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Banana Bread Oatmeal | Mackin' Cheese

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I tried to write a post about breaking the status quo when I got entranced by Andrew Bird and watching the snow lightly whisper to the ground outside my window. As I attempted to describe paying more attention to the beauty in the world around us, I stared off into a distant, peaceful place and couldn’t think of the worlds I wanted to say. I was doing, not writing, which was exactly what I wanted to write about.

Breaking the status quo. On a normal day I wake up, fix a cup of coffee, and shuffle off to class. I stare at the sidewalk to make sure I don’t slip on ice. But I’m also inadvertently ignoring the world around me.

Two winters ago, I complained about the lack of color in winter. Then slowly, I started noticing all of colors around me. Reds and purples in tree bark, the icy blue of Lake Michigan, the occasional evergreen fighting off the winter with its hearty needles. It may sound stupid, but looking is the only way to see anything differently. Focusing your attention on focusing around you.

Instead of busying yourself with your iPhone at a bus or train stop, look around you. Look at the buildings, the trees, the people. Take a minute and look out your window to watch the rain fall, or the wind ripple the trees. Listen carefully to the crunch of snow beneath your feet. Let nature entertain you. She will; I promise.

Truly taste the food in front of you. Focus on it, and nothing else. Try to notice each flavor, when you can start to taste it, and how it interacts with the others. Break the status quo and eat new foods! If you’re an oatmeal or cereal fan, mix it up with this banana bread oatmeal. It’s got hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s sweetened by banana and just a little crunch of brown sugar on top. It’s warm and comforting, and takes only a couple minutes longer than making oatmeal in the microwave.

Make sure to use quick oats, not instant oats. Quick oats are thinner and cook faster than rolled oats, but they retain some of their texture when you cook them. Instant oats are so thin that they basically become a mushy blob when you cook them. Maybe you like that… maybe you should check out quick oats before you totally make your mind up. Anyways, despite not being instantaneous, they are still called quick oats for a reason. This breakfast comes together in just five minutes, but will leave you feeling energized and full all morning.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Serves: 1 (easily doubled)

Banana Bread Oatmeal


1 banana, half sliced and half mashed
1/2 cup milk (or almond or soy milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup quick oats (not instant)
1 teaspoon brown sugar


In a small saucepan, combine the mashed banana, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the quick oats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are soft and all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Transfer to a bowl and top with banana slices, brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!



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