Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Brûlée

I recently enjoyed some time off from work for the holidays, and I thought it would be fun to actually make breakfast every morning – you know, something a bit more complicated than my usual bowl of cereal in a stupor.  This recipe was bound to be a winner with our family since Andrew eats oatmeal for breakfast every morning anyway, and he absolutely loves “nanas”.  I was also happy to find another use for my fun little kitchen torch besides making cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting.

I, for one, was thrilled with this recipe because up until now I have been unable to find basic oatmeal recipe I enjoy.  They always taste totally bland to me, except for the instant oatmeal that comes from a packet and is surely loaded with additives I’d rather not know about.  The oatmeal itself has a nice flavor thanks to a bit of sugar, some spices and vanilla extract.  I also think a bit of honey would be a great addition but I didn’t use it this time around because Andrew was eating with us (remember, no honey for kids under 1!)  Then topped with the fresh fruit, and with the caramelized top surface, you end up with a wonderful healthy breakfast that is definitely not ordinary.  We all really liked this and Andrew ate so much I was concerned he might explode.  The recipe below is enough for four servings, so you’ll want to at least halve it if you’re not feeding a family.  Enjoy!

(Because I know someone will ask, yes, you can use your broiler if you don’t have a kitchen torch.  However I don’t recommend it because every time I try the broiler method in place of a torch, I end up ruining whatever I’m making.  I much prefer the torch because I have better control.)

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Brûlée
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3 cups water
½ tsp. salt
2 cups old fashioned oats
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Swirl of honey
1 banana, sliced thin
6-8 strawberries, sliced thin
Granulated sugar

Combine the water and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Add the oats, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey, if using.

Divide oatmeal between warmed serving bowls.  Top with sliced bananas and strawberries in an even layer.  Sprinkle the sliced fruit with granulated sugar in a thin layer – just enough to help the surface caramelize.  Heat with a kitchen torch until the surfaces are golden brown (strawberries have more water and will take a bit longer to brown).*  Serve immediately.

*Alternatively, you can use the broiler to caramelize the sugar on top of the fruit.  Be sure to use oven-safe bowls, keep them close to the heat source, and watch carefully.  Browning won’t take long.

Source: inspired by À la Mode and Apple a Day

30 Responses

  1. This sounds really good. No school today means I’m breaking out my torch to try it.

  2. It’s 2 for honey now? I’ve given it to Drewby a couple of times since he turned on, keep your fingers crossed he doesn’t get botulism! Will definitely be trying this one. He eats oatmeal for breakfast every morning too, and it can be bland!

  3. Scrumptious! I’m always looking for oatmeal variations, considering I eat it about 4 times per week. This version looks amazing.

  4. What a wonderful idea. Love oatmeal and this kicks it up a notch, doesn’t it. Also loved your chicken ranch pizza. That is also on the to try list. Thanks.

  5. Yum – looks delicious!

    I always thought it was “no honey under 12 months”, though…

    • I’m just going by what I learned in med school, and what our pediatrician recommends. I think better safe than sorry.

  6. This looks like such a fun breakfast for a weekend or day off from work! I have a torch, too, and I’m always trying to think of reasons to actually use it. This would be a good excuse, especially because I can’t resist the instant oatmeal packets but know they are FULL of junk I don’t need to eat!

  7. Oh, how wonderful! This looks GREAT! Anything with strawberries, bananas and a crunchy top has gotta be good! I think I just found a reason to get a kitchen torch…

  8. Oh Yum! Oatmeal and ‘nanas’ are Caroline’s favorite too. I can’t wait to try this, and the possibilities are endless! And how fun to get to use the torch first thing in the morning!

  9. This sounds perfect! My daughter also loves “nanas” and I just got a creme brulee torch for Christmas…thanks for posting!

  10. I started eating breakfast every morning and this looks like a great recipe to try one morning. Thank you!

  11. […] want to make this for breakfast this […]

  12. I love love love brûlée-ing bananas! What a cute and tasty idea for breakfast 🙂

  13. I’m not an oatmeal person, but this looks really good and perfect for me to eat before hitting the gym…. So Yummy!


  14. Sounds yummy, especially as I eat steel-cut oatmeal every day with just honey and cinnamon. I don’t add white sugar to ANYTHING these days; that said, can you torch maple syrup?

    • Greg,
      I’m not sure. Of course you could try it, but I don’t know how well it would work. I’m guessing it would caramelize a bit, but you probably wouldn’t get the crispy layer from sugar. You can use brown sugar instead, that would work.

  15. Sounds and looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it and use my torch 🙂

  16. Definitely heading out to buy a torch today! This looks really delicious and my kids will love it!

  17. I am with Greg O on the Steel cut oats! Since I started eating them I can’t go back to rolled. Because they take 25 mins to make I make up a batch and put it into individual containers. It keeps for about a week in the fridge. Add a splash of milk and it warms up in less than 2 mins in the microwave. From there I add dried fruit and/or nuts. My favorite is pumpkin pie oatmeal. I add about a 1/2 cup oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and top with crushed pecans. It’s a great filling breakfast that really sticks with you!

  18. I love oatmeal, but I’ve never tried this before. I will now though! Your torched fruit looks delish.

  19. Hi! I have a ‘little something’ for you waiting on my blog 🙂

    Cheers! Anula.

  20. I made these this morning. Very easy and really good. So glad I discovered your blog the other day via The Pioneer Woman. Thanks!

  21. Anything titled “brulee” will turn my head. This not only sounds delish but it looks so good! I hope I get a torch as a wedding gift, it was one of the first items I added to our registry. Great post!

  22. Hi Annie, just curious on the no honey under 2 part.. my sister in law regularly gives honey to her 8 month old mixed with cerelac..what is the reason that honey should not be given to infants? Where I come from (India) honey is considered very good for the health …so just wondering bout what you said.

    • Hello Sana,
      Honey can carry botulism spores, which is not a risk for healthy, older people whose GI systems can handle such an insult. In infants it can cause ascending respiratory failure and is incredibly serious. We learned about it often throughout medical school and the typical presentation is in children under 18 months when parents mixed it with something else. I hope your sister stops until your niece is older, it is quite dangerous.

  23. I love your blog and was inspired to buy a torch just to try this yummy treat! I also used steel cut oats and it was amazing.

    Also, made your hot chocolate goodie bags and gave them as gifts – wonderful!!


  24. You should try using apple juice instead of water, like Tyler Florence did on Oprah. It tastes a bit like apple pie : )

  25. I like stirring homemade applesauce (with nutmeg and cinnamon) into my oatmeal…it tastes similar to the Apple flavored oatmeal that comes in the little packets 🙂

  26. I’m keeping it for later when strawberries will be in season. It looks so yummy.

  27. I made this tonight for dinner. I know it’s a breakfast dish but something about the cold and rain made me really want to do the breakfast dinner thing. It was delicious! I used milk instead of water and added a little more sugar and vanilla. It was a hit! My 20 month old had three bowls full 🙂

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