Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not-So-Chunky Monkey Oatmeal

It's freezing here. Actually, it's much worse than that: We're lucky if we see freezing as our high for the day. To warm me up, I've been eating a lot of oatmeal for breakfast lately. I know oatmeal isn't all that exciting, and it's not all that sexy (although it makes a really nice facial), but it is hearty and healthy. The one thing it very often isn't is tasty. To avoid the dreaded library paste glop, I recommend either the ironically sinful Amish treat of baked oatmeal or one of these tasty variations. This is a quick breakfast, but to save even more time I usually assemble all the dry ingredients in the bowl the night before.

Start to finish: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

Note 1: This symbol (*) means the amount is approximate. I just lightly cover the surface of the oatmeal with these ingredients.
Note 2: Don't omit the cinnamon. Everything is better with cinnamon.
Note 3: The peanut butter gives a nice shot of protein. You can add a little calcium, too, by sprinkling some powdered milk over the oatmeal.

Not-So-Chunky Monkey Oatmeal
1/2 C rolled oats, preferably organic, not the quick kind
1 t* ground flax seed
1/2 t* cinnamon
1 small banana
1-3 t peanut butter (amount depending on personal taste, and creamy is always best)
1 C water

1. Measure oats into a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Lightly cover the surface of the oats with ground flax seed and cinnamon, or measure them if you're feeling confident about those amounts.
3. Slice the banana into the oats and top with a dollop of peanut butter.
4. Add water.
5. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Continue microwaving for 30 seconds at a time, then stirring, until oatmeal reaches desired consistency. I like mine pretty thick, and it usually takes me about 2 minutes.
6. Stir the oatmeal well. The banana should fall apart and add a luscious creaminess, and the peanut butter will be melty and gooey, in the best possible way.

PB&A Oatmeal
Follow the directions above, except substitute half an apple, diced, for the banana and add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. I usually use Granny Smith, but any good, crisp apple works.


  1. I was starting to make oatmeal anway, so I decided to try the Monkey Oatmeal version. I normally use milk in my oatmeal instead of water, as I like the creaminess (even if it's non-fat), so we'll have to see if the banana makes up for the lack of milk. If not, I'll try again WITH milk.

  2. I'm not here to judge...but how was the creaminess quotient?

  3. Well... not exactly sure what I did wrong... but my bowl wasn't quite big enough for the entire 1/2 cup of water, so I put what would fit, and microwaved it for about 90 seconds... and it was kind of like library paste. I added a little milk after the fact to thin it out a little bit, and brown sugar, because it seemed kind of bland (which I was suprised by given the banana and cinnamon). I'll try the apple/pb version next time and see if I get better results.

  4. Well...I hope you mean a full cup of water, but if you don't that would certainly explain the pastiness. But the blandness has me flummoxed. Maybe more cinnamon and a dash of salt?

  5. well, I think I meant the full cup of water... it covered the oatmeal at least. I would guess that it definitely needed more cinnamon (I didn't measure, just covered the top of the oatmeal.) I did try it with apples (and craisins, cause I love them)and didn't cook it as long and it was much better!

  6. Ok. Made the peanut butter/banana version again this morning. Used a bigger bowl, half cup of water and half cup of non-fat milk, and a lot of cinnamon. I think I may have added a little too much peanut butter too, but it was very tasty (if a little peanut buttery) this time! Cooked it close to the entire two minutes, and no library paste!