Oatmeal: my favourite breakfast in 4 variations

Ok, this is a little silly. A really long post about oatmeal and recipes on how to make it. But this isn´t so much about following the recipes, more as an inspiration, or a reminder of good oatmeal is for you, how versatile and easy it is to make, and not at least how tasty it can be!

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I remember being asked what my favourite breakfast was once. If I were to choose whatever I could have, what would it be. And I immediately replied oatmeal – to the person asking´s great surprise. He was like OATMEAL???? “Seriously? Did you understand the question?”

Sure I did! Like many guys, he didn´t share my enthusiasm for oatmeal, because he, like many other, had bad experiences with oatmeal growing up. And he didn´t know how to prepare it either, either turning it into a dry mass, or too watery, almost soupy-like.

So of course, this guy probably wouldn´t prepare it anyway, since his idea of oatmeal was equal to a nastylooking and tasteless thing. Not that it´s rocket science to prepare a bowl of oatmeal, but it almost seems like it, when you can accomplish so much with so little effort! From dull to delish in an instant! You better try. You owe it to yourself to try a decent bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every now and then. And who knows, maybe you´ll be an oatmeal-convert too? I recently convinced my mum, who had a strong resistance against oatmeal due to childhood overdose.

I particularly like oatmeal for breakfast this time of year, when it´s cold outside.  It´s such a comforting breakfast for cold days, warming you up so you´re prepared to leave the house!

I make my oatmeal in many different ways. Or actually, come to think about it, I don´t.  But what I add to the oatmeal depends on what I have or what I´m in the mood for. And the key ingredient, which isn´t an ingredient at all, but a method, is to soak the oats overnight. I find that really makes the oatmeal a lot better. Soaking also make the oats more digestible and help your body to absorb the minerals from the oats. And, it reduces the cooking time – which is always a plus in the morning!

My toppings usually consist of some kind of fruit, some kind of nuts and something creamy: Fruity+Crunchy+Creamy. I always have roasted almonds around, because I simply cannot live without. Fruit/Berries can be whatever´s in season, or whatever you prefer, and nut butter, youghurt, applesauce  can be the creamy component. But these are just suggestions, and my personal preferences,  but of course any toppings and combinations can do!

Classic oatmeal for 1

I guess you don´t really need a recipe for oatmeal, but here´s a single serving of oatmeal ingredients without any add-ins or toppings:

  • 1 dl oatmeal
  • 2 dl milk
  • salt

Almondy oatmeal with persimmon (and chocolate chunks)

This is my favorite at the moment. I love persimmon, and now that the season is here, I want as much of it as possible. So I included it in my bowl of breakfast oatmeal, with great success!

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Toppings: 1/2 small persimmon chopped,  a spoon of almond butter, roasted almonds and/or dark chocolate

Add the oats and milk to a saucepan and allow it to heat for about ten minutes, until the liquid has all been absorbed. Stir in almond butter, and serve with chopped persimmon,  almonds (and/or chocolate)

Coconut-Banana oatmeal with blueberries 

  •  2 dl / 1 cup of water
  •  30 g / 1/3  cup of oats
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 banana

Toppings: fresh blueberries, crushed nuts, raisins and cacao nibs or chocolate

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Simply add the oats, water, coconut milk and slices of banana to a saucepan and allow it to heat for about ten minutes, until the liquid has all been absorbed. Then stir in the almond butter and coconut oil and let them dissolve into mix. Once it’s all nicely mixed pour it into a bowl, add all your favourite toppings and then it’s ready to enjoy!-berry oatmeal

Banana-berry oatmeal:

Toppings: 1/2 a banana, a handful fresh or frozen red berries of choice and a good scoop of peanut butter

Add the oats, water, milk to a saucepan and allow it to heat for about ten minutes, until the liquid has all been absorbed. Serve with chopped apple and roasted almonds, and a good dollop of dulce de leche with a sprinkle of sea salt on top, giving it a lovely luxury touch.

