Whoever said, “Life is short. Eat dessert first,” probably meant first thing in the morning. Right? Hmm. While birthday cake for breakfast might sound like the stuff of dreams, it certainly won’t help you fit into your skinny jeans. And crashing out by 10 am because you haven’t had any protein or fiber is definitely more of a nightmare.
Luckily, with this Slow Cooker Banana Bread Oatmeal, breakfast can taste like dessert while still being a wholesome and nutritious way to fuel your day. It’s got all of the flavor of a luscious slice of banana bread, without the oily fat (or the extra smear of butter on top). Cinnamon, nutmeg, and three whole bananas give it authentic “baked-in” taste. Ground flax seeds give it extra nuttiness and a boost of fiber and healthy omega-3s. And, the best part is, this recipe cooks overnight and is ready to eat when you wake up!
It’s super simple to make. Just pour all of the ingredients into a slow cooker before you go to bed. In the morning, you’ll be able to fumble your way to the kitchen with your eyes half-closed by following the scent of freshly baked banana bread. All you need to do is spoon your serving into a bowl, top it with chopped walnuts, maple syrup, and almond milk, and your banana bread breakfast is ready to eat (or heat it up in the microwave if it’s been stored in the fridge).
If you’re one of those people who leaps out of bed at the first twinkle of the alarm, you might consider the additional, but worthwhile, step of toasting the walnuts you’ll sprinkle on your Banana Bread Oatmeal. Simply heat a dry pan on the stove and toss in the walnuts. Gently shake the pan as they cook, until the nuts smell… well, nutty… then immediately remove them from the heat. WARNING: Do not attempt to toast walnuts if you can barely remember your own name before a cup – make that two – of coffee. Nuts can go from delightfully toasted to charcoal in the blink of a (very sleepy) eye.
Slow Cooker Banana Bread Oatmeal
Total Time: 8 hrs. 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 6 servings, about 3/4 cup each
3 cups water
4 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided use
1 cup dry steel-cut oats
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
6 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ cup pure maple syrup
6 Tbsp. chopped raw walnuts
1. Place water, 1 cup almond milk, oats, bananas, flaxseed, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a 3-quart slow cooker; cover. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until oats are soft but chewy.
2. Top each serving evenly with maple syrup, walnuts, and remaining almond milk; serve immediately.
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Photographs by Kirsten Morningstar