Banana Chia Flax Oats (a la KERF)

One of the first healthy living blogs I followed was Kath Eats Real Food (KERF for short).  I was intrigued by her Tribute to Oatmeal.  Although it was never my first choice for breakfast growing up, oats are very heart healthy and KERF made them look delicious so last winter I took a page from her book and began making oatmeal with pumpkin and fun toppings.  It was the perfect cool weather breakfast.  I was excited last week when the temps in north Florida finally dropped below 80 because that meant the return of hot oats for breakfast!

These are the stars of my oaty breakfast: chia seeds, sunflower seed butter (soooooo good!!!), and flaxseed meal (pre-ground flax seeds).

Both chia seeds and flaxseed meal are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and high in fiber.

Chia seeds give the oatmeal a fluffy texture (I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I can’t think of another way to describe the unique texture) because they plump up when they come in contact with liquid.

Flaxseed meal is pre-ground flax seed (you can grind your own flax seeds using a coffee bean grinder, but I’m not into all that mess first thing in the morning).  Flax gives the oats a slightly nutty flavor.

Sunflower seed nut butter is one of my true loves (you can read my review of nut butters here).  A healthy dollop of sunflower seed butter on top of oats is deeeeeelicious!

I basically follow the KERF method, with a few modifications:

– I use 1% milk (I’m not into skim milk or soy milk)

– I use 1/3 cup water instead of 1/2 cup water (I like thicker oats)

– I use 2 teaspoons chia seeds

– I add 2 teaspoons of flaxseed meal at the end with the vanilla

I pretty much think everything tastes better served in a recycled nut butter jar, so I serve my oatios in a jar topped with a healthy glob (about a tablespoon) of nut butter.  At this point, you could also add layers of crunchy granola, dried fruit, or whatever else you like in your oats.  This is a yummy, fibrous, heart healthy breakfast that does a body good on a cold morning!