I have a confession: I am not really good at eating breakfast. Breakfast to me is a Larabar, maybe a glass of milk, and a huge thermos of coffee on my way to work. Because, sadly enough, the benefits of snoozing in my warm bed with my happy family (Scout the dog, and Jinx and Cosmo the cats) outweigh (at the time) the benefits of getting out of the snuggly bed, fixing the breakfast (because that takes extra effort and energy that I simply do not have at 5:45 am), and the nuisance of extra dirty dishes piled up in my sink. Wow. I’m good at these excuses.
But, as they say, breakfast IS the most important part of the day. Because when I don’t eat anything, by 11am, I am more likely thinking about those French fries in the food court than the work that is in front of me. And then I am certainly more likely to head to the gift shop where they stock loads of sugary treats and salty snacks. If I eat a decent-sized, well-balanced breakfast, then I am more likely to stay focused, full, and less likely to binge on all the junk food I can find.
So, in order to start things out on the right foot for my new job, I vowed to try to get a decent breakfast as much as possible. This baked oatmeal recipe made it so much easier. I baked it on a Sunday, when I had ample time to prepare and use the oven, and then I simply reheated the leftovers in the microwave in the morning throughout the week. I literally ate this until the leftovers were completely gone, usually during my make-up application or while fixing my hair…and boy, was it ever good. I love the way baked bananas taste…but you could probably substitute any kind of seasonal fruit here. Here’s to full bellies in the morning….
Baked Blueberry and Banana Oatmeal
Servings: approximately 4
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease or spray a 1 and 1/2-quart casserole dish with either butter or cooking spray.
3. In a medium bowl, toss together the oats, half of the walnuts, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, half of the melted butter, and the vanilla.
5. Place the sliced banana pieces in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
6. Sprinkle about two-thirds of the fresh blueberries over the top of the bananas, then cover the blueberries with the oat mixture.
7. Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the milk as evenly as possible.
8. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the top of the oats.
9. Bake the oatmeal for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the oats have set.
10. Remove the oatmeal from the oven and drizzle the remaining butter over the top and serve.**Feel free to garnish with whatever toppings you like: more maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, etc.
Source: Adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.