We eat a lot to steel cut oats. Though primarily thought of as breakfast food, they end up in a lot of other dishes in our repertoire. They’re nutritious and delicious when prepared well. Far tastier than their pre-cooked, rolled counterparts. While we really never tire of the straightforward flavors of the oats, our breakfast bowls have morphed over the years into something entirely different from the bowls of mush we grew up on. The oats’ neutral, nutty flavor opens them up to endless flavor pairings and we’re having fun experimenting with them.
Bananas are another pantry staple. And they regularly get to an overripe stage that renders them total mush, destined to the freezer to become sweetener for future smoothies. But the good ones often find their way into a bowl of breakfast oats along with toasted walnuts or almonds. Their natural sugars and creamy texture are ideally suited to a bowl of porridge.
We recently used overripe banana to sweeten a batch of oatmeal. Added to the pot at the beginning of the cooking process, the bananas break down into a sweet sauce that scents the oats with a subtle tropical fruitiness. No added sugar necessary. We garnished the bowl with toasted pecans, a big dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. The result was amazing!
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup steel cut oatmeal
1 bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
pinch of salt
2 cups hot water
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 chopped fresh pineapple
2 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
Place a pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the steel cut oats and gently toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add bay leaf, cinnamon and salt. Add the hot water carefully (the water will sputter). Stir until everything is mixed. At this point you can turn off the heat and allow to sit over night.
The next morning, return the pan to heat and cook adding the banana and a little water, if necessary. Cook for about 5 minutes or until creamy.
In a small sauté pan, over medium low heat, gently toast the walnuts for 2-3 minutes before adding the desiccated coconut. Toast for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not look away from the pan because the coconut toasts very fast and will burn if left on the heat for more than a minute or two.
Serve the oatmeal in a warmed bowl and top with greek yogurt, pineapple, and toasted walnuts and coconut (or any other fruity, nutty combination). Enjoy!