This warm bowl full of deliciousness will keep you full all morning long! And for those of you that have a sweet tooth (like me) the chocolate, peanut butter, banana combo is so super yummy and comforting! Mmmmmmmm.
My mom goes to Trader Joe’s all. the. time. I mean, she’s a Trader Joe’s fanatic! FOR REAL! She has stock piles of the natural peanut butter and almond butter and quinoa and multi-grain oats (one of my personal faves) and all kinds of things – all of which are are healthy…so as someone who had never been to a Trader Joe’s before I assumed it was like a lesser expensive version of Whole Foods or something similar. I had this vision of a huge health food store full of wonderful goodness all for much cheaper prices. And when I found out that Tampa was going to be building one just three blocks from my apartment I was ECSTATIC!
So I waited. And waited. And googled “Trader Joe’s Tampa” about a thousand times trying to find out when it would finally open. And then one day, ta-da! It was announced on the morning news and I was filled with excitement…as was about a gazillion other people…
This was one of those times I was thankful I don’t drive. I ran or walked (I don’t remember which) up to find a huge mess of cars being directed into the way too small parking lot. It was a Trader Joe’s frenzy! But even the vata in me wasn’t going to keep me from checking it out (vata dosha types don’t like big crowds).
So what did I find? Well, just about everything was picked over by the time I got there so I couldn’t even really scope everything out BECAUSE IT WAS ALL GONE! But I have gone back several times in the past few months since it’s been open and here’s what I think:
MY OPINION ON TRADER JOE’S
Well, it’s not exactly what I thought it was going to be. They definitely market their store well. Remember my post on how you can’t trust what the media says about a single research study? And my post on how to read nutrition labels? Well…these would both be useful here. I mean…cookie butter? What? Holy mother of all disgustingness!!! And it’s one of their most popular items! Would you believe that? And that’s not all. There are shelves full of unhealthy, processed to the max, awful foods in Trader Joe’s. I have to say I was a bit disappointed.
But it’s not all bad. There are actually a TON of really GREAT things they have to offer as well. It’s just like any other store – you have to pay attention! I like to start at the perimeter where all the produce is and check out what looks good. Keep in mind I live alone, so I need to buy only enough food that I will eat before it goes bad. But this is A LOT when it comes to produce. I go through TONS of fruits and veggies in a week. And they have TONS to offer – a lot of which is organic too! They also have a great selection of tofu and tempeh – but you know what I noticed? None of it says “non GMO” which is something you should ALWAYS look for when you purchase any soy products. So I don’t buy those.
Anyway…this is getting very long…
So I usually make my own nut butters. I love making nut butters. But I just happened to come across this little gem and thought it looked interesting so I picked it up and read the label: roasted peanuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, sea salt. THAT IT! Now, I’m hoping that the peanuts were dry roasted – and if they weren’t I would hope they would’ve included what oils they used to roast them with. But I’m going to assume there were no added oils because the butter is actually quite solid – what you’d expect when no other oils are added. In the future I’m going to try my own homemade version of this kind of nut butter, perhaps with almonds or a mixture of nuts. But for now, this is what I made and it was DELICIOUS!
Can you see how thick the mixture is? Of course the chia and flax both work as thickeners…but I’m still hoping the “roasted peanuts” included in the ingredients label didn’t include any additional oils. By the way, for those of you who don’t use flax or chia eggs often or make chia pudding – that oily looking stuff on top is likely from the chia and flax seeds. I doubt it was oil because it wasn’t liquid at room temperature and unsaturated fats are always liquid at room temperature. Notice how coconut oil is solid? That’s because it is a saturated fat. Cool huh?
I think you all know I love putting chocolate, well a mixture of raw cacao powder and dark cocoa powder in my morning oats. It adds the best chocolatey flavor! I am a true chocoholic! I admit it.
CHOCO-PEANUTTY BANANA PORRIDGE
Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 32 minutes Makes: one bowl
- ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + more to get desired consistency
- ¾ cup filtered or purified water
- 20 grams steel cut oats
- 20 grams oat bran
- 2 tablespoons granular stevia (or 1½ to 2 packets)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ small (about 50 grams) banana, chopped, sliced, or mashed
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon (16 grams) Trader Joe’s crunchy peanut butter with flax and chia seeds
- Measure out the almond milk and water and place it in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring just to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the steel cut oats (not the oat bran). Set the stove timer for 25 minutes. Stir the oats into the milk and keep an eye on it for a minute or two to make sure it doesn’t boil over. You may want to slide the saucepan off the burner slightly until the mixture comes to a low simmer, then move it back.
- Let the oats cook stirring every few minutes. You’ll notice the almond milk starting to separate a little. Just stir it back into the oats. Don’t worry – it will be delicious in the end.
- When the timer goes off add the oat bran, stevia, and cinnamon and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add more water or almond milk if necessary.
- Turn off the heat and add the banana and flax meal. Stir. This is when I usually add a little more almond milk – about ¼ to ½ cup. Stir in the cacao and cocoa powders and pour into your serving bowl. Place the peanut butter on top and stir it into the hot cereal. Enjoy!
Mmmmm…chocolate…peanut butter…banana…and oatmeal. Probably four of my favorite foods of all time. All in one delicious bowl! And topped with some delicious vanilla almond milk. Oh man. It’s going to be a good morning!