For as long as I can remember, my 75-year-old grandmother has eaten a bowl of oatmeal with ground flax seeds for breakfast each morning. I guess you could say that it runs in our family, because I love oatmeal too. While I generally reach for something more portable during the week, oatmeal is my top choice for weekend breakfasts where I have time to sit, savor, and enjoy my meal.
I’m busy and a little lazy, so when I have some spare time in the morning, I don’t want to spend it cooking an elaborate meal. Thankfully, oatmeal is quick, healthy, and easy to dress up. Most importantly, a big 42-ounce canister of old fashioned oats can be purchased for $2.00 – $2.50 at the grocery store. With each 1/2 cup serving containing 5 grams of protein, a full serving of whole grains, and ringing in at around 7 cents, oatmeal is definitely a thrifty buy! With a base price so low, it’s easy to add toppings and spices to your oatmeal without breaking the breakfast budget. Sometimes I keep it simple and just add a tablespoon each of brown sugar (for sweetness) and chia seeds (for a bit of crunch and some extra nutrition), but lately I’ve been experimenting with fruits and spices. This Apple-Banana Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Ginger is one of my favorites. Apples and bananas are super cheap (at my local Kroger, small Gala apples are $0.99/pound and bananas are less than $0.50/pound), so this healthy breakfast can fit into any budget.
First, chop a small “lunchbox size” Gala apple. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect! In a large, microwaveable bowl (I used this 24 ounce Fiesta gusto bowl), combine 1/2 cup of old fashioned oatmeal with 1 cup of water and the chopped Gala apple. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. You can cook for longer if you want your apples to be be super soft, but I prefer them with a wee bit of crunch. Once microwaved, carefully remove the bowl (be careful, it will be hot!) and add the banana. Using a spoon, smoosh/chop the banana to combine with the oatmeal. Add in 1 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground ginger. The amount of ginger will depend on your tastes; I use 1/4 tsp. which is pretty ginger-y, so some may find it to be too much. Depending on your preferences, you may also choose to add some brown sugar or a splash of milk before serving. Mix everything together and enjoy!
- ½ c. old fashioned oatmeal
- 1 c. water
- 1 small "lunchbox size" gala apple (chopped)
- 1 medium, ripe banana
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ⅛ - ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- brown sugar (optional)
- milk (optional)
- Combine ½ c. old fashioned oatmeal, chopped gala apple, and 1 c. water in a large, microwaveable bowl.
- Place in microwave and heat on HIGH for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Remove from microwave using a potholder or dishtowel.
- Add the banana and use a spoon to break into small chunks. Mix well.
- Stir in cinnamon, ground ginger, and brown sugar if desired.
- Serve and enjoy! Some may prefer their oatmeal with a splash of milk, but it is optional.