Ever since returning from Tahiti, I've had tropical fruits on the brain. The mornings there always included a platter of passionfruit, papaya, wedges of fresh coconut, green grapefruit and small, sweet bananas. On a rainy morning like today I was channeling Polynesia with this oatmeal. Creamy with coconut milk and fragrant with sticky Tahitian vanilla beans, I topped it with some lightly sautéed bananas that transformed a healthy, hearty breakfast dish into something very closely resembling dessert. The oats to liquid ratio is a personal preference. The proportions I give lean toward the milky rather than the porridgy side. —Mrs McGowan
In a saucepan over medium heat stir together the milks and spices. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and add them and the pod to the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add the oatmeal and allow to simmer for another 4-5 minutes or longer if you want a thicker oatmeal.
Meanwhile, peel the bananas and cut them in half. Halve them lengthwise. Sprinkle the sugar over them and set aside. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Place the bananas in the skillet, cut side down for a couple minutes. Gently flip and allow the other side to turn golden.
Ladle the oatmeal into a bowl and top with a couple banana halves. Garnish with Lemon zest, flax seeds and maple syrup to taste.