I love oatmeal. We make it often (particularly before a big game); and it's my go-to when I'm having breakfast at Nyack's fabulous Art Cafe or one of the many Starbucks I stop at when I'm on the road for volleyball tournaments. Stephan made this beautiful bowl, which reminds me of Sarabeth's Papa Bear porridge (a favorite when we lived in the city). If I'm rushing, I use McCann's Quick Cooking Rolled Oats. But when I've got the time, I'll use steel cut oats (either McCann's or Country Choice Organic), which need to simmer for about 30 minutes. Just follow the directions on the box/can. The only thing I do differently is add milk (preferably almond) vs. water. Then I throw in whatever fruit I've got (the bowl above includes pineapple, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, green apple and golden raisins) and some nuts and finish it off with a touch of maple syrup and cream. And then I'm satiated for half the day!
This is another of those 101 Cookbooks recipes that I received in my inbox and darted off to the kitchen to make. It's not that I haven't mixed up my own version of yogurt and fruit for breakfast many times before. But the addition of avocado intrigued me, so I had to try it. Minus the avocado, the beautiful boysenberry-flecked dish reminded me of the very first time I had a yogurt-bowl breakfast, which was way back in the late 80s when I was working as an editor at W magazine. Fairchild was launching a new publication called Scene and a group of us flew to Miami for a fashion shoot. (This was long before South Beach was a mecca of cool and rows of retired people were still rocking in their chairs on the front porches of run-down hotels.) There were a handful of funky cafés and restaurants open at the time, one of which served a very similar bowl of yogurt with incredibly delicious fresh fruit and oats. They added honey to sweeten the yogurt, which is what I've done ever since. But then I tried this version with maple syrup, and I'm now solely taking the syrup-as-sweetner route. I didn't have boysenberries, so I made the above with blackberries. Stephan's about to try it with Acaí berries. No matter the berry, it's such a yummy breakfast.
- 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
- A few thin slices of ripe avocado
- 1/3 cup lightly smashed boysenberries (or blackberries)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Scant 1/4 cup raw rolled oats
- Seal salt (optional)
- Spoon one cup of whole milk yogurt into each bowl.
- Top the yogurt with a bit of thinly sliced, ripe avocado, berries, maple syrup, and rolled oats.
- We found adding a tiny bit of sea salt really brought everything together, but consider it optional.
When the bananas in the fruit bowl get too ripe, I either peel them, place them in a Ziploc bag and freeze them for future smoothies, or I make banana bread for breakfast, as I did this morning. This recipe is based on the Martha Stewart one my kids begged me to get from their Aunt Gwen after she brought a delicious loaf to one of our family gatherings. Martha's recipe calls for sour cream, which I never have on hand, so I substitute plain yogurt. I'm also not a big butter fan and have used a light olive or avocado oil in its place. And I sometimes skip the walnuts as my girls prefer it without. Chocolate or cacao chips are always a nice addition, although I usually don't include them when I'm serving this for breakfast. I'm told banana bread freezes well; but I wouldn't know, as there's never any left to freeze!
Makes one 9x5in loaf
- 1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed well (I don't actually measure the bananas--I just always use 3)
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature (or app. 1/2 cup of light oil)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (Martha recommends 1 cup, but I use less; and I sometimes use light or dark brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I mix in some whole wheat flour, too)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F and grease a 9X5-inch loaf pan.
- With an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well.
- Sift the dry ingredients together and combine with the butter mixture. Blend well.
- Add the bananas, yogurt and vanilla to the mixer. Stir well.
- If using nuts, stir into batter and then pour into loaf pan.
- Bake in the oven until a tester inserted into the loaf comes out clean, about one hour. (I usually check at the 50-minute point.)
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the bread and turn it out of the pan. Finish cooling the bread on a cooling rack.