Thursday, September 9, 2010

Banana Oats = Hot Breakfast of Champs!

I would say that on average... I make oatmeal (of the old-fashioned stove top variety) at LEAST 3-4 times a week. And yes, even when the heat index in Memphis soars up to 120 degrees. Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts for so many reasons...

1. Keeps me feeling full for a solid 4 hours, easily.
2. It allows me to get a healthy dose of protein, carbs, and fat (the good kind) into my belly before a long day of work/school.
3. I enjoy listening to NPR in the morning while I prepare/eat my breakfast. I truly enjoy the process of cooking, and it actually is a great for me to wake up and sort out of my thoughts for plans for the day.
4. And it's just so delicious! I CRAVE this stuff!

You may notice some strange ingredients in my "recipe" for oats, but I add them for health purposes. Allow me to explain that when these fabulous, fine ingredients are thrown together you have the SUPER breakfast fit for a champion!

Oatmeal -A great source of complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber. Simply put, when it gets around water, it forms this gel-like substance which allows the fiber to easily move through your intestines and regulate/get rid of waste." Also, because it takes longer to digest, it keeps you feeling full longer and helps you maintain your blood glucose levels.

Oat Bran - Slightly higher in protein, fiber, and iron content, but also a little higher in fat a calories. I mix a little in with my regular oatmeal for texture/taste and to get a little bit of that nutrition goodness ;)

Flax Seeds - MUST GRIND THESE UP! I've seen whole flax seeds baked into tortilla chips, added to muffins, breads, etc. They're a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you're not into fish or taking fish oil supplements, then flax seeds or using flax seed oil would be a great alternative.

Chia Seeds - Unlike flax seeds, your body can easily digest these little guys, so no need to ground them up. Also these seeds are hydrophilic (aka the LURVE water like I LURVE s'mores!) Chia seeds can soak up to 10x it's weight in water! That means when these seeds are in you body... you'll stay hydrated longer and maintain your electrolytes in your fluids. If you're a runner, try mixing a tablespoon of these seeds with some pomegranate juice and drink up about 20 minutes before you hit the pavement. Dehydration just ain't cool, especially in Memphis.

Agave Nectar - Made from the agave plant, it's a natural sweetener. AND it's lower on the glycemic index than honey (which is what I used to drizzle in oats.) Click on the agave link to learn more about the glycemic index. If you're diabetic, you should be well-versed on this stuff! Here's a little tip from me to you... head to your local TJ Maxx and check out their "gourmet grocery" aisle. That's where I always buy my agave, and it's way cheaper than it is in the natural food section of Kroger.

Laurie's Banana Oats
1 cup water
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 Tb. oat bran
1 Tb. flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
Sprinkle of Cinnamon & Nutmeg
1 medium banana (the riper, the better!)
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 -2 Tb. vanilla almond milk
1 Tb. chia seeds
Blob of Better'n Peanut Butter

1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
2. While that's happening, I always put the banana and agave nectar in a ziploc bag and smoosh it till you have a lovely banana "puree."
3. Add the oats, oat bran, flax seed, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the boiling water. Stir constantly for 3 minutes.
Don't confuse the paprika with nutmeg. Because I definitely did that the other morning.
4. Snip off the corner of the ziploc bag and squeeze the banana into the oats. Add the vanilla almond milk. Keep stirring for 1 minute.
5. Add the chia seeds and stir until completely combined.
6. Pour your oats into your bowl and top with a blob of PB and ENJOY!

If I had to be stranded on a desert island... THIS would definitely by on my list of things to pack!

Seriously check out that Better'n Peanut Butter if you're a PB fan, and watching your waistline! I actually prefer it to "regular" PB now. I could go on and on and ON about the goodness of this stuff... but one glance at their website and I'll be surprised if you don't utilize the "product locator.' All I'm saying is that I know EXACTLY where to find this stuff in Memphis... both Super Targets, and the Target on Colonial just started carrying it too! SCORE!


  1. Hey, have we ever discussed "steel-cut" oatmeal?? I feel like that is all the rage amongst oatmeal foodies??? I really want to try them sometime.

    Those retro Kroger spice shakers make me nostalgic!!

    PS - I have insomnia if you can't tell!

  2. I used to do steel-cut oats allllll the time! Actually that's what I started using first. They're soooo good! I used to make it when I went to workout at 5:45am and had like 2 hours to kill between my workout and class. But I'm just so short on time now in the morning that I don't have 30 minutes to stand over a stove and stir.

    You can make steel cut oats in batches at the beginning of the week and scoop out a serving and reheat each morning. I tried that, it's just not the same. But I say go for the steel cut oats... definitely worth the time if you have it!