Friday, April 11, 2014

Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal

It is amazing how fast time flies.  I can't believe my last post was way back on Pi Day!  I have been cooking, but not blogging as much as I would like because things have been crazy both at home and at work.  Plus we have actually had a couple of opportunities to go outside the last couple of weeks which has felt AMAZING after what seems like the most grueling winter ever.  No way was I going to stay inside and sit at the computer while I could go on the swings and down the slides at the park with my daughter.  Fingers crossed that Spring has actually arrived and that (gasp!) we may actually see summer at some point this century.

If you want to enjoy your weekend, I suggest you start with this triple berry baked oatmeal.  It is a delicious, filling way to start your day.  And just in case the nip in the air is still getting you down, it is nice and cozy too.  Can food be cozy?  Well, to me it can...and thus this oatmeal is.

I made a berry baked oatmeal recipe a couple of years ago that was really good.  I had snapped a photo and put a link to it on my Facebook page and everything.  I had been craving it something awful, so I found the picture in my timeline, but the link no longer went to the recipe - it went nowhere, actually.  It was from a blog called Rather Be Baking, which apparently doesn't exist anymore.  Bummer.  I have tried several baked oatmeal recipes and they never turn out the way I imagine them.  They are either way too cakey, or underbaked, or just not right.  I remember a total fail with some steel cut oats that was practically inedible.  Why I hadn't made this winning oatmeal recipe in so long was beyond me.  But now I had no idea how to make it.  I searched the internet to find answers.  The recipe I originally used was just plain gone.  Guess I should have put it on a good old-fashioned recipe card when I had the chance.  Eventually, I stumbled upon multiple recipes that referenced this Super Natural Every Day cookbook.  I combined recipes and added a little of this and a little of that to come up with the final product.   

The result was just what I remembered - with sweet bananas, tart berries, touches of maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, and oatmeal that was just the right texture.  It's the perfect breakfast treat that you don't have to feel (too) guilty about enjoying.  Add a mimosa and you're all set to begin a fantastic weekend!

Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal 
Printable Recipe

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups whole milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups mixed fresh berries (I used a blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously butter the inside of a 2-quart baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, half of the pecans, baking powder & cinnamon.
In another bowl mix the milk, eggs, maple syrup, butter and vanilla.  Whisk until the mixture is well combined.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer at the bottom of your baking dish. Top with about 2/3 of the berry mixture.  Evenly pour the oat mixture over the top of the bananas.  Now drizzle the whole thing with the liquid mixture. 

Give the baking dish a little shimmy shake, and give it a couple of bumps on the counter to let the milk settle into the oats.  Top the oatmeal with the remaining berries and pecans.

Bake in the preheated over for 35 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and oats seem set. 

Now, this is the most important and most difficult part.  You must let it cool for at least 15 minutes because A.) you don't want to burn the roof of your mouth off, and B.) it will allow any remaining liquid to soak into the oats making your oatmeal the perfect texture when you dig in.


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