Monday, September 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Oatmeal

The past few days have been insane, full of family, emotions and good times. My little all-grown-up brother is a full-fledged soldier of the U.S. Army, and I got to see him graduate on Friday! I am such a proud sister, it's not even funny. The hubby and I drove down to Ft. Benning on Thursday and spent a couple of hours with him (he had to be back at the barracks by 6:30) and our parents, who drove all the way down from Kansas. Friday morning, I took about 300 photos during the graduation ceremony, and then we got to hang out the rest of the morning and all afternoon, since he needed a ride up to the Atlanta airport and hey, we were headed that way anyhow!

He's on leave in Kansas for the next two weeks, and then he'll be in Germany for 3 years. I'm bummed we only got to spend less than 2 days together, but at least I got to see him at all. We're planning a Christmas extravaganza, though, in which we will both (hopefully) be visiting home at the same time!

It's been such a weird process, seeing my brother go off to Basic, writing letters back and forth for 14 weeks, and watching him graduate; especially because I've done it all before. It's been 5 years since my husband graduated, and I still remember experiencing it all for the first time. I hadn't realized how much I've learned about the military, and specifically Army, life since then -- it's quite a lot! In fact, hearing all the stories my brother told, in letters and in person, has made me start thinking about joining the military myself, but I don't know if I'll actually end up doing it. Sometimes it's okay just to be on the sidelines.

On a not-so-completely unrelated note, I have a recipe I'd like to share with you this morning. Thinking about the military and wanting to push myself even further to really get my body into peak condition, I've been on the search for filling, fueling breakfast options to start my day off right. Sugary cereals, toast, and Pop Tarts are not healthy choices (in case you were unsure), but this oatmeal is! It literally takes about 5 minutes to make, and it will fill you up until lunch time rolls around. It's also one of those tricky dishes that tastes like dessert, but isn't! So sneaky.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Oatmeal
{vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free}
makes 2 servings

  • 1/2 C GF old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 Tbs natural peanut butter
  • 1 small or medium banana
  • 1/4 C vegan chocolate or carob chips (optional)
1. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine the oats, cocoa powder, and water. Mix carefully, so the cocoa doesn't fly out all over the place.
2. Dice the banana into small pieces, or if you don't mind getting a little messy, use your hands to tear off small chunks and toss them into the bowl. Add the peanut butter and chocolate chips, if using them, and stir to combine.
3. Microwave the oatmeal for 2 minutes, or until the water is gone and everything is warm and cooked. Separate into two bowls, or eat it all yourself! Just be careful not to burn your mouth.

Note: If it's not sweet enough for you, you can add a spoonful of agave nectar or maple syrup before sticking it in the microwave.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 195 calories; 7.1g fat; 0mg cholesterol; 3mg sodium; 32g carbs; 7.4g dietary fiber; 7g sugar; 8g protein; 2mg vitamin A; 4mg vitamin C; 21mg calcium; 2.7mg iron

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