pb&j in a bowl

Remember when I said I wasn’t a breakfast person? And how I wasn’t an oatmeal person? Well, what a difference National Oatmeal Month can make: I am now obsessed with oatmeal.

After I tried out LiveWell 360’s peanut butter cup oatmeal last month, I went out an bought a 42-ounce cannister of old-fashion oats. I thought, “How will I ever finish this?” But here I am, a little more than a month later, and the lot is almost completely spent. I’ve been trolling the Internet for creative recipes — oatmeals, granolas, cookies. I hope you’re ready for the impending barrage of oat treats.

In honor of National Peanut Month — and a belated Peanut Butter Lovers Day (March 1) — I give you the simple-but-delicious peanut butter and jelly oatmeal (adapted from LiveWell360).

♦1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
pinch of salt
1/2 ripe banana, sliced
1 tbs. peanut butter
1 to 1-1/2 tbs. grape jelly

Heat oats, milk, water and salt over medium heat until it reaches a simmer (about five minutes). Add banana slices and stir to break them down completely. Pour oatmeal into bowl, add peanut butter and mix. Top with jelly, and mix.

Total time? 10 minutes.
Cost? $2.50 peanut butter, $2.50 jelly, $2 cannister of oats for endless bowls of PB&J; 20(ish)¢ per banana.
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out of 10. This recipe was full of “not my thing.” I didn’t really like breakfast; I only ate oatmeal — instant, at that — if I absolutely had to; I shy away from peanut butter unless it’s wrapped inside chocolate (and frozen, like the stash of Reese’s in my freezer); and I haven’t eaten a PB&J sandwich since I was 8 years old. All that being said, I couldn’t believe how much I loved this. Every night for the next four days after I made this, I went to bed anxious to wake up and have it again. It’s that good. The banana is purely for consistency (you can’t taste it at all), and you can control the amounts of peanut butter and jelly just as you did/do for your classic PB&Js  — plus no crusts to remove!


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