Pumpkin-Banana Protein Oats
Isn’t it strange how much we change? I remember being a child and having such strong convictions about the most mundane things. I would never eat a tomato. I would never utter a curse word. I would always love the color pink.
And then as a teenager, I hated pink and had said my fair share of curse words. But I was adamant that I would never, ever dye my hair, that I’d always hate seafood, and that one day I’d move to New York City, be editor-in-chief of the New Yorker, and write a novel.
Now I love seafood and tomatoes. I’m coming around to the color pink again. Much to my sadness, I finally gave in and colored my hair. I moved to Boston, not New York, and found out I’m not much of a city girl after all. I will never be editor-in-chief of the New Yorker, or write a novel (man, I was ambitious). My teenage self probably wouldn’t even recognize me. She really thought we’d have it all figured out by now.
But I don’t. I can safely say I have no idea what my life will be like in a year. And while that sometimes gives me the urge to start combing through my life and do something, anything to just figure it out, I can’t. But that’s okay. There’s a few things that haven’t changed about me—like the fact that I will always have strong convictions, whatever they might be—and right now they’re dead set on embracing change. Change is a good thing.
It can be hard. I don’t like not knowing what’s coming. I’m a planner. But some things you just can’t, and when that happens you have a stick with what you know. I know that I love my friends And that I adore my family. And I know that for some reason, this blog is something that I need to do. Because food can change you. And it can soothe you. Especially when you really need it. And especially when its a dish your mom used to make for you. The stuff that’s been comforting you ever since you can remember. On a cool fall morning, when I’m just not sure if I’ll ever really have things figured out, that’s what oatmeal is for me.
My mother used to make my brothers and I oatmeal every Sunday morning before we’d head to church. I loved it. The sun would be just peaking over the horizon, my mom would be bundled in this long, cozy robe, and I’d add way too much milk and brown sugar every single time. It was great. It’s meals like that that stick with you.
It’s one of my favorites in the fall and winter. Something about warm oats on a chilly morning just feels like a big hug from the inside. Its creamy, silky texture fills you up and soothes away your tiredness. And when you add some distinctively fall flavors and use some really wholesome, fresh ingredients, it’s that much better. I wanted to keep it close to the way my mom used to do it, but add some natural sweetness and my daily dose of morning protein. The result is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Pumpkin-y, banana-y, creamy, comforting, sweet goodness.
Pumpkin-Banana Protein Oats
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup skim or almond milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
pinch of salt
1 banana, sliced and divided
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
drizzle of maple syrup
In a medium pot, combine oats, milk, spices, salt, and 1/2 of the sliced banana. Cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and thick, about 6 minutes or so.
Remove from heat and stir in pumpkin puree, protein powder, and brown sugar. Top with remaining banana slices and drizzle with maple syrup to serve.