I am a (in theory) breakfast person. I love eggs, I love crispy bacon and sausage, and of course pancakes, waffles and the like. Heck, even cereal makes me pretty happy. But since I like sleeping in as much as possible, I rarely have more than a granola bar for breakfast during the work week. Which, when I throw in my 8-mile bike ride to work every day, doesn’t ever seem like enough. In fact, usually by 10 am I am staring at my lunch and by noon, I’m starving.
To help my day begin with a bit more giddyup, I finally decided to make a recipe I pinned forever ago — baked oatmeal with berries. The best thing is that it’s easy to make, the second best thing is that it’s easy to reheat. And, considering that I bike my breakfast to work, the fact that it’s easily portable was also a plus. Nothing is worse than finding out your food leaked all over your work clothes. I once had to hose out my backpack when a small container of pickled peppers got loose after a particularly rowdy ride to work.
Anyways…even though it was hellaciously hot last week, I cranked up my oven and made some baked oatmeal.
The recipe is ridiculously simple:
Take a greased pan. Slice enough bananas to cover the bottom and throw in some berries (I always have frozen blueberries on hand so that’s what I used but raspberries would probably also be delicious).
In a bowl mix together oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon and some nuts (pecans for the win!). Pour the dry mix over the fruit. Don’t stir — you want the bananas at the bottom to keep everything from getting too dark.
Then mix together eggs, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract and dump it into the pan. Add some more fruit and nuts, and it’s ready to go in the oven.
Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes — the top will be golden and the oatmeal will feel set. The consistency will be fairly firm — not enough to slice but far from runny.
The first bites told me all I needed to know — it was delicious! It was actually hard not to keep eating it, but I knew that it would be worth the wait. The next morning I packed a little squeeze bottle full of milk to go with it for reheating purposes. Once I had arrived to work, unloaded my bag and changed into real clothes, it was time for the moment of truth.
I dished out some oatmeal, added about an eighth of a cup of milk and gave it about 45 seconds in the microwave and ding — it was ready!
It was really one of the best breakfasts I’ve had at work in a long time. It had much more flavor than the packaged instant stuff and, once its done baking, took probably just as much effort. It’s also pretty versatile. You can mix up the fruit as well as use any nut of your choice. As for the bananas, I know that some people aren’t into baked bananas, but I found them to simply add a bit of sweetness to the oatmeal. Their flavor was pretty mellow and I think they worked really well in the dish.
The next time I make it though, I may switch out some of the maple syrup for brown sugar. I just have this vision of oatmeal with an almost creme brulee top to it — even though I know that would counteract any of its nutrients.
But who cares, I can always burn off the calories on my ride back home!