June 14, 2014

Banana Coconut Cacao Oatmeal: A Real Treat and Power Meal

Just finished taking the ACTs for the first time about an hour ago, and I cannot begin to describe the relief that I am feeling right now ;) No more finals, no more SATs (for now) and I'm probably never going to take the ACTs again.

With all these big tests all in a row, I've been fueling up more on carbs which isn't typical of me. Usually, my breakfast consists of either fruit or a green juice since I expect to eat about 4-5 hours later, but with these tests, my typical lunch time (11) is delayed another two hours and I don't want my hunger to get in the way of how I do on my tests. So that's why I eat more carbs; on test days, I eat oatmeal for breakfast, and then over these past couple of days, I've been unintentionally eating more carbs (aka Cantonese zhong) since my energy levels are so depleted that I have no motivation to do anything afterwards, even cook.

[Cantonese Zhong is one of those things that I just can't say no to. It's basically the Chinese version of a tamale, consisting of sticky rice, sometimes peanuts or chestnuts, and I'll pick out the sausage if there's any.]


But regardless, there's really no use in flipping out over eating heavier food items because I'm now done with tests and can go back to my normal schedule. Besides, I've actually been exercising even more these past couple of days; the stress that has accumulated over this past week has taken its toll on my levels of sanity at some points, and I need to prevent as many mental breakdowns as possible, so the exercise is good to just get those frustrations out.

But getting back to the oatmeal... ;)
Of course, we all know that Hannah loves bananas and coconut, but I have been also experimenting with cacao nibs lately. I found a decent sized bag of raw, organic cacao nibs at TJ Maxx (I know, I usually don't buy groceries from clothing stores, but I wanted to try them so badly) and I've been adding them on top of my oatmeal, I made hot chocolate out of 'em, and I just eat a small tiny tablespoon of them sometimes if I'm really craving some chocolate. Now cacao nibs have no dairy, gluten, sugar, nada. So that means that they don't exactly taste like Hershey's chocolate bars even though chocolate is made out of cacao. They're pretty much the most bitter kind of dark chocolate you can think of, but at the same time, there's that depth in flavor that kind of reminds me of coffee (still holding myself off on coffee for as long as possible, as often as possible, since it does impact brain development).

And you gotta remember that bananas, unsweetened coconut, chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and cacao make up a little family of ingredients made from heaven (my spin on "a match made in heaven" okay?), so obviously they'll all taste really good together. This may look more like a dessert than a breakfast, but let's remember that stuffed french toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, and even cereals are eaten for breakfast and they're all sweetened while this oatmeal was sweetened naturally, so this is still a super healthy, filling, and delicious recipe in my book. And of course, you can always eat this any time of day, even for dessert.

Recipe: Banana Coconut Cacao Oatmeal
By: Hannah Claudia

Oatmeal, cooked (I used 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats and 1 cup of almond milk)
1 banana, sliced
Small handful of walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon of cacao nibs


1. Mix it all up or make it into a feast for the eyes before eating ;)

Two bowls of oatmeal (1/2 cup of oats each): one for the little brother and one for me. Guess which one is mine? (Hint: he doesn't like cinnamon very much)

And, on another note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!! Thanks for always driving me around to places, especially to the ACTs at 7 in the morning on your birthday. How many dads out there would be willing to do that? 

xoxo, Hannah

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