Friday, April 24, 2009

Oatmeal with Roasted Apples / Banana Bread

A cool spring morning is a delight; and a unique opportunity to enjoy a hearty comforting breakfast without the accompanying bad weather. Here are a couple of breakfasts that will warm you up in the morning and keep you going all day. Before you know it - it will be too hot for any breakfast more substantial then a pint of fresh fruit, (strawberries are coming soon!) or a bowl of cereal. Meanwhile, warm up in the morning with these two wholesome breakfasts.

Oatmeal with the works! Steel cut oatmeal topped with bananas, raisins, cinnamon, milk, and Roasted Apples with Pecans. The picture you see here is the virtuous version; while hearty and scrumptious, definitely throw in a pat of butter and a generous sprinkle of brown sugar if your feeling at all indulgent.

Roasted apples is more a technique then a recipe. (Depending on your taste, you can adjust the quantities and cooking times at will.) Roasting does not merely soften the apples, but rather transforms their texture from crisp, to softly chewy. Sprinkling them with sugar or honey, cinnamon and pecans creates a sort of "apple pie" topping that is great on oatmeal.

roasted apples with pecans:

roasted pecans
butter, cut into small pieces
sugar (or sweetener of choice)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Quarter and core rinsed apples. cut into even sized 1 inch pieces. Mix with sugar and salt and spread on greased roasting pan. Sprinkle with butter, pecans and cinnamon and roast for approximately 45 minutes, stirring 3/4 of the way through. (If you like them with a bit more tooth resistance roast for 30 minutes, a bit softer: go for 60 minutes)

Another great breakfast treat (or anytime of the day treat) is banana bread. So fast to whip up, with such a delicious and long lasting payoff. Great hot out of the oven with butter (if your an early riser), but equally good toasted or cold, slathered with sweet and creamy butter. You'll notice I prefer my banana bread with butter, but this sweet, moist loaf can easily stand alone. I am not a baker, and so admit to getting the recipe for this banana bread from Simply Recipes. I've tried many banana bread recipes and this is the best I've made. I love when you make something, and it lives up to or exceeds all of your expectations. From the first bite I thought, " this is what I want banana bread to taste like." I should say I have yet to try baking my moms banana bread recipe, and would have to compare the results. So if your reading this mom, send me your recipe, and we shall see whose recipe takes the cake... er, bread.

(A few notes: I only altered this simple and great recipe with the addition of 1/3 cup roasted salted pecans. I used three large bananas and the full cup of sugar. Also,
I took the loaf from its pan after removing it from the oven and let it cool on its side or bottom to encourage the development of a crust. It is also important to mix the batter gently, only until just incorporated, and bake only until just done)

Banana Bread recipe:
(from Simply Recipes)

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.


  1. Your oatmeal looks way better than mine! Plus I bet you didn't use a knife you just cut onions with to slice your banana. Oatmeal and bananas with a hint of onion IS NOT GOOD. I thought I trained your father better than that. Love to see new blogs, means all is well.

  2. Your oatmeal picture caught my eye over at Foodgawker because I adore roasted apples. Given that it takes a good 25 minutes to boil up a batch of steel cut oats, it's really no extra effort to roast the apples simultaneously. Great idea for a hearty weekend breakfast.

  3. Can you make the banana bread be made with whole wheat flour?