In my books, jazzed up oatmeal is one the all time best breakfast options. It’s delicious, satisfying, customizable, and keeps you full for ages. It’s also super nutritious (packed with fiber, protein, iron and more), easy and economical. What’s not to love?
My kids have been starting most of their days with a warm bowl of oatmeal since they were babies, smearing it everywhere. My oldest is nearly eleven years old and still happily gobbles up this power breakfast.
This recipe shares one of our fave combinations: banana & berry, plus a few heavy-hitting toppings to amp up the nutrition. Since bananas are so naturally sweet, especially when ripe, no added sweetener is needed. Things get even tastier when you cook the bananas with the oats.
To be clear, these toppings are just suggestions. Anything goes with oatmeal. Have fun figuring out what you enjoy most each season and let me know your faves.
Oats Notes: There are many different types of oats, from quick/instant, to regular rolled oats, to Scottish/steel cut. In general, finer oats cook more quickly, digest more quickly, and hit your bloodstream more quickly, as reflected in their differing glycemic indexes. If you have the patience for slower oats, you’ll be rewarded by a smoother, longer lasting energy source. To learn more about the health virtues of oats, and the different types, check to this article from Harvard’s Nutrition Source.
- 1/2 cups of oats (see Oats Notes above).
- 3/4 cup milk to cook and a splash to serve (soy milk is our go-to, see Milk Notes below)*
- 1/3 banana, very ripe is best (can be frozen)
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Berry boost: After cooking, add blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries (fresh, or frozen and gently defrosted). They all pair beautifully with banana and add a jolt of extra phytonutrients.
- Power boosts: For extra protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, sprinkle one more more of these boosts after cooking: chia seeds (1 Tbsp), flax seeds (1 Tbsp), walnuts (1/4 cup).
Milk Notes: I use soy milk for extra creaminess to amp up the protein and shift the balance from pure carbs to more balanced. Oat milk is my second choice – it’s also very creamy but doesn’t have as much protein as soy milk. Many other plant-based milks are very dilute so don’t provide as much nutrition or richness.
Pro Tip: Keep a stash for super ripe bananas in your freezer for amazing oats any day.
- Option 1: Microwave (instant/quick or rolled oats). I often cook 3 separate bowls in the microwave at same time to save dishes but you can also combine many servings into the same big bowl and serve afterwards. For one serving, scoop roughly 1/2 cup quick oats in a generous bowl (to avoid overflow). Slice about 1/3 banana onto the oats (fresh or frozen). Cover with milk (~3/4 cup). Cook in microwave for 1-3 minutes depending on type of oats. Voila!
- Option 2: Stovetop (rolled oats or steel cut). Follow the instructions on the package in terms of oats to liquid ratio, but use milk instead of water for extra oomph. I find that about 1/2 cup dry oats works well for a single serving. Cooking time can vary from a few minutes to roughly 30 depending on the type of oats.
- Dress it up: While the oats are cooling, prep any extra fruit. My kids love frozen blueberries, which quickly easily in the freshly cooked oats make the oats turn purple! Add cinnamon if desired any desired power boosts (my son loves flax seeds!). Add another splash of milk before serving.
Per serving (1/2 cup oats, with Sik original soy milk and banana)