Nothing says “Screw You” like Winter mornings in melancholy Melbourne.
After a glorious two weeks away in sunny, sensual Bali where my boyfriend and I passed our days with long beach walks, countless spa treatments, sipping on passionfruit Mojitos and basking by cliff-top infinity pools, I was more than filthy about the nose-numbing cold and relentless rain that welcomed us home. Sleep deprived, dehydrated and famished after an overnight flight, the thrill of seeing my family and dog shortly wore thin and Post-Bali Blues had slapped me in the face before I even reached my front door. It’s strange how such a short burst of time in an exotic location you love can make you feel like you don’t belong in your own home once you return.
No, holidays never last forever, and paradise is just that — paradise –because it’s a physical and mental escape from the mundane ho-hum of everyday life where responsibilities and restrictions are seldom considered. Still, accepting that all holidays must come to an end doesn’t make returning to reality any peachier. So, I had to deal with my miserable spirit the only way I know how (gym was out of the question and no amount of exercise was going to cure my depression anyway). I had to eat something awesome.
Just 24 hours earlier, I’d been feasting on a refreshing banquet of exotic fruit, bircher muesli and coconut water. Now, I was ready to chow down the warmest, most comforting and bananariest thing I could get my hands on. In the cooler months, nothing comforts your belly more than a big bowl of luxuriously fluffy porridge with an abundance of toppings.
Everyone needs a comforting go-to breakkie for those mornings when the mood is bleaker and the temperature barely tolerable, when plain old muesli and yoghurt just won’t suffice. And boy did this banana-whipped porridge hit the spot! So tasty, warm and soothing, it even cheered me up a little. Momentarily.
The usual suspects: Kuranda Natural Muesli (Quinoa, Buckwheat & Seed Blend w/ Cacao Nibs), Sanitarium natural PB, Equagold pure vanilla extract, NatureFirst mixed chia seeds and sweet, succulent warmed blueberries…Banana-whipped Porridge with Blueberry Smash
1/3 cup organic rolled oats
1/3 cup milk of choice
1/2-2/3 cup water (depending on how runny you like your oats)
1/2 banana, sliced very thinly with a few larger chunks
1/2 tbs chia seeds (optional – they give the oats a lovely fluffy texture!)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
sprinkle of stevia, to taste
2 tbs toppings, to serve (my favourites include 1 tsp natural peanut butter, almonds, chia seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, puffed quinoa, buckinis, unsweetened coconut chips, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg etc)
- In a saucepan (see notes below for microwave alternative), combine the milk, water, oats, chia seeds and banana over medium heat. Without stirring, leave the oats to heat for a few minutes.
- Once the oats are bubbling, stir vigorously in intervals as if to “whip” the mixture – banana is an emulsifier of sorts, and this “whipping” motion will make the oats super fluffy.
- The oats and chia seeds will take about 5 minutes to absorb the liquid – they’re ready when your desired consistency is reached! If they’re too “gluggy”, add more water or milk – porridge is very forgiving.
- To make the “blueberry smash”, simply heat blueberries and a splash of water over medium heat in a small saucepan and remove once the blueberries start to blister and the mixture boils. I find that frozen blueberries are best to use for this, as they’re much sweeter (and cheaper) than fresh ones when berries are not in season.
- Remove porridge from the stove and stir through the vanilla extract. You can also add a sweetener of choice if you like your oats a little sweeter. I used a tiny sprinkle of pure stevia to bring out the sweetness of the banana.
- Spoon into a serving bowl and top with the blueberry smash and your favourite toppings. E N J O Y!
Note: alternatively, you can cook your oats in the microwave as I often do on busy weekday mornings. I don’t encourage microwaving food all the time, but sometimes it’s just necessary for convenience. The end result isn’t quite the same as if you were to use the stove, but it’s still delicious nonetheless: place a bowl containing the oats, chia seeds, banana, milk & water in the microwave & cook on high for 1.5 minutes. Remove and perform the ‘whipping’ motion. Cook for a further minute, watching carefully that the porridge doesn’t overflow. If it does, remove and stir and then return for the remaining duration. Give the oats a last vigorous ‘whip’ before adding your flavours and toppings.