{Banana Bread} Baked Oatmeal

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Good evening ya’ll! How has your week been so far? Mine has been exceedingly busy but good. A lot has been going on lately as I am in the midst of getting ready for Japan. My week seems to be flying by in a flurry of Japan prep, work, violin practice, spending time with friends/family along with trying to tackle that never-ending to-do list.

You know the feeling. Days flying by like blurry trees out the car window while you shake your head slowly and whisper, Is it Wednesday already? 

Anyhow.

Part of my preparation for Japan is (of course) studying the language. Although I’ve been studying Japanese for years now I still don’t know it all (can you believe that?!). Thus, I study as much as I can every day. My aim is to have so much Japanese vocab and grammar constantly rolling around in my head that one day the grammar and vocab collide and create a happy explosion and suddenly… I’m 100% fluent. In fact, achieving fluency is one of my goals while living in Japan. However, this isn’t a language learning blog so lemme’ get back on track. 😉

Actually, maybe I’m already on track because a Japanese expression inspired my entire post today!

“mottainai”

Have you ever had anything like these sitting on your counter?

banana

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about…

Overripe bananas (sigh). They’d been sitting on the counter for a bit bothering my conscience and begging me not to ignore them. 🙂 So as much as I wanted to ignore them, I decided put my studying into practice and live by this simple Japanese expression.

“mottainai”

Don’t know what “mottanai” means? Check out this explanation from Wikipedia.com:

 

Mottainai (もったいない?, [mottainai]) is a Japanese term conveying a sense of regret concerning waste.[1] The expression “Mottainai!” can be uttered alone as an exclamation when something useful, such as food or time, is wasted, meaning roughly “what a waste!” or “Don’t waste.”[2] 

Usually, when I’m considering what to do with overripe bananas I choose to make banana bread.

But not this time. You see, I made banana bread over the weekend and wanted to try something new with a the essence of the old… A breakfast creation with a hint of the familiar flavors of banana bread. A way to not waste and instead make something edible from overripe bananas…

Enter {Banana Bread} Baked Oatmeal.

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At some point in my childhood, my mom used to make baked oatmeal for breakfast every weekend. Before that we used to have oatmeal every weekend but my sis and I hate oatmeal (the stove-top porridge) so my parents bumped that off the menu for our weekend breakfast routine.

My mom may have come across baked oatmeal while looking for a simple, nutritious alternative to oatmeal (the stove-top porridge) that would serve as a satisfying weekend breakfast for her picky girls. While I’m not sure of her  motivation, I do know that the resulting dish was absolute yummyliciousness to our little taste buds.

For a while we ate baked oatmeal regularly but at some point the baked-oatmeal-weekend-breakfast phase ended and we moved on to other eats. Yet baked oatmeal has always held a special place in my heart, reminding me of those happy, carefree weekends spent with a silly sister and loving parents.

Weekends before I was concerned with how many calories I just ate or how much exercise I’d need to “undo” breakfast. Weekends before I sat crying with a spoon in my hand, wondering how I was going to eat all this food. 

Believe you me, I’ve not arrived. I’m still in the recovery process but I’m making progress–imperfect though it may be. I’m asking Jesus to return to me the simplicity and carefree attitude of childhood when it comes to eating. I know He will.

So back to you.  Do YOU have rotting bananas sitting on your counter?

mottainai!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-J

Do you speak/are you learning a foreign language? What dishes bring back favorite childhood memories? What’s your favorite way to use overripe bananas? How do you minimize waste in your home?

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{Banana Bread} Baked Oatmeal

{This baked oatmeal is the perfect addition to your breakfast routine. Quick and easy to make, it affords less time cooking and more time to spend with family and friends. The bananas, oats, and dates combine to create something reminiscent of banana bread yet remarkably unique. (Way!) better than a bowl of oatmeal your tummy will thank you for such a yummy, simple start to your day.}

Ingredients:

  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 1/2 cups plant based milk
  • 6-7 dates, chopped

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mash or blend bananas until completely smooth.
  3. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add in 1/4 cup honey and 1 1/2 cup milk and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Now add in oats and chopped dates and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Coat a 9 x 13″ baking pan with oil and pour mixture into pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove bake from oven and mix in the pan until all clumps are broken up.
  9. Pour remaining cup of milk into the pan and mix.
  10. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

You can use a blender to mash the bananas if you’d like… I originally used a fork but quickly switched to a blender after realizing how much quicker and easier the blender could be!

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2 thoughts on “{Banana Bread} Baked Oatmeal

  1. I love Japan & Japanese and its awesome that you’ve brought it into your blog post. もったいない is one of those phrases I always want to say in English, but never has quite the right ring to it when I try…

    1. Thanks for stopping by Erin! That’s SO cool that you love Japan and Japanese. I know what you mean… Sometimes incorporating Japanese phrases into English is tricky, but its also a fun way to retain our language learning!!!

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