Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal

First a confession.

I hated oatmeal as a kid.  I think my mom tried to make me eat it a time or two.  Yuck!  All hot cereal pretty much made me gag.  Except chocolate flavored Cream of Wheat.  I think I enjoyed a bowl of that once in a while.

But, in my childish opinion, cold cereal was WAY better! And it wasn't limited to breakfast.  Come home from school hungry?  Bowl of cereal!  No time for dinner?  Cold cereal!  My go to meal of choice for many of my teenage years.   

Somewhere along the road I call motherhood, I realized that cold cereal was not very nourishing.  After reading Nourishing Traditions about two years ago, I decided to never again purchase it.  And I haven't. 

Breakfasts now look a little different in our house.  They don't come in a colorful box or include a secret code ring or anything.  But...they do nourish my children and keep them full for a while. 

I'll be sharing some of our favorite breakfast recipes.  Starting with oatmeal.  The hot cereal I despised as a kid.  I've found ways to prepare it that are absolutely delicious!  Jeffrey absolutely loves it, and selected it for breakfast on his day of the week--Monday.

The basic recipe is always the same.  On Sunday, Jeffrey helps me measure out three cups of old-fashioned oats into a pot.  We then add three cups of hot water, about 1/3 of a cup of lemon juice (just bottled) and a 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour.  A quick stir and plopping the lid on finishes our prep work.

On Monday morning, I start heating three cups of milk in a large pot.  (I usually use that morning's milk so it heats more quickly!)  Once it gets steaming, I dump in the contents of yesterday's pot.  Then I stir and cook for about five minutes.  Our toppings get added at that time.

Usually it's just frozen fruit.  Adding it during the last minute or so of cooking helps to defrost the fruit and keep the oatmeal from being boiling hot for the kids.  A little honey or brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness.

Yum!  It's way better than the oatmeal I remember gagging down as a kid.  And it doesn't have any unpronounceable ingredients!

Strawberry-Banana Oatmeal

This week, we added a new twist.  Jeffrey wanted banana oatmeal.  He helped me slice them up, and then I sauteed them in 1/4 cup of butter.  Instead of adding brown sugar to the oatmeal, I stirred in a bit into the bananas.  Caramel bananas! Yum.

Then we added a spoonful of strawberry jam to each bowl.  Everyone gave it a good stir, and we had a delicious breakfast.

It was a tad sweet--next time I won't use both the brown sugar and the jam.  Just one or the other would have been perfect!  But, it was a great combination.

And the kids didn't complain about it being too sweet! 

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