Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Two years to the day. That’s the last time I wrote some words and shared some recipes on this blog.

0126141032-001

Where did the time go?

So much has happened since we last talked. My brother got married, I met the man of my dreams, started a new job, moved to New York City with my boyfriend, and my brother and sister-in-law are having their first baby (a girl!) in April. And those are just some of the highlights. To say these past 2 years have been a roller coaster would be an understatement. The one consistent thing in my life during these past 2 years? Baking. That has been, and always will be, the one thing that will never stop.

And while I have made many things since we last spoke, one major thing I have missed is writing to you all in my little space here on the inter-webs. I kept wanting to start this blog up again, but between everything happening, I just let time get in my way. Then before I knew it, 2 whole years have passed.

0126141032b-001

I recently started to get truly inspired to write here again. I spend so much time on other blogs getting inspiration for food and one day, it just got to me. Enough is enough. I’m coming back 🙂

I may not post as frequently as I used to, but I will be posting every now and then. And I truly hope all you invisible internet readers enjoy it. It already feels so good to be back 🙂

OK, Deanna. Let’s (finally) get to this amazing looking baked oatmeal.

DSCN3790

Lately, I’ve found myself getting pulled into eating more whole grains. I know it’s common knowledge to eat less processed foods, and I definitely cannot argue with that. Eating whole grains just makes me feel good. I feel healthier and it’s comforting knowing exactly what is going into my body.

Oats are an ingredient that I am completely in love with. Rolled, quick, old-fashioned, steel cut; they’re all great ingredients. They’re filling, nutritious, and delicious (rhyme time!). I’m not a huge breakfast eater on weekdays. Just give me a coffee and, at most, a piece of fruit and I’m all good to go. But on the weekends? Totally different story. And for the past few months, I’ve been incorporating oats into every breakfast that I can. Oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal waffles, homemade oatmeal. You name it, I’ve had it. One of my favorite things to make with oats is baked oatmeal.

DSCN3782

I love how hearty and comforting it is. After I have some, I know that I will be full for the rest of the morning. Which is huge. Most of the time, I’m not even done eating my current meal and I’m already thinking about what I’m going to eat next. And it’s so versatile! This recipe can really be used as a starting point. Not a fan of bananas? Leave them out. Don’t like blueberries? Use any other fruit you’d like! Hate nuts? Leave them out. Don’t have walnuts? Add pecans instead. There really is no wrong way to make a baked oatmeal.

After it’s baked, I like to stick it in the fridge for a couple of minutes to let it firm up. This is totally optional and you can dig right into it as soon as it comes out of the oven. I love to keep leftovers in the freezer so my boyfriend can have some during the week. A short zap in the microwave and you have a quick, delicious, healthy and easy breakfast!

DSCN3786

We’ve had baked oatmeal fresh raspberries, and just recently we tried this version with blueberries and bananas. For me, blueberries and bananas are such a great combination. The sweetness of the bananas are such a great partner to the tartness that comes from the blueberries. And also, no one ever has to convince me to eat bananas. I have at least 2 every day. They’re one of my favorite snacks! I also love the added crunch that comes from the walnuts. I used to not like nuts in any of my meals, but as I’ve gotten older, that has completely changed for me. The texture it adds is so wonderful.

Another versatile component to this recipe is the way you can serve it. You can have it on it’s own, you can have it over some yogurt (Greek yogurt is my favorite), or simply drizzle some maple syrup for some extra sweetness.

The hardest part about this whole recipe is waiting for it to bake in the oven. (Bonus tip! Save some time in the morning and prepare the oatmeal at night. Simply make it as you would, and instead of putting it in the oven to bake, cover it with foil and leave it in the fridge. This way, when you get up in the morning, all you have to do it pop it in the oven.) Breakfast done right!

DSCN3791

Corner piece with a large cup of coffee? Life is good indeed 🙂

…..

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

(Heidi Swanson’s Baked Oatmeal, via Food 52)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  • 2 cups milk (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries or a mix of berries

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the inside of a square 8-inch baking dish.
  • In a bowl, combine the oats, half of the walnuts, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, the milk, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.
  • Spread a single layer of bananas across the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle about two-thirds of the berries on top. Cover all that with the oat mixture and then drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and walnuts over the top.*If making this the night before, cover and put in the fridge. The next morning, follow the next step*
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are set. Let cool for a few minutes. Serve on its own, on top of yogurt, or drizzle with some maple syrup.