the sweeter side of life and oats

I very rarely add any form of sweetener to my morning bowl of oats.

Bananas, I think are plenty sweet enough.  Blueberries add their own form of fresh and sweet.  Cinnamon with apples is simple but lovely.  And so—most of the time—I turn up my nose to brown sugar, honey, agave and even maple syrup. 

Most of the time.

But yesterday I found myself walking through Whole Foods with a bottle of blackstrap molasses jostling around in my basket.  I didn’t quite know why or what I planned on doing with the jar (or how it managed to get there in the first place,) but buying it and bringing it home seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Blackstrap molasses (not to be confused with the regular ol’ molasses seen in the baking isle,) is a by-product of processed sugar cane.  It retains many of the vitamins and minerals that regular sugar doesn’t have.  One tablespoon has about 45 calories, and offers 20% of the recommended intake for calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.

I like to think that it’s basically a health food. 😉

With its rich, dark flavors, I do believe that this jar of blackstrap molasses is slowly converting me to the sweeter side of life. 

The sweeter side of oatmeal.

Creamy, Spiced Banana Oats with almond butter and blackstrap molasses

If you like your oatmeal to be on the sweet side, try adding a drizzle of blackstrap molasses!  A little goes a long way with this dark, rich treat. 😀

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 T. crushed flax
  • toppings: almond butter and blackstrap molasses
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and water to a boil.  Add oatmeal, spices, banana and flax.  Stir, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 4-6 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency.  Stir well every couple of minutes to enhance creaminess.
  2. Drizzle with molasses and top with almond butter.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Do you regularly add sweetener to your morning bowl of oats?  What are your favorites?

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22 thoughts on “the sweeter side of life and oats

  1. I don’t add sweetener unless it’s date molasses… but I do love blackstrap molasses! I actually prefer my sweeteners to have a richer taste, which is why I actually don’t like white sugar. Brown sugar and honey are wonderful too 🙂

  2. How much sweetener I add depends on whether I cook my oats in almond milk or water. When I use water, I find I need a little drizzle of something…though if it’s all almond milk I’m usually okay 😛 Once I forgot how good of a sweetener bananas are and added in some maple syrup out of habit and could hardly finish the bowl, it was so sweet!
    That said…I’ll usually add a liiiitle drizzle of maple syrup or date syrup to my bowls no matter what. I’ve mixed molasses in to make a sort of “gingerbread oats,” but never drizzled on top. I do love molasses, though – so I’ll have to give it a try 🙂

  3. Welcome to the sweeet side 🙂 i usually add honey or date syrup, but since ive been using more cinnamon, I havent been craving as much honey. Im not a sugar fan, like tatianna, I prefer my sweetners to be “richer”. xx

  4. I’m like you and prefer to have the fruit sweeten my oatmeal. Occasionally a swirl of maple syrup or honey is called for though! 😉

  5. i also have totally been digging blackstrap molasses! my favorite way to use it is still by making veggiegirl blondies 🙂

    looks like you had a great Christmas full of love, laughter and GOOD food! your photography is stunning, per usual, and i loved reading about it!

  6. My favorite oatmeal topping is peanut butter, sliced bananas, and slivered almonds. Between the oatmeal and the peanut butter, it keeps me going all morning.

  7. This looks amazing! When I go for sweet oatmeal I usually just sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top (I was always the kid that offered to pack the measuring cups with brown sugar when Mom baked so I could lick my fingers afterward), but when I want to go healthier peanut butter is the best – it keeps me fueled for hours! This looks like a good combo of sweet and hearty though – looking forward to trying this!

  8. Definitely a brown sugar and cinnamon gal here — but I’m looking forward to trying molasses!! Mmmm! (I too was the kid who’d eat gobs of brown sugar, plain. Can’t believe my mom let me do it!)

  9. Oh, I LOVE blackstrap molasses. One of my favorite things to do with it is make a smoothie with homemade almond milk, nutmeg, pumpkin and ice.

  10. So far I’ve only used the blackstrap molasses in ginger snap cookies. I prefer Fancy Molasses (Crosby’s) to regular blacstrap – not really sure what the difference is. This sounds like something new to add to my repetoire of oatmeal recipes. Like many of the other readers I often use a bit of maple syrup and sometimes brown sugar. One of my favourite toppings is some marscapone cheese – it melts in to the oatmeal and is unbelieveably good. I sometimes use vanilla yogurt or ricotta cheese instead of milk. Cream is a very nice treat once in a while – just a splash to create oatmeal heaven! I also use flax meal in my oatmeal and like to cook it until it is firm. I also top with any fresh fruit I have and it’s a great way to use up bananas past their yellow prime by cooking the banana in the oatmeal. What do you think of steel cut (or Scotch) oats. To cut down on cooking time, soak the steel cut oats in your cooking pot overnight — all the water will get absorbed. Then you add more water or milk to cook for 3 – 5 minutes. I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday but once or twice a week I’ll make cream of wheat (wheat farina). Sometimes I just put a little bit of butter on top, some brown sugar and lots of cinnamon which reminds me of rice pudding. Looking forward to trying fancy molasses on my oatmeal.

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