Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back-to-School (Make-Ahead) Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal

I have to be perfectly honest: I had every intention of coming back from our trip ready to hit the ground. I thought I would have mapped out the perfect back-to-school meals, snacks and lunchbox ideas...carefully planned out how I was going to get that elusive "me" time while the kids were at school...organized all of the articles I've been tearing out and piling up all summer into a tidy binder so I could quickly and easily share new ideas with you all. And the truth is, I spent most of August just enjoying the summer with my kids. Now I'm back, but definitely not focused yet. I can't tell if my head's spinning upon re-entry or if it's just still in (blissful) vacation mode? By the end of the week, both kids will be back in school and I'll probably feel a little bit more organized. But for now, I'm just restocking the fridge/freezer after the week long Hurricane Irene power outage, and focusing on kicking off the new school year on a high note. In that spirit, I wanted to share a new make-ahead breakfast recipe with you all! We gave it a whirl yesterday and it was a hit.
Baked Oatmeal (with Bananas & Almonds)
based upon Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day's Baked Oatmeal
(makes 8 servings)

butter, to grease the baking dish
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
1/4 cup agave or honey (optional)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2" pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Butter an 8" round or square baking dish. In one bowl, combine dry ingredients: oats, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a second bowl, combine the wet ingredients: milk, egg, agave (if using), melted butter and vanilla. Place a single layer of sliced bananas in the bottom of the baking dish. (Pictured above; I used two of the bananas here and the third banana as the topping.) Cover the bananas with the oat mixture. Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. You may want to gently tap the baking dish on your counter top, just to make sure the milk mixture moves through the oats. Arrange remaining banana on top. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until top is golden and the baked oatmeal has set. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Can be made ahead and slices may be reheated in the oven or microwave, until warmed through.

Here is the recipe in photos with a few of my additional notes:

I made this recipe with what we had on hand: bananas and slivered almonds. As such, it came out smelling and tasting like breakfast-worthy banana bread. The original recipe from Super Natural Every Day's cookbook calls for walnuts, bananas and your choice of fresh berries. If you'd like to follow the orig recipe, the steps would stay the same but your measurements would be: 2 bananas on the bottom of the pan + walnuts instead of slivered almonds in the oat mixture + 1 1/2 cups of fresh berries scattered over the top before baking, instead of that last banana. Really, you can use any type of nut you like, and any type of fruit to top it. But the way we made it was really good, so I'd probably just stick with my almond-banana version. Anyway, in the photo above, the bananas have been covered with the oat mixture, and then I am going to drizzle the milk mixture over the oats.
I did gently tap the baking dish on my counter top, just to make sure the milk mixture moved through the oats. Then I arranged slices of the third banana on top.
The baking time should be between 35-45 minutes. It took 41 minutes for the top of my dish to be golden brown and the baked oatmeal to set. It's goopey if you serve it right away. Best to let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
This is a perfect breakfast to make ahead, and simply reheat slices in the oven or microwave on a school morning. Or, if your new school year resolution is to workout before the kids get up, you could always do the quick assembly, pop it into the oven and let it bake while you workout. The amazing smell wafting from your kitchen as it bakes should get the kids out of bed in time to make the school bus.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eila,

    I've been meaning to try that baked oatmeal, yours looks yummy! I just came across an old recipe of hers from her blog that I thought you might be interested in. I know we both have a fondness for Protein Pancakes (made with cottage cheese). She has a muffin made with cottage cheese, and they can be frozen and just heated up in the morning! I don't think my son would love the sun-dried tomatoes, but I'm sure there are substitutions that would work. Here's the link, check it out!


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