Folks, we have arrived to my last post of the semester. We have had a good run this semester, haven’t we? Remember when we chowed down all the pita bread in one sitting with that freakishly delicious hummus? Or when we burned our tongue after eating a cracker straight out of the oven? Or, or, when we burned the loaf of bread and it was so disheartening? Well, those experiences, folks, are what have been keeping me going this semester (um, okay, there are many other great things, but let’s keep it dramatic here).
To round up this semester, I’m bringing a breakfast recipe. Again, I’m not posting a bread recipe because I care about you all and want to give a nourishing breakfast in these times of trouble (or really I’m just swamped with my lovely papers and exam-studying, but that’s not a pretty answer).
Baked oatmeal is something I have never tried before but I love oatmeal (cooked the old-fashioned way), and oatmeal cookies, perhaps even better than chocolate chip cookies! Baked oatmeal has a chewy but firm texture, and might appeal more for people who don’t like the liquid-y texture of good ol’ oatmeal. The fruits in this recipe, blueberry and banana, are basically the sweetener of the whole dish. I was actually hoping for a sweeter dish, which happens fairly rarely, and so I would recommend adding more bananas to add more sweetness.
Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Banana
2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. honey
1 c. uncooked quick oats
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (or even almonds)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 c. fat free milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
Arrange the banana slices into a layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp. of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp. of the honey, and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
Remove the baking dish with banana slices from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries.
Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and nuts over the the top.
Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.
Since this recipe is very forgiving, here are some suggestions to change it up a bit:
Change up the kind of fruits you use. For instance, pineapple and coconut, or try raspberries or blackberries in place of blueberries. Just keep in mind to adjust the honey or other sweetener because different fruits have different level of sweetness.
Omit the blueberries and go crazy with peanut butter and chocolate. Combined with the bananas, this baked oatmeal sounds even better!
Switch out the usual cow milk with almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, and make gluten-free with gluten-free oats!
You can also go cold-weather mode (probably not for right now since it’s getting warmer), and bake it with apple slices as the bottom layer. Just remember that you might want to bake the first layer a bit longer since apples are firmer than bananas.
So, here is a nutritious and healthy breakfast to get you through your finals. Enjoy, and best of luck!