Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breakfast #34: Banana Muscovado Oatmeal

I love January. Clean slate, resolutions, and new beginnings aside, what I love most about this month is the weather. I know this isn’t exactly a well-loved month for the majority, nor well-loved weather, but over in my little corner of the world January is a blessed respite from the tropical heat. During our (non-existent) “winter” the air is a touch cooler, the breeze a little less steamy, and you can sometimes pass a whole A/C-less day without a single bead of sweat forming. Even in the cramped city I inhabit, where the hot, humid air is usually trapped between the buildings and the smog, I blissfully open my windows (a risky operation at best for fear of the dust and pollution) to let in the much welcome morning chill.

Another thing I love about this weather is that I can actually justify making all the “cold-weather” food I enjoy. Long-simmering braises, hearty soups and stews, and warm bowls of oatmeal. I love these foods, and will cook and eat them any time of the year, do not doubt it. Even in the heat of summer, if my cravings so dictate, you will find me nursing a pot of slow-cooked something or the other. But in January, ah blessed January, it has the extra pleasure of feeling so undeniably right.

Banana Muscovado Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 teaspoons dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Once boiling, add oats and cook until they have softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the banana slices, saving some for topping, as well as 2 teaspoons of muscovado. Depending on the size of your bananas you may not use all of it. Stir the banana in – don’t worry about keeping the slices whole, some will break up and that’s what you want.
- Taste the oatmeal and add the remaining teaspoon of muscovado if you’d like more sweetness. If the oatmeal is too dry for your taste add the milk gradually until you reach your desired consistency.
- Remove from the heat, top with the reserved banana slices, and enjoy! Serves 1 (hungry breakfaster) or 2.

Despite relishing the cool weather, you can’t take the island out of the island girl, so this bowl of oatmeal is shot through with slices of sweet banana and the deepest darkest muscovado I could find. The muscovado gives this an awesome molasses-y flavor and the bananas add a tropical perfume. It's part homestead mornings under the duvet, and part lazy sarong-wrapped days. This is also something I’d love to have ready, warm and waiting, for little C…to fortify her for a day of exploration and discovery, her favorite activities.

I buy my muscovado at ritual, a charming little general store run by friends. They sell locally sourced, eco-friendly goods without plastic packaging. I love what they stand for and the positive vibe of the shop. Bringing your own containers is encouraged, along with slowing down for a coffee and a nice chat with the friendly proprietors. I like to buy black rice (from Nueva Ecija), sea salt (from Ilocos and Pangasinan), and of course the dark-as-sin muscovado (from Sultan Kudarat). They have a lighter muscovado as well but I love the deep flavor of the darker one. Especially in something as innocent as oatmeal, to which it adds a caramel-y complexity. Among the dusky grains are rough-hewn, solid chunks of hardened sugar. I like to sprinkle some of these gems on top of my oatmeal and let them melt into pockets of syrupy sweetness. The perfect breakfast for a not-quite-winter morning, to be enjoyed by both big and little people alike :)


The Weekend Gourmet said...

Bananas, oatmeal and muscovado: 3 of my favorite things! I love muscovado, and have sometimes used it to replace white sugar when I bake for that "caramelly" flavor. I love the photos in this post, especially the one of Little C :)

Christine @ Cook the Story said...

We moved from Canada (my home) to Florida 2 years ago and I crave cold days for making warm comfort food. When one strikes, you know there's a braise going into the oven...and oatmeal for breakfast. Can't wait for the next cold day to try the addition of muscovado!

Tangled Noodle said...

Not just for breakfast: I often have oatmeal for lunch, too! This is a wonderful combination. As for where you purchase your muscovado, I've heard so much about ritual and plan to go there soon. 8-)

Meaghan Luby said...

blogs right now are overrun with banana posts! i am lovin it! such a great flavor to work with and this is such a unique way to play with the fruit!

thank you for posting. my cold winter breakfasts just warmed up a few degrees :)

Mom-Friday said...

you make oatmeal so luscious with this post!!! :)))
my cool-weather comfort food is champorado, also with muscovado :)

Anna ♥ Sugarized said...

