Championship Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake and US Open!

by Kristen at The Red Velvet Life on September 13, 2011 · 17 comments

We still have about a week and a half to go before fall is officially upon us, but warm oats have already triumphantly returned to my breakfast repertoire. Inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie, this weekend I made cinnamon roll baked oatmeal (boatmeal) complete with maple syrup and blueberries. What a lovely breakfast to go with a weekend of gripping tennis. Behold: 100% vegan and gluten-free breakfast beauty! Speaking of gluten and tennis, did you know that Novak Đoković (Djokovic) was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy, switched to a gluten-free diet, and he attributes some of his success to the gluten-free dietary change? More on my Slavic friends later, but for now, check out this breakfast of [tennis] champions.

You can thank me later for the skillful photography that captured our blindingly bright oven light.

Amazing! Notwithstanding the mini-cinna-boats that sailed our way this weekend, this morning it occurred to me that I’d take bananas and peanut butter over cinnamon rolls any day. Because I’m just like that. Deal. So I set out to create a banana bread oatmeal bake with a hint of Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder (Many thanks to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for spreading the word about Sunwarrior!) for an extra protein boost. I wanted my oatmeal bake nutritionally dense, delicious, and non-chalky (y’all know how too much protein powder can make for icky powdery dishes, right?). Good news — perfect balance of delish & nutrish! Much like the blue whales at Redondo Beach and animal prints (one at a time, friends, one at a time . . . yes, I am fashionably opinionated!), boatmeal is back, and it’s in rare form.

Championship Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake

J’adore this little boat of baked oats. Perfect for when you need extra energy to get through the morning, this is a breakfast of champions! Vegan with high protein and gluten-free options.


  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats (I used gluten-free oats, but feel free to use any old-fashioned rolled oats.)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • pure vanilla extract to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon organic crunchy peanut butter (I use peanut butter made with only two ingredients — peanuts and salt.)
  • heaping 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder (optional, but it gives you an extra protein boost!)
Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Spray 1 cup ramekin with olive oil cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour batter in ramekin. Bake for 18 minutes at 380 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Taking care not to burn yourself, turn the ramekin upside down over a plate to remove the oatmeal bake. Flip and enjoy!
Now that our breakfast of champions is covered, let’s have a chat about the 2011 U.S Open, shall we? Did you catch the men’s and women’s U.S. Open finals? I was positively glued to the television for both draws, rain delays notwithstanding. It’s a shame that people seem to be focused on Serena’s outburst at umpire Eva Asderaki in the final, because the real standout of the women’s draw was Serena’s opponent — the brilliant Aussie player, Samantha Stosur! Sam deserves recognition for her incredible competitive spirit, determination against formidable opponents, unwillingness to back down from tennis after her career-threatening lyme disease diagnosis in 2007, and her poise in front of thousands as she won a hard-fought draw to take home the U.S. Open title. Congratulations to Sam Stosur, an amazing champion so deserving of her title. I’ll have what she’s having. I reckon she takes protein with her oatmeal bake, don’t you think?
The men’s tennis at the Open was spellbinding! My favorite players of the Open were Federer, Tipsarević, and of course Djokovic. I particularly enjoyed the Tipsarević-Djokovic quarterfinal, the Djokovic-Federer semifinal, and of course, the four hour Nadal-Djokovic final! This was Novak Djokovic’s first U.S. Open title and his third Grand Slam title of the 2011. As a lover of Slavic culture, people, and languages, I can’t help but be proud of Djokovic and Tipsaravic who were gracious competitors throughout the tournament and ambassadors of peace through sport and of their previously war-torn country. Before and after the final on Monday, 9/12, Novak wore a cap with the letters FDNY and extended condolences to the families of the victims of 9/11 and to everyone affected by the tragedy, noting that he can relate because his country was at war for so many years. As always, sport will continue to be an important tool for peace throughout the world as countries rebuild after violence and conflict. We crowd into stadiums and around the television to witness intense competition, great sportsmanship, hard work, and mental toughness. Indeed, peace and patriotism are not mutually exclusive. Well done, Nole! Idemo!

As much as I love watching and participating in other sports, tennis will always be my first love both from the participant and spectator points of view. As my parents will attest, I used to wear a golden tennis racquet around my neck — and write stories about tennis, dream about tennis, attend tennis camp . . . the list goes on. I grew up playing tennis and watching Wimbledon and the U.S. Open at home with my family, and I adore the tradition of the tennis. Hope you have a fantastic week filled with people, activities, and eats you love!

What sports do you most enjoy playing and watching?

If you followed the U.S. Open this year, what were some of the highlights for you?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa September 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

YAY! Thank you for posting this–I was just trying to figure out what I wanted for breakfast. Problem solved! Off to the kitchen to make your boatmeal! :)

I am a college football fan–Michigan all the way. I went to school there and grew up near Ann Arbor, and there’s nothing like a great game! That said, I can’t play any sport with a ball to save my life. Zero coordination over here. That’s why I stick to running. ;)


2 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Let me know how you like the boatmeal if you end up making it, Melissa! I’m constantly inspired by your delicious meals, so I’m honored to have any affect on your yummy menu! ;-)

I love that you’re into college football! I’ve heard great things about Ann Arbor, too :) I also love watching football with family . . . such great traditions!

