Banana Bread Oatmeal

It's no secret that Ilovebananabread. In my house, there always seem to be a few bananas that just don't get eaten in time. While freezing bananas for a later date is always an option, sometimes there are already one too many bananas hiding in there. I don't like to waste food if I can help it so bananas are frequently on the menu.

With my deep love of all baked banana goods, having a quick and easy way to make a dish that tastes like banana bread without the mixing and the baking (and the waiting) was ideal.

I am a sucker for overripe bananas. I don't start eating them until they are covered in brown spots. As long as they can still keep their shape, I'm in banana love. My father would disagree. He likes to eat them when they are still a bit green, without a brown spot in sight. I think they lack that strong banana flavor so soon after ripening, but he argues otherwise. We may disagree about the best time to eat bananas, but we've never disagreed over a nice loaf of banana bread. And that's the truth.

How do you like your bananas?

This banana bread oatmeal tastes just like the real deal. The oatmeal is littered with tiny pieces of banana and spiced with the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. This oatmeal is naturally sweetened with the addition of bananas so you will need very little, if any, sugar to sweeten it up. It's healthy, it's delicious, it's banana bread in a bowl. What's not to love?

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Yields 2 servings

1 1/4 cup milk (soy or almond can be substituted)
1/2 cup (about 1 1/2) overripe bananas, mashed (you can slice the leftover 1/2 banana and use for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup quick oats
2 teaspoons brown sugar

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, mashed bananas, and spices. Heat the mixture on medium heat. When it starts to boil, add the rolled oats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring ocassionally, or until the oats are soft and the liquid has been absorbed.

Pour into a bowl, top each serving with a teaspoon of brown sugar, slices of banana, and enjoy your nice, hot, nutritious breakfast.