Baked Oatmeal with Blackberries and Bananas

When I was a kid, I HATED oatmeal unless it was mixed with at least a quarter cup of packed brown sugar. My mom would scold, “Eat it! It’s good for you!” as I sat staring at the brown sludge congealing before my eyes. Yuck.

Now that I’m older and a little wiser, I’m constantly realizing how right Mom was back then. Oatmeal isn’t my favorite thing, but I’m willing to eat it for its benefits, like heart and – ahem – colon health. But, hey, oatmeal doesn’t have to be that boring sludge we know so well. I found and slightly adapted a recipe for baked oatmeal. It’s a great grab-and-go breakfast, and it would be perfect for feeding a brunch crowd.

Baked Oatmeal with Blackberries and Bananas

Modified from Skinny Taste

Serves 6

2 Medium Bananas, 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 Cups Blackberries, or other seasonal berry

1/4 Cup Agave Nectar

1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats

1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts, or slivered almonds

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Pinch of Salt

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In the bottom of a 8×8″ pan, lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray, arrange sliced bananas in a single layer. On top of the bananas, layer 3/4 cup berries, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tbsp agave nectar. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, place 1 cup quick cooking oats, 1/8 cup nuts, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 pinch of salt, and stir to combine. In a separate medium bowl, place 3 tbsp agave nectar