And I’m VERY impressed by your running, so be proud!! xo


3 Holly @ The Runny Egg September 14, 2011 at 9:13 am

I love watching tennis — I don’t do it much, but I used to watch with my mom all the time! She has been a fan for as long as I can remember. She (and I do too) love that it is such an individual sport — you don’t have a whole team to help you out, it is just you! (I know there are doubles but still, much different than being on a football team, baseball team, etc).

Love the boatmeal :) I still need to try it!


4 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I think that’s why I love tennis so much, too! Of course I love team sports, too, but tennis is so uniquely mentally and physically challenging because you’re totally on your own in singles! Coaching from the sidelines is against the rules (although a lot of the pros get away with it!) and you have to keep up the fight and the fire lit from within!

Highly recommend the boatmeal! ;-)


5 meg pinkgiggles September 15, 2011 at 5:00 am

I think I am going to have to try boatmeal this weekend!
I used to play rugby…but now I don’t play anything or watch anyways….sounds kind of depressing…I blame grad school :)


6 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

Oh grad school . . . that’ll do it! But based on my experience in law school, I highly recommend continuing to pursue your extracurricular interests . . . you’ll feel happier for it! I definitely didn’t play a lot of tennis during law school, but I discovered rock-climbing, and that became a convenient after-class activity when I could blow off some steam!! :)

Hope you enjoy the boatmeal, Meg!


7 Cristina September 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

I have too many comments about the tennis, as you can imagine! Great tournament. But, I despise Djokovic’s fans. They are rude, loud, act like soccer fans in the wrong context and are overall awfully obnoxious. The sad part is that they make me like him less, which I’m trying to fight. And re his gluten diet, I believe it’s because he discovered that he had a mild allergy.

In any case, love tennis!


8 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 15, 2011 at 11:50 am

I’m a HUGE fan of Djokovic and the way he and the team are representing Serbia and rehabilitating the country’s image. I think he’s doing wonders for tennis and for his country. :) I heard a lot of inappropriate yelling during other matches, too — in my opinion the US Open has always had a different feel from say, a Wimbledon. I also think the people who yell and jeer at inappropriate times are typically people who don’t come from a sports background and don’t understand how distracting it can be for athletes. I actually didn’t feel that he had many fans rooting for him until he started gaining momentum in his last matches, so the perhaps minority felt the need to be loud and proud!

And yes, he is apparently allergic to the protein in gluten, which I believe is another way of saying that he has celiac disease. Eliminating gluten has helped him feel much better. I think it’s great that he made a dietary change that so many are reluctant to make even when their stomach wishes they would!

Can’t wait to actually talk to you in person about the Open!!


9 Rachel O. September 16, 2011 at 5:52 am

Hi Kristen! One of these days I will get some of those adorable dishes so that I can try your boatmeal!

I can’t say I have any experience with tennis. I think it might be fun to learn, though. My favorite sports to watch are football, basketball, and gymnastics (which I really only follow during the Olympics). To play, I love softball (slow pitch!). I used to like soccer and basketball as a kid, but it’s been a while since I’ve tried them.

Hope you’re having a great week! Miss you!


10 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Rach, I LOVE hearing from you! :) Yes, I highly recommend the single-serving ramekins. I originally bought them to make single-serving pies, but they’re also perfect for boatmeal, as you can see. :-)

Since you’re a football-watching gal, I wish you could join us for our pre-game party tomorrow! I’m sure you’ll be watching from Texas though, which is where the real party’s at. If you watch the game on TV, we’re going to be there! :)

Love and miss you!!


11 Sara @ Nourish and Flourish September 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I’ll take bananas and peanut butter over cinnamon rolls any day too! The oatmeal bakes (err, “boatmeal”<—love it!) look absolutely scrumptious, and even though I'm not an "oatmeal girl," I think I may give them a go!

I've probably played tennis just twice in my life, but I've always had a desire to learn. It's just a matter of starting! Any tips or recommendations?

Hope you had a lovely weekend! xoxo


12 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Hi, Sara! I’m so glad you’re open to trying boatmeal even though you’re not an oatmeal girl. ;-) Let me know how you like it!

I’m so excited that you’re thinking about taking up TENNIS!! Do any of your family members or close friends play? If so, my first recommendation would be to go find a neighborhood court and hit around with them to see if you like the feel of it and see if they can give you tips on starting out in your area. If you feel yourself liking the game, then you could take lessons at a local club with some good pros and start getting set up with the right gear.

Also, check out the USTA (United States Tennis Association) tips for beginners:

The USTA even has a directory of hitting partners broken down by area. Tennis such a wonderful sport! Not that I’m biased or anything! ;-)


13 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food September 20, 2011 at 5:48 am

YUMMY!! I wish that I had patience to make oatmeal bakes because those look SOO good! :)

Same with tennis (and football and baseball) I don’t have the patience to watch them! :P


14 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm

It doesn’t take that long — preheat, throw the ingredients in a ramekin, and then bake for about 18 minutes. Done!! Maybe you could make it when you’re not too hungry. :)


15 Jayme @ Runner-n-Spice September 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

You have a new header! I like it!

Also – your Championship Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake looks perfect. Yum! I made a pumpkin boatmeal not to long ago!


16 Kristen at The Red Velvet Life September 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Thanks, Jayme! You introduced me to picnik, so I have you to thank for my headers! Mmm pumpkin boatmeal sounds delish!


17 Melissa September 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Oh I need to try those boatmeals!!! I don’t watch much sport, except the occasional AFL game, I will watch tennis occasionally and some swimming but apart from that nada! I don’t really play any sports either as I’m not very co-ordinated!!! But I do love to run!!!


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