Banana Oatmeal

This is undoubtedly my favorite breakfast at the moment: Banana Oatmeal which is cooked in 2 ½ minutes in the microwave. It’s delicious, it’s plentiful and it truly keeps me satisfied all morning. I enjoy oatmeal, but before this, I truthfully never ate it very often. I include oatmeal in baked goods and I love it in overnight oats, but when it comes to eating oatmeal for breakfast, I would typically reach for a pack of instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is quick and easy, but I’ve found it’s usually not filling enough for me and it is a points plus “hog”.

A friend of mine and a fellow Instagrammer posted her favorite way to have oatmeal. I noticed the post, was intrigued and decided to give it a try one day. One morning when it started to snow, I decided the breakfast I planned for the day before wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted something warm and homey … so I gave the oatmeal a shot and have been obsessed/hooked since. It is filling, it’s thick, it’s reminiscent of banana bread, and it’s without doubt one of the easiest things to throw together. I truly crave this oatmeal … and that fact alone is astounding.
The greatest part? Its super low in points plus values! If mixing it with skim milk, it’s 3 points plus, if you mix it with unsweetened almond milk it’s only 2 points plus values. It’s low in point yet highly satisfying and delicious.
  • 1/3 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use vanilla)
  • Banana, sliced
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
  • Artificial sweetener packet (optional)
Slice a banana into a bowl, top it with oatmeal, cinnamon and almond milk. Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir, and then place back into the microwave and heat for an additional 1 minute 15 seconds.
Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal

When I was on my autumn filled pumpkin kick, I picked up a box of the Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal solely because 1) it was pumpkin and 2) it was a unique blend and one I had never seen before.  I’m pretty sure this is still available at Trader Joe’s locations until they’re sold out for the season.
I was in an oatmeal mood so I decided on giving this a go. I followed the package instructions – which include using 2/3 cups water along with the oatmeal, then into the microwave it goes.   After I let it cool for a couple minutes, I found the oatmeal thickened up a bit more than it was straight out of the microwave. Flavor wise it definitely smells more pumpkiny than it tastes. It tastes like classic mildly sweetened oatmeal that has a smooth, not overwhelming brown sugar flavor to it. There are pecan bits and chunks throughout the oatmeal, which give the oatmeal a classic nutty flavor.  The pecan bits definitely bump the oatmeal up a few notches. I found the oatmeal was definitely satisfying, far more than an instant Quaker Oat.
A serving, 1 packet, is 180 calories or 5 points plus values.
Have you tried the pecan pumpkin oatmeal from Trader Joe’s?

Pumpkin Oatmeal

With fall upon us I had a strong inkling for pumpkin oatmeal. With that, I decided to whip up a pot of pumpkin oatmeal to have on hand for the week.  I have seen pumpkin oatmeal recipes for the crock pot but they involved chunks of real pumpkin in it.  Since canned pumpkin is readily available to me I decided to venture down a different path.  I did google pumpkin oatmeal and I found a recipe by Aarti Sequeira from the Food Network. I used that as a stepping stone for my oatmeal and adapted it to the flavors I would like in my oatmeal as well as keeping an eye on the ingredients I used because I didn’t want my oatmeal to be astronomically high in points plus values.
I have to say the end result is pretty delicious. Its pumpkin flavored, but mildly sweet and I can have a variety of different serving sizes depending on my hunger at the time (1 1/4 cups = 6 points plus, 1 cup = 5 points plus or 1/2 cup = 2 points plus).  The thing I like about the dish is that it can be adapted to how you like your oatmeal – whether you like it wetter or dryer, you can increase or decrease on the additional water I added at the end.    The whole recipe made 5 cups of oatmeal.
Serves 5. Serving Size – 1 Cup.  5 Points Plus Values.
          14 oz pumpkin puree
          2/3 cup skim milk
          1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
          1 cup water, plus 2/3 cup reserved
          1 tsp pumpkin spice
          1 tsp cinnamon
          1 tsp brown sugar
          ¼ cup sugar free maple syrup
          ¼ tsp salt
          1 ¼ tbsp honey
          3 packets Equal (optional)
          2 cups quick cooking oats
In a large pot add pumpkin, milk, almond milk, brown sugar, 1 cup water, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Turn flame on to medium heat and blend pumpkin together with the remaining contents until blended smooth and starting to bubble.
Once bubbling add in the quick cooking oats and stir to combine. When combined drizzle in the honey and stir to combine.  Depending on the thickness, slowly add in some of the reserved 2/3 cup water and blend water into the oatmeal until absorbed.
Taste the flavor of the oatmeal and if not sweet enough for your liking, sprinkle in 3 packets of Equal and stir to combine.  Allow the pot to simmer for 1-2 minutes before turning off the heat.

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

I’ve heard and read a lot about overnight oats but had yet to give into the trend. Overnight oats have become quite the thing with so many different variaties available and different techniques to making them. I decided to go with a bit of the basics for my first batch but to jazz it up to my taste buds personal flavor category. Bring on the Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats!

I admit, I gave the mixture a little taste test before putting it into the refrigerator overnight and I was immediately hooked. The mixture was delicious even if it’s raw, crunchy oatmeal form. That only made me incredibly excited for morning to come. At first I laughed, because I was excited for OATMEAL! Whodathunkit? Certainly not I. But I enjoyed this so much I have plans to make it again and I have plans to try out different concoctions depending on what my tastebuds may be wanting that day.

Serves 1. 6 Points Plus Values. (Or 3 points plus values for 1/2)
– 5.3 oz Plain, Fat Free, Greek Yogurt (I used the single serving container by Dannon)
– 1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
– 5 strawberries, mashed
– 1/2 medium banana, mashed
– 1 Equal packet
– 1 tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup

Mash strawberries and banana in a bowl (that has a matching lid). Stir in equal packet and blend well.

Add in the yogurt and mix, then combine the mixture with half the oatmeal, blending then adding the remainder along with the tablespoon of maple syrup.

Mix until all contents are blended together. Cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight (or a minimum of 6 hours).

The next day remove the lid, stir the contents and enjoy!

Sugar Free Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

My local grocery store sells a lot of name brand products which are similar to brand name items.  I had spotted this Sugar Free Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal and decided to pick it up because it was sweetened with splenda and the nutritional stats weren’t bad at all.  Calculating out the points plus values, it was actually less then the “Weight Control” oatmeal by Quaker Oats.
I admit I’m not the biggest fan of oatmeal but occasionally it’s something I enjoy, usually when I feel a little chilly.  I know the packets of oatmeal are filled with unnecessary sugars but in my pre-Weight Watchers days it’s what I gravitated towards because it was flavorful and sweet.
One packet of oatmeal was 3 points plus values, or two packets was 5 points plus values.  On this morning I was quite hungry, so I made two packets of oatmeal and topped it with a sliced banana. It was a very, very filling meal.  If you’re not used to a splenda flavor, you’d be able to tell but I use sugar substitutes so it doesn’t bother me.
I like these because they’re convenient.  I can throw a packet into a bag and bring them with me wherever I go and heat one up as long as there’s hot water available.  Quick, easy and simple … sometimes the recipe for the best choices.
What is your favorite way to have oatmeal?