I do apologize for my lack of posts lately. April is my busiest time of year at work. There is a lot of planning and management that I do for our biggest volunteer event of the year, and that's on top of my normal work duties. Although I cook just as often, getting the photos and recipes together is a challenge when I'm short on time.
Something that keeps me sane during all this craziness is exercising regularly. I would not have enough energy to exercise if it were not for good, wholesome breakfasts. I get up pretty early, have breakfast, putter around and read, and then set off for a run or a bike ride. I think I've mentioned in previous posts that I absolutely love oats, and that if I were an animal, I would probably be a horse so I could eat oats all the time. I could have them every morning for breakfast, and I often do in the form of granola or oatmeal or oatmeal bread. My latest oat recipe that makes me swoon is Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal. It. Is. So. Good. There's something about the combination of peanut butter and bananas that wins me over, and then when you add in oats, it's the best. I like to get fair trade bananas from Whole Foods, which ensures that the workers in other countries who harvest the bananas get paid a fair wage. Bananas are so cheap to begin with that the fair trade version is still affordable. For peanut butter, the best kind I've come across is Skippy All-Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. It doesn't have any added sugar to distract from the peanut-y taste. Whichever kind you use, be sure to buy one without any added junk, such as partially hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup.
I like to make this breakfast when I plan to go for a long run or have a big day ahead of me. It's filling and it lasts, so I don't get hungry an hour later. Another plus for runners: it's packed with enough fiber to get you ready for the big race, if you know what I mean. Bananas are a rich source of potassium, which helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas may also help your body absorb calcium. Peanut butter is a good source of protein when combined with whole grains, such as oats. It is full of heart healthy fats, vitamin E, and niacin (a type of B vitamin that helps convert food into energy). Oats can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease, and they're packed with fiber.
Ok, enough about nutrition. Try out this recipe, and taste how good it is!
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 small or 1 large bananas, thinly sliced
1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1) Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add a pinch of salt. Add oats and reduce heat to medium-low.
2) Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and bananas.
3) Divide into 2 bowls and serve garnished with peanuts
Can't finish all of your oatmeal? Store the leftovers covered in the refrigerator. When you're ready to finish it, heat it in a microwave-safe bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of water added to it, covered, for 1-2 minutes. Or, reheat over the stove with 1-2 tablespoons of water, cooking over medium-low heat and stirring often for a few minutes.