Little C looks so precious! =) And this is my kind of breakfast too...if I'm not too lazy to just eat the instant variety, that is... =)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Weekend Gourmet! Thank you :) I have made a chocolate cake using muscovado and it came out splendid! I’m excited to try baking with this one as it’s extra dark :)

Hi Christine! Over here if we wait for a true cold day we will be waiting forever…so even with a hint of a cool breeze we take advantage!

Hi Tangled Noodle! I know, I can have oatmeal any time of the day! Enjoy ritual…it’s a great little shop :)

Hi Meaghan! Love bananas…whether in baked goods or just plain with some guava jelly and a piece of cheese :) Glad you enjoyed this post!

Hi Mom-Friday! Well, oatmeal can be luscious with the right encouragement :) Love champorado!

Hi Anna! Thank you! :)

Midge said...

January is, strangely enough, my favorite month. (And I still can't explain why...) Though I've been falling ill frequently of late thanks to the weird rainy-cold-hot-muggy weather we've been having of late, I vastly prefer it to the scorching heat of summer.

Plus, it gives me a chance to get more rest. ;)

Your porridge here looks like perfect curl up in a corner food. I'm planning to pair it with a mug of hot chocolate. <3

(And, no: you're NOT the only one who thinks the local KFC Double-Down is too small!)

millet said...

she is walking, yey!

Teacup Moments said...

what a genius idea to use muscovado! i think your recipe will get my oatmeal-phobic husband to eat oatmeal regularly.

Vivienne said...

This is what i normally have for breakfast every morning (without the muscovado sugar tho..i just used dark brown). Def a wintry breakfast which reminds you of all things warm and lovely!

Maria said...

Nothing better than oatmeal in the morning! Love it! :-)

Anne said...

I love the combination of banana and oatmeal. Muscovado sugar is a staple in my household :)

Ang laki na ni little C!

Brilynn said...

Our winters are certainly very different, but I'm glad you're cooking cold weather food because I could certainly use some warming up! It was -30C here today with the wind chill and curling up with a bowl of warm banana oatmeal sounds perfect.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Midge! I know what you mean…we have also been battling with a flu-like bug! A mug of hot chocolate and my favorite pillow would make this perfect :) The double-down is not all that…I have seen bigger “sandwiches”. Besides, people who take away the bread do NOT have me in mind! ;)

Hi Millet! Yes! And we are running around to keep up! :)

Hello Teacup! I do hope he likes it :)

Hi Vivienne! I too love oatmeal…I can have it every day! But I can’t because then what would I post here right? ;)

Hi Maria! I agree!

Hi Anne! I know right? How times flies! I also like having muscovado on hand…so good!

Hi Brilynn! -30C?? Wow. Wish I could send you some of the warmth here…sometimes we have too much and I would gladly send some off! The flip side is the heat and humidity we have to acclimatize ourselves to over here!

Jammy said...

thanks for this recipe! archie and i are have been eating this for breakfast! my muscovado-in-a-jar has been waiting for its turn to be used again (after the christmas puto bungbong days) and here's this lovely recipe! yum yum!:) we used super big lacatan bananas!:)

delphcotecuisine said...

absolutly gorgeous and yummy
very beautiful pics and website too

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jam :) Glad you guys are enjoying this! We substitute muscovado for white sugar in a lot of things…it has a great flavor :)

Thank you Delphine!

Shalum said...

Oooh. This breakfast is on top 3 of my list! I always have this. Lovely shot you took there. And that pic of your little girl, cute!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Shalum! Thank you :) Glad you like this…I can never get enough of oatmeal and its variations!

Christian | Lakad Pilipinas said...

Your food photography rocks! What the secret ba? I suck on food shots ih =P

ChichaJo said...

Hi Christian! Thanks! :) No secret really....I put my food beside a window for natural light, use a tripod, and shoot! Food is always well behaved ;)

Maureen said...

Looks delicious - can't wait to try this for my daughter who loves oatmeal. I picked this post as one of My Friday Favorites this week. You can check it out here: