Starting your day with a bowl of creamy healthy oatmeal is always a good idea, especially when you top that bowl with maple caramelized bananas.
Is oatmeal healthy?
Saying oatmeal is healthy is a bit of an understatement. Not only is oatmeal delicious and filling, it’s also one of the healthiest grains around. Oats are jam-packed with good-for-you vitamins and minerals and are packed with antioxidants. You can thank all that good fiber for keeping you full for so long and not only that, the beta-glucan fiber in oats can lower LDL cholesterol levels! Talk about a superfood!
How to make creamy oatmeal
Making oats is one of the easiest breakfast recipes but with my tips and tricks, you can be assured your bowl of oatmeal will be far from average.
- Use rolled oats. I prefer rolled oats as I find their texture to be a lot more pleasant once cooked than instant or quick-cooking oats and they take much quicker to cook than steel-cut oats. Combine the oats with water (no need to boil the water) in a saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
- Don’t forget the salt. Seasoning oats with a pinch of salt makes a world of difference. Unseasoned oatmeal is about as appetizing as eating a bowl of wallpaper glue. Add a pinch once the pot is set over the heat. You can also add cinnamon, star anise, cardamom or a pinch of ground ginger to elevate the flavor.
- Simmer gently. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer the oats. Boiling will create a gluey consistency.
- Add more water if necessary. If you see your oats cooking dry, don’t hesitated to add half a cup of water. You want the oats to cook until they reach your preferred texture and that might mean adding more water.
- Finish with butter. For the perfect creamy oatmeal, I like adding a knob of butter once the oats are cooked. Stir in the butter then serve with a splash of milk (optional) and your preferred toppings. Maple caramelized bananas are a great addition. These bananas take a few minutes to make and will be done by the time your oats are cooked. They are a delicious and special addition to a simple bowl of oatmeal.
What to put in oatmeal
The options are endless, here are a variety of ideas to spice up your bowl of oatmeal:
- Spices: Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cloves are all delicious, warming spices to add to oatmeal. Even Garam Masala will be delicious, especially when used with coconut milk and honey.
- Fresh fruit: Apples and bananas are delicious raw or cooked. Fresh berries and slices of pear are also tasty.
- Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, dried apple and coconut shavings.
- Nut butter: Peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter swirled into cooked oatmeal is a great idea!
- Nuts or seeds: Flaked almonds, pistachios, cashews or pecans. Chia seeds, flax seed and pumpkin seeds.
- Sweeteners: Maple syrup, honey or homemade caramel for a super indulgent breakfast.
Creamy healthy oatmeal with maple bananas
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 4 cups water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
Maple caramelized bananas
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 large bananas sliced into ½inch/2cm slices
- Combine the oats, water and salt in a saucepan set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the oats are almost completely cooked and the water has been absorbed. If the water evaporates too quickly, add another half a cup of water.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes.
- To make the caramelized bananas, melt the butter in a pan and add maple syrup. Allow to come to a boil.
- Add the bananas and allow to cook and caramelize for 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt then remove from the heat.
- Serve the creamy oatmeal topped with the maple bananas.