Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Bananas

 My oven quit on me this morning.  It's making strange noises, smells like gas, and I'm totally afraid that it's not fixable.  I love my oven- it's a 20 year old Viking that we inherited when we bought our house a year ago.  Honestly, it's part of what sold me on the house.  It just looks so sturdy and professional and I love cooking on it.  Please, Mr. Repairman, please be able to fix my oven....

I was trying to reheat the baked oatmeal that I'm sharing today when my stove starting making crazy sounds.  Which was a disappointment for several reasons, not the least of which was that I couldn't have this wonderful, filling, and good-for-me breakfast.  And I really wanted it.  What an absolute bummer.  But I'm still going to share the recipe because it's so darn good.
This recipe was a Pinterest find and I'm thankful for it.  I love breakfast, but usually I crave the sort of carb loaded breakfasts that can be on the not-so-good-for-you side.  You know the kind I'm talking about- pancakes, french toast (yum), scones, muffins.....I know I can do better, and I'd like to try.   Because I'm not really a big egg lover, my fall back for healthy breakfasts is usually oatmeal.  But I always find oatmeal a little boring.  So you can imagine my excitement when I clicked on a photo of a perfectly fine looking bowl of oatmeal and found a whole slew of recipes for baked versions that were loaded with fruit and spices.  That's the kind of oatmeal that I can get into.  I happen to have the right ingredients for this one, so I gave it a try.  I'm hooked.  100%.  No looking back.

There are so many different ways to personalize this recipe. I, for one, would prefer both more bananas and more berries than the original called for.  But I can also imagine swapping out the bananas for apples or pears or using peaches in the summer.  Maple syrup or honey would also be nice substitutions for the sugar.  Here's to healthier breakfasts!
Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Bananas
Makes enough for 4 people.  From The Family Kitchen.

2 1/2 cups old fashioned (not quick) oats
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
3 tbs butter, melted and cooled
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups blackberries (or any berry that you like)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves.  In a separate bowl, stir together in the milk, egg and butter.  Set aside.

Spread the banana slices out over the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish.  Sprinkle half of the berries over the bananas.  Spread the oatmeal mixture evenly over the berries and bananas, then pour the liquid ingredients in.  Sprinkle the remaining berries over the top and press them lightly into the oatmeal mixture.  If you'd like you can sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon over the top.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the edges have browned, the mixture is bubbly, and the berries have softened and browned.  Let the oatmeal cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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