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Oatmeal with apple sauce, natural/greek yoghurt and nuts 

This has become another favorite lately, after I made my own very delicious applesauce of the tasty Norwegian apples in season right now. Of course bought applesauce is good too, but if you have access to good flavourful apples, it´s really worth it and easy to make your own.

Add the oats, water, milk to a saucepan and allow it to heat for about ten minutes, until the liquid has all been absorbed. Serve with a tablespoon of applesauce, youghurt and a handful of your favourite nuts or a muesli.

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Caramelly oatmeal with apple and nuts

Toppings: 1/2 apple diced, 1 spoon dulce de leche and a handfuld of chopped  roasted almonds

Add the oats, water, milk to a saucepan and allow it to heat for about ten minutes, until the liquid has all been absorbed. Serve with chopped apple and roasted almonds, and a good dollop of dulce de leche. I can´t really take credit for this one, but thanks to GRØD who put oatmeal in fashion and popular, this has become one of my (and their) all time favorites.

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Cottage cheese-apple-pancakes

Pancakes are back! Well, where they ever really out? Nahhh, not really. Just took a break after a pancake overdose some time ago. And ironically enough, a holiday in the US, consuming a lot of breakfast-pancakes, was what made me want more! I had a lot of pancakes over there… When I´m in the states (sounds as if I go there regularly – but frankly, this is just my second visit! But I´ll be back, for sure! Love it!) I try to eat as american as possible, and by american I mean all the classic american stuff. And of course local specialites. Well, I try to do this whereever I go. When in Rome, right? (And when I actually was in Rome this summer, I indulged in risotto, pizzas, gelato….need I say more? But that´s another story!) So – I was in the states, and breakfast was not included in our hotel, so we went out for breakfast each day. And pancakes were always appealing to me – speaking to me – choose me, choose me! So I did. Over and over again. By the end of our holiday, I´ve had my decent pancake-share- Some really great, some mediocre pancakes, but most importantly, I remembered how tasty a pancake-breakfast can be. So, one week later, my jetlag was more or less gone, it was weekend, and my pancake cravings began. I gave in. Though, not the typical american classic kind. I tried to make them a little healthier, non-US-style! (But then again, I´m no longer in America, but in healthy whole-grain scandinavia, surrounded by health-freaks from my study. So I adapt, once again!) I bought some cottage cheese for some reason (I never eat it) and decided to use some of it for pancakes. Since I didn´t have blueberries or bananas and was to lazy to get out, and I was beginning to get a cold as a result from 10 days in Miami, and then back to cold Denmark, I had to make them without fruit or use what I had. I had half an apple, and decided to use that. Grated it into the batter. And then I was ready to make some pancakes! They turned out really moist because of the apple and cottage cheese, though the texture was a little different then the usual pancake. I also made them whole grain to make them a little healthier. And then I drenched them in butter and syrup….. Next time, I think I´ll go for the real thing though! But as a less-guilt-free pancake this is really good! And moist!
After a little research online, I had a certain idea of a recipe, and mine went something like this:

Cottage cheese-apple pancakes (about 10)

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp syrup (I used agave, but maple or honey will do!)
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
Butter/oil for frying.

Puree the cottage cheese and eggs in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add in the dry ingredients, then and pulse just until combined, and stir in the grated apple.

Preheat a griddle, skillet, or any flat bottomed pan on medium/low heat.

*The pancakes need to be cooked on a lower heat for a little longer than normal pancakes.

Add some butter to the pan if you’re pan isn’t non stick. If it is, you probably won’t need any addition butter to prevent sticking. Scoop the pancakes onto the preheated griddle and use the back of the scoop to spread the pancakes a bit. Cook for about 4 minutes per side.

*The outside of the pancakes will be a deep golden brown when they’re done, not a light golden brown. Serve with syrup and butter, bananas, berries or whatever you fancy!

Caramelized banana cake

I never buy bananas for eating. Quite logically, since I don’t like them. But what I do like, is anything banana flavoured, exept bananas. Weird, I know. Banana bread, banana ice cream, banana fudge, banana milkshake, banana cake – you get the picture. It just transforms into something way better. So I never end up with overripe bananas by accident, “forcing” me to make banana cake, because I don’t buy them in the first place. Which is kind of sad, because I love banana cake, and you’re excused to make it when your bananas turn black. But when life doesn’t give you overripe bananas – go out and get and get them! So when I spotted a big bag of brown-turning-black bananas at the supermarket for a give-away-price, I immediately visiualized this banana cake, and bought them. This was my sign! The supermarket aka life gave me over ripe bananas for this purpose. I’m sure. Well, not a moment too soon. I bookmarked this recipe a long time ago, but for the lack of bananas in my life, making it just never happened. The recipe is from J’s Kitchen – a beautiful blog with just as beautiful photos and mouthwatering food. She made 3 versions of this banana cake, I decided on the last attempt which she said was the best. Although they all look good to me. She also said it wasn’t very sweet, but I thought it was more than sweet enough. At least for breakfast. The perfect monday morning breakfast. I actuallt skipped the gym this morning and replaced it with banana cake, quality butter and cinnamon coffee. It was the right thing to do.

Caramelised Banana Cake

70 + 10 gr butter
40 + 40 gr caster sugar
2 bananas thinly sliced
2 eggs
180 gr plain flour
20 gr cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
80 ml milk

Preheat oven at 180C and prepare baking pan.
Caramelise the bananas: in a nonstick frying pan, heat 40 gr sugar and 1 tablespoon water until it starts to caramelise. Add 10 gr butter. Let the butter fully melt, then add sliced banana. Cook until softens – mash while cooking. Cool.
In a bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
Beat 70 gr butter and 40 gr caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add cooled caramelised banana.
Fold in flour mixture alternating with the milk in 3 additions, starting and ending with flour mixture.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (depending on pan size).

(The original recipe says makes 4 mini loafs. I made one regular loaf instead, and baked it for 40 minutes. It could probably have baked a little longer, but I was hungry and I like slightly gooey cakes.)

Baked apple and nectarine

baked nectarine and apple

So this is some of what I ate this weekend: A Creole restaurant meal, a sundae consisting of homemade icecrem, homemade cookies and hot chocolate fudge sauce, tapas, giant custard filled buns at a bakery and my mom’s rhubarb cupcakes… And yes, I’m quite wellfed!

Still, of all these fancy foods I could blog about, I chose not to write about any of it. Not more than this anyway. Mentioned, but not thoroughly documented.

This is about simple, yet tasty summer food that is easily prepared. No fancy preparation, ingredients or additions, just the sweet taste of summer fruit. This dish was yesteday’s dessert and the recipe is embarresingly easy. I guess one can hardly call it a dish or a recipe, it’s really about what you have and what you like. I had a lot of nectarines and an apple beginning to look over ripe, and decided to make a dessert out of it. I picked out a book from my cookbook-selection and found something interesting looking through the pages. The book was “Mine beste sider” (my best pages) by Andreas Viestad. The recipe was originally for peaches, but this was more about using what I had rather than following a recipe, I just used it more as a guideline.

4 peaches (4 people)
100 g sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 tablespoon butter
1 dl whitewhine
50 g chopped almonds

I mad mine slightly different. I used nectarines and apple, less sugar, no wine or almonds. You can use whatever fruit you like, but pears, peaches, plums, bananas, apples and mangoes are a safe choice. Anything that doesn’t have too much water in it. Cut your chosen fruit in halves and remove eventual stones. Put them facing up in an oven proof baking dish. That looks pretty. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and mix them with the sugar. Put the vanilla pod under the fruit for extra flavour, and sprinkle the fruit with sugar. And almonds if used, but I found that unnecessary. Pour over wine and put small pieces of butter over the nectarines. Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, turn off, and leave inside oven for another 10 minutes. (My nectarines needed longer time, but that propably depends on the different fruits and the ripeness. But you’ll see when it’s finished – soft and slightly golden with bubbly vanilla syrup underneath.)

Serve with ice cream and savour the sweet taste of summer.