The Mix: Steel-cut oats cooked with two ripe bananas, topped with toasted coconut, pistachios, and dried cherries
The Story: Coconut entices my kids, who often don’t stop moving long enough to take more than three bites, to clean their plates. I once marginalized coconut as a nice complement to chocolate. But given how my kids adore it, coconut recently won prime counter real estate beside staples like salt, butter, and cinnamon.
I coat chicken and fish in raw coconut and then panfry the coating to a golden crust. I always add a half cup of toasted coconut to my bi-weekly batch of Maple Granola. And I use it to amp up the flavor of my mother’s old banana muffin recipe.
With the latter in mind, I riffed on Bec’s idea of cooking a banana into a pot of oatmeal. Since we had an entire bunch of spotted, soft bananas, I added two. Further inspired by Bec’s clever way of using up aging fruit, I foraged in the pantry for the oldest bits I could find. I couldn’t remember when I bought pistachios or dried cherries, so I set them out for the kids alongside a ramekin each of their beloved toasted coconut.
The Workout: A triathlon of a different sort: I sent my son off to preschool, chased my daughter at the park, and squeezed in 35 minutes on the spin bike before school pickup.
The Instructions: Follow the Quick Soak Method on the McCann’s steel-cut oats can: “Before going to bed, boil four cups of water in a pot, add one cup of oatmeal. Simmer 1 minute. Cover pot and store overnight in refrigerator. The next morning cook the oatmeal on low for 9 – 12 minutes; stirring occasionally.” Stir in two mashed ripe bananas five minutes before the oats finish cooking. Top with a splash of half-and-half (or milk or cream), a tablespoon or two of toasted coconut, and small handfuls of unsalted pistachios and dried cherries.