Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal

I'm not a fan of oatmeal. It stems back from childhood memories of being fed this for breakfast and of my grandmother eating it all the time when she got older. The smell, the texture, all of it, not good. Really not a good way to start off a new blog entry about this recipe, right. LOL. But in keeping with my goal of breaking out of my cooking box and trying new things this year I decided to give this little ingredient another try. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. 

I found this recipe after a friend of mine posted it on Pinterest. The recipe was originally posted on a blog called Budget Bytes. What a great blog too. I really like how she breaks down her recipes into what it actually costs to make it. I tweaked her recipe ever so slightly and it turned out great. It was a one bowl recipe. How can you not like that? Plus it smelled divine baking in the oven. Another plus is that there are several other ways to make this recipe too. Why not change it up a bit and substitute blueberries or better yet add them into the recipe. 

Here is the recipe as it's posted and my tweaks are in red.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

1.5 cups (about 4 medium bananas) - mashed
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Sucanat sugar)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk (I used vanilla coconut milk)
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

STEP 1: Begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas well with a fork. 

STEP 2: Whisk the mashed bananas together with the brown sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Next whisk in the milk, then stir in the oats. Roughly chop the walnuts and stir them in as well.

STEP 3: Spray the inside of a glass baking dish (8x8 inch or similar size) with non-stick spray. Pour in the oat mixture. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the center is solid and the edges are slightly golden brown.

STEP 4: Serve warm or refrigerate and enjoy cold!

I was pleasantly surprised with how well this recipe tasted. The oatmeal texture was not overpowering for me and I was able to enjoy it. This recipe is packed full of protein, fiber, vitamins and is low in fat. It is lower in sugar as well, which is a good thing. 

I am really into trying different types of sugars and experimenting with them in recipes. My goal for starting this food blog was to help me better keep track of what I'm making, be it cooking or baking and how what I've learned from substituting different ingredients for a more healthier version. A brief background into me. I've always struggled with my weight. I love food and never really learned how to cook healthy. I grew up during a time when a family still sat around a dinner table every night and usually had meat, potatoes some sort of vegetable and always, always dessert. I don't blame anyone. Both my parents worked full time jobs and it was a busy household. Dinner preparation was sometimes delegated to me and I opted for easy to make recipes and quick ones. I was 15 at the time. So, fast forward 30 years and I have now taken an interest in learning how to rethink what I eat. What goes into my body. What is the food I'm eating made out of or from. Am I ingesting too many processed foods/chemicals. What does that GMO on a label really mean? ( I know now).

I am not counting calories, points, carbs, whatever and mean no offense to anyone that is. For me, that doesn't work. So, I decided to sit down and like I said rethink some of my recipes. Try new ones and try experimenting with new spices. It's working. I've replaced the type of sugar I ingest and I notice I no longer get those sugar highs after eating something. I've switched to eating dark chocolate when I'm craving something chocolate. Baby steps as I like to say. With that being said I'm posting a link to a very good source of information about the benefits of eating a low Glycemic diet ( I hate that word). Let's call it low Glycemic lifestyle. Yes, I like that much, much better. The article is from the Mayo Clinic.

I welcome any comments, suggestions of ideas of what to blog about next. If there is a recipe you are thinking of trying but aren't sure what to substitute an ingredient for, hit me up. If I can't find the answer I know my good friend, Jackie will have the answer. She's been eating this way for years now and is my reference source when I get stuck. 

Bottom line. Have fun with your cooking. Don't stress out if the recipe doesn't work out or doesn't taste the way you hoped it would. Remember that if everything turned out perfect then life in the kitchen would be rather boring. 

I poured a little of my coconut milk on top before eating


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