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Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

La Petite Maison Verte: Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

This morning, I was the early-bird.

Only, instead of getting a worm, I got this bowl of strawberries & cream oatmeal.  Pretty good substitute, I think.

Did you ever eat those packets of Instant Oatmeal when you were a kid?  The kind that came in a box with fruit & cream flavors:  peaches, bananas, blueberries, strawberries.  There were only 2 packets of each flavor.  In my house, strawberries & cream was always the first to go....

This version is better than that.  No added sugar or artificial strawberry flavor.  No "creaming agent (maltodextrin, partially-hydrogenated soybean oil)".  My version takes a teensy bit longer to make, about 3 minutes as opposed to 90 seconds for the packaged variety.  But it's that extra minute and a half that makes all the difference:  that's how long it takes to slice up a few strawberries and half a banana.  Real strawberries and a real banana.  The banana is really just there to make this oatmeal sweet enough that I don't need to add any sugar or sweetener.  It's the strawberry flavor that really stands out.

I add half the volume of liquid in the form of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  Dairy milk (or half & half, or cream) would work perfect too.  That's my idea of a "creaming agent."  And I top mine with chia seeds for extra fiber, antioxidants and Omega-3's.

Strawberries are in season here in Florida, so I used fresh but if you live in part of the country where all you can get are watery, under-ripe strawberries, I'd recommend you go with frozen berries.  Just throw them in whole when you microwave your oatmeal and decrease your amount of liquid a bit too, so it doesn't end up too watery.  They will be very soft once your oatmeal is cooked, at that point you can just cut them up with your spoon.

Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal
serves 1

1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not Instant, *make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you wish)
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I use Almond Breeze)
1/3 cup (or less) water - amount depends on how liquid-y you like your oatmeal
4 strawberries, diced
1/2 ripe banana, diced

chia seeds, almond butter, granola, additional milk or cream for serving (optional)

In a microwave safe glass or ceramic bowl, combine oatmeal, milk and water.  Add all of the sliced banana and about half of your diced strawberries, stir.  Microwave 90 seconds (up to 2 minutes for softer oats, but I like mine a little chewy).  Let oatmeal stand at room temperature to cool and absorb all of the liquid, about 30 seconds to a minute, then top with remaining strawberries and any other toppings (chia seeds, dollop of almond butter, granola, milk/cream).


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