For most of my life, I hated oatmeal. I thought of it as tasteless, runny goo. Given a choice between oatmeal and cardboard, the cardboard would always get my vote.
That all changed several years ago when a woman I was dating introduced me to real oatmeal, the kind with peanut butter and maple syrup. The kind that warms your very soul and sends sweet tendrils of pleasure throughout your entire consciousness. That kind.
That kind requires the addition of chocolate, my friends. (Who didn’t see that coming?) So I added cocoa powder to the recipe, and The Best Oatmeal Ever was born. I have eaten this recipe with little variation almost every morning (and sometimes at night) for the past two and a half years. It is divine, like eating dessert for breakfast, but healthy! So without further delay or ado, I present to you The Best Oatmeal Ever.
- A microwave (stovetop also works, and I made my oatmeal in a pot for years, but microwaving is quicker and there are fewer dishes to clean up)
- A large-ish bowl (preferably one with a lid) to hold your oatmeal goodness
- Two spoons (one for stirring, and one for dishing out peanut butter and cocoa)
- 1 ripe banana (ripe means it has lots of brown speckles or spots)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1-2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
- 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (vanilla is probably fine, too)
- 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (peanuts + salt)
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (the good stuff)
How to make it:
- Get out your oatmeal bowl and peel your banana (no, that’s not a veiled sexual reference, just shut up and peel the damn banana). Break up the banana into small chunks and place them in the bowl. You can always mash the banana if you like, but it’s good to at least break it into reasonable pieces so you don’t get huge mouthfuls of banana in the final product. You want it to spread around and sweeten the whole bowl.
- Measure out and pour the oats into the bowl. Add in the cocoa powder and flax. Pour the almond milk over top.
- I totally forgot to mention, but these are overnight oats. That means you actually want them to sit in the fridge and get all gooey and delicious overnight, or at least for a few hours. I often make my “overnight” oats in the morning. I’ll make them when I get up, and let them hang out in the fridge for a couple of hours until breakfast. This step is optional, but it produces amazing results. Creamy chocolate deliciousness with fluffy, melt–in–your–mouth oats. Heaven. But if you don’t have time, just proceed. Your oatmeal will still be delightful.
- Pop your oatmeal bowl in the microwave and put it on 90% power for two minutes. After two minutes, mix everything around really well, making sure there are no clumps of cocoa powder or lumps of banana, and your oatmeal is looking nice and chocolatey. Put it back in the microwave on the highest setting for another minute.
- Top with peanut butter and maple syrup. Mix them in a bit (but not too much). You want ribbons of peanut butter and little pools of maple syrup to discover and delight in.
- You’re done! Enjoy the beauty of your creation. Then eat it. Definitely eat it.
Let me know if you make this recipe and if you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear from you.