are SO good because there is a TON of sugar in them). This recipe seemed like the perfect way to get sweetness that isn’t overpowering, while balancing out the flavor with different spices and texture from the fruit and nuts.
There are so many ways you could change this recipe depending on what ingredients you have available or what you want to use up- peanut butter, almond butter, maple syrup, agave, brown sugar, pears, walnuts, cloves, allspice, plain granola, honey…the possibilities really are endless! Below is the most recent version I tried.
Banana and Apple Oatmeal
½ cup steel cut oats
¾ cup almond milk
¾ cup water
1/8 cup almonds, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. cinnamon
(if you have maple syrup on hand and want a little extra sweetness, add 2 tablespoons!)
Peel and quarter the banana into bite sized cubes. Do the same to the apple (optional: leave the skin on or off). Chop almonds into small slices (you can also use pre-sliced almonds).
Add all of the ingredients into a medium sized pot, gently stirring with a spatula to incorporate.
Put a lid on the pot to keep the steam in (this will help the oats expand) and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the oatmeal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Serve hot in a bowl and enjoy!