I’ve tended to be on the fence about oatmeal. I liked it okay, but only with an abundance of cream and brown sugar, which made me feel that I was undermining the whole “healthy” point of eating oatmeal in the first place.
Then I discovered a new method. Instead of pouring cream on the oatmeal when it was done, I cooked the oatmeal with a combination of milk and water. The mouthfeel became wonderfully creamy. Vanilla amps up just a tablespoon of brown sugar to provide a satisfying level of sweetness. And a lightly cooked banana adds silkiness and surprisingly suave flavor. This oatmeal is really delicious, not just health food.
Best of all, for rushed or lazy mornings, the recipe takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish – and trust me, the work is far from onerous.
Creamy Banana Oatmeal
1 cup rolled oats ( not quick or instant)
1 cup milk (not fat-free)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Nuts, raisins, or other dried fruit, optional
Measure the oats into a medium saucepan with a lid. (If you have a little puttering time, dry-toast in the pot for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until toasty smelling and slightly darkened in color.)
Stir in milk and water and turn heat to medium-high. Stir in vanilla, sugar, and spices. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and slice the banana.
When 5 minutes is up, turn off heat and stir in banana. (You can stir in raisins here too, if you like them plump and soft.) Place lid on pot and let rest 5 minutes.
This is a great time to pour juice, set the table, or whatever.
Spoon into serving bowls and top with optional fruit and/or nuts. Serve hot, with extra brown sugar and cinnamon on the table if desired.