Do you love dessert? You will love this healthier version of the banana split, and you can even have it for breakfast!
This simple breakfast dish takes all the elements of a banana split and turns them into a healthy alternative. Combining oats, goji berries, and bananas, this nutrient packed breakfast will give your sweet tooth what it is looking for all while getting your day off to a healthy start.
Why are Oats a Good Main Ingredient for Breakfast?
Oats are among the healthiest grains on the planet. In addition to being tasty, they're a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood glucose levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease.
In addition, a bowl of oatmeal a day can improve immunity because it contains selenium and zinc. Oats are also high in phosphorus manganese, minerals that are instrumental to bone, muscle and heart health. Besides making a great breakfast cereal, oats are excellent for baking in cookies, breads, snack bars, and muffins.
Are Steel-Cut Oats Different from Rolled Oats?
All oats are a whole grain that contain a significant serving of the nutrition and fiber a body needs to keep it running optimally. Going metric by metric, rolled oats and steel-cut oats are almost the same when it comes to nutritional value.
However, steel-cut oats beat out rolled oats in two areas - fiber content and density. This makes steel-cut oats the best bang for your nutritional buck.
Steel-cut, rolled, and quick oats all start out as oat groats. Oat groats intended for human consumption are exposed to heat and moisture to make them more shelf-stable. The oat groats are then processed in different ways to create either steel-cut, rolled or quick oats, all of which have distinct characteristics.
Also known as Irish oatmeal, steel-cut oats are most closely related to the original, unprocessed oat groat. Steel-cut oats have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavor than rolled or quick oats.
Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have gone through a steaming and flattening process. They have a milder flavor and softer texture and take much less time to make than steel-cut oats, as they have been partially cooked.
Oat Buying Tips
Be careful and check labels, because sometimes oats could be processed with other grains that do contain gluten and suffer from cross-contamination. Steel-cut oats also do not naturally contain gluten, which makes them a great option for individuals trying to stick to a gluten free diet.
Make sure to check labels to see if the steel-cut oats you buy have been processed with any other materials, or look for steel-cut oats that are clearly labeled as gluten free oats. Even if you are not gluten free, it helps to have steel-cut outs because they are the best, but obviously most oats without additives are going to be good.
But Why Berries for Breakfast?
Berries are among the top sources of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting nutrients, and they can help reduce the risk of many age-related conditions. Berries are a great source of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. In addition to protecting your cells, these plant compounds may reduce disease risk.
Some studies suggest that berries may protect your cells from high blood glucose levels, help increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce blood glucose and insulin response to high-carb meals. Importantly, these effects appear to occur in both healthy people and those with insulin resistance.
Go Go Goji Berries!
The goji berry is also called the wolfberry. It is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that is native to China. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hopes of extending the lifespan.
This fruit offers high amounts of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc. Goji berries also contain healthy antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for their immune-boosting qualities and their ability to fight harmful free radicals and inflammation.
Goji berries may also be helpful in controlling the release of glucose into the blood. Research
shows that goji berries balance insulin and glucose levels in the blood. The same study linked goji berries to increased HDL levels in people with type 2 diabetes. HDL is known as good cholesterol.
Berry Buying Tips
Look for clean, dry berries that are plump, firm, and fully red. The caps should be green and fresh looking. Avoid bruised or wrinkled berries. When you can’t taste before buying, go by smell. Pick up a basket and give them a sniff. If they don’t smell like berries, they’re definitely not going to taste like berries.
Berries are delicate, and the ones on the top of the basket can crush the ones on the bottom. So once you get them home, arrange your berries in a single layer in a paper towel-lined container, then refrigerate. Berries have lots of nooks and crannies, and water lodged there can make for quicker degradation. So rinse just before using.
Breakfast Banana Split Rounds
- 1 large banana sliced thin or thick, your choice
- 2 tbsp plain coconut yogurt
- 1/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 3 tbsp steel-cut oats roasted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 large leaves Boston lettuce
- 1 tbsp dried goji berries
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- Dry Pan roast the oats for 2 to 3 minutes or until the grain is golden. Watch grain carefully so that they don’t burn. Set aside.
- Place the lettuce leaves on a plate overlapping.
- Lay out a line of banana slices on top of lettuce.
- Top with the fresh berries.
- In a small bowl mix the yogurt and maple syrup. Drizzle the yogurt mixture over the fruit.
- Sprinkle with goji berries and cocoa powder.