Bowls in the sink: An oatmeal recipe

by Danielle Ehsanipour

An all-inclusive oatmeal recipe using everything you’ve got, including the nasty scraps in your kitchen sink. (Note: just kidding.)

After being teased for my funny way of preparing oatmeal almost every morning, I decided I’d give all you adventurous oatmeal lovers a little taste of this week’s best bowl. I usually follow the same format each day (oatmeal, milk, yogurt, toppings) but make a point to try out different combinations of whatever’s around, including some simple pantry staples that can really kick your morning into action!

Banana Bonanza (B)oatmeal
Serves 2

1 c. water
Pinch of salt
½ c. rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Handful of raisins (optional)
Dash of vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons flax seeds (or flax meal, if that’s what you’re into)

1 banana
1 Tablespoon brown sugar


Dollop of yogurt (preferably Greek)
Toppings of choice (suggestions below)

Heat it up. Bring water and pinch of salt to a rolling boil. Add oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and vanilla, and cook on medium-high heat, stirring regularly. After a minute or so, go ahead and add your flax seeds and extra water as needed (I usually use another ½ cup), and lower the heat a bit. Keep stirrin’ the pot regularly.

Just let it simmer. While that’s all mixin’ together, slice yo banana and sauté it in an oiled skillet on low heat. Be sure to mix it regularly, preventing the bananas from sticking. Add brown sugar to the bananas, allowing them to caramelize.

Once you’re feelin’ good about the consistency of your oats, mix in the caramelized bananas, in all their gooey glory. Pour your oatmeal into bowls, and get mentally prepared for the final fixings.

Milk it, baby. I always top my oatmeal with milk – it cools it down, creams it up, adds a little somethin’ sexy to my morning. Y’all can change it up as much as you’d like – I’m all about that milk of the moment mentality. Today it’s almond, tomorrow it’s cream top, you feel me? I am also extraordinarily partial to dropping a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. Get yo protein on, get yo calcium kick. In short, though, we just want to get some new textures going, and the tartness of the yogurt is a pretty nice touch.

Always finish on top. We’re talking (optional) walnuts, shredded coconut, banana chips, cereal/granola, peanut butter, and maybe some maple syrup if you like things extra sweet. I treat my pantry like a paint palette – I can always make new flavor combinations (colors) with whatever I’ve got (paints). Does that analogy make sense?*

Anyway, I’ve gotta go. You didn’t think I’d stay for breakfast, did you? You can figure out the rest. Find a spoon, or just eat like a barbarian – I don’t really care.
*Note: this analogy solely serves a cognitive platform with which to view the oatmeal making process. In no situation should you ever be using actual paint palettes in the preparation of your oatmeal. [Updated in response to Caravaggio v. Bowls in the Sink, Italy, (1590).]
Danielle Ehsanipour would dip her spoon in everyone’s bowl of oats if she could.

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