By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
You know those fashion articles* that expound the virtues of mixing expensive clothes with cheapies from the local superstore? These articles are usually accompanied by snapshots of a celebrity breezing down the street and looking all “hey, I just came from yoga and don’t I look like old leftovers?”, but still fabulous, and wearing a $100 white T-shirt with her custom crocodile purse.
(*Not that I read these articles. I’m just guessing, of course. Also, any place where a $100 T-shirt is considered a cheap purchase is not on this planet.)
I’m reminded of such articles when I cook with kitchen staples, like oats or dairy. By keeping a supply of these staples on hand and combining them with fresh ingredients, you can whip up just about any dish. Oats and dairy are particularly important considering 99% of Americans fall short of daily whole grain recommendations and 85% don’t meet dairy recommendations.
That’s a shame, because oats are rich in fiber and are a source of iron and protein. They may even help lower “bad” cholesterol, as well as keep you full longer. Dairy has plenty of calcium and vitamin D, of course, but did you know that it can also reduce risk of type 2 diabetes? Oats and dairy are an inexpensive way to increase the nutrient quality of your breakfasts and snacks (unlike a $100 T-shirt, which is neither inexpensive nor nutritionally adequate).
Busy days call for simple recipes with few ingredients. If you can use fresh, local ingredients, all the better. During the hot days of summer, I gulp down cool breakfasts like Maddie the veggie-loving-dog gobbles green beans and carrots. This breakfast blend has only six ingredients, including enough fruit to boost the potassium content even higher, and it takes seconds to make. Breakfast or snack, you can’t go wrong with the winning combination of oats, dairy and fruit.
Nonfat yogurt, milk and oats form the base for this blend, while molasses gives a hint of caramelized flavor that offsets the sweetness of the strawberries. Adding yogurt is a healthy way to enjoy a slightly tart taste (take that, sour cream ice cream!). Blend and serve immediately or allow to freeze for an hour to firm up.
Let’s hear it for kitchen staples!
Pro tip: Once the weather turns cool, you may be tempted to ditch cold breakfasts. Not so fast! Try a spoonful of this breakfast blend on hot oatmeal for an extra-special twist on breakfast. You may think you’re eating dessert!
Caramelized Strawberry Banana Breakfast Blend
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 2 medium bananas, sliced and frozen
- 6 medium strawberries, frozen
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
- 3/8 cup nonfat milk
- 1 tablespoon molasses
Combine ingredients in blender or food processor and blend immediately for at least 20 seconds. Use spatula to scrape down sides and continue to blend until mixture is smooth. Serve immediately or transfer to freezer-safe container and freeze for 1 hour, if desired.