Inspired by my recent Berry, Almond, & Coconut Oatmeal, I realized I haven’t done enough with almond extract. So many possibilities!
My favorite aspect of almond extract (besides its taste) is the intensity of its flavor. This allows me to (drum roll please) . . .use the hidden banana trick! Oatmeal without banana is like a cookie without chocolate chips (a poor analogy, considering my favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle).
Anyway, strawberries have been–inexplicably–on sale and in great quality at my local produce market, so I’ve been enjoying them in my oatmeal and salads. Combined with the nutty almond extract, this oatmeal is a fresh and fruity delight.
You can forgo the banana if you want. I chose to use them because I like the creaminess and sweetness of them. If you skip the banana, you can use extra strawberries and dice them into the oatmeal while it’s cooking.
If you do use the banana, the exact amount of almond extract you’ll use depends on your taste preferences. Start with the 1/2 tsp listed, and then give it a taste. If you can still taste the banana–and that bothers you–add another small splash and try again. Repeat until it’s satisfactory for you. I could still taste the banana just slightly with only 1/2 a tsp, but I’ve come to like that because I’m weird. 🙂
Sigh. Is it spring yet? I just want berries to be in season again. And asparagus. And rhubarb.
And I want it to be sunny and warm. 🙂
What you'll need:
- 1 cup milk of choice, or water
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1/2 a ripe banana (optional, can replace with maple syrup or other liquid sweetener)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 or more strawberries, hulled
- almonds for topping (sliced, slivered, or whole)
How to make it:
- Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Mash banana thoroughly and add to the saucepan.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add almond and vanilla extract, and salt. Stir.
- Cut your strawberries to your preference. They can be sliced, quartered, or diced. I personally prefer diced because it's easier to eat. Stir the strawberries into the oatmeal.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice, more strawberries if desired, almonds, and any other additional toppings (shredded coconut, dried fruit, etc.).