Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012 is Marching On

Can you believe its March already?!  That just blows my mind.

This morning oatmeal was back on the menu.  It's been a little while (ok really, it's been exactly one week) since I made a good old bowl of oatmeal so I decided to end the streak with a cinnamony bowl.  I had a couple of slightly-overripe bananas so I went with my favorite, quick and simple no-sugar-added method to caramelize them for topping the oatmeal.  They add such delightful sweetness that I go light on the sugar that I add to my oatmeal.

I topped the whole glorious mess with Trader Joe's Legendary Nut and Berry Mix which contains almonds, cranberries, raisins, cashews, blueberries walnuts and raspberries.

It was heaven in a bowl.

Cinnamon Spiced Oatmeal with Caramelized Bananas
serves 1

1/2 ripe banana, sliced into approximately 1/2'' thick slices
non-stick cooking spray

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal (make sure to use gluten-free oatmeal, if desired)
1 cup water
pinch salt
3 tablespoons egg whites (or the white from 1 large egg, this is completely optional and doesn't really affect the flavor in my opinion, I add it for extra protein)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
drizzle of maple syrup (about 1 teaspoon but really, to taste) or sweetener of your choice:  agave, honey, brown sugar or stevia)
splash of vanilla extract

trail mix, nuts/fruit, milk, non-dairy milk, granola, etc. - optional, for garnish

First, make the caramelized bananas:  Heat a spritz of non-stick cooking oil spray in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the sliced bananas.  Cook 1-2 minutes, checking that they are not burning and adjust heat as necessary to allow the bananas to turn golden but not burn.  Flip banana slices once using tongs and caramelize on the other side for 1-2 minutes.

Bring the oatmeal, water and salt to a boil in a small pot over high heat.  Reduce heat, add egg whites (if using) and simmer 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.  Stir in cinnamon, maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice) and vanilla extract.  Remove from heat and serve, topped with the caramelized bananas and additional toppings as desired.

Do you have a favorite Trail Mix?  

I am currently loving the Trader Joe's Legendary Nut and Berry Mix but really my favorites are anything that has a blend of dried fruit and nuts and nothing else.  That's not to say I don't enjoy trail mix with chocolate or  a trail mix that is more salty/savory but I usually go with a pure and simple nut/fruit blend.  No added sugar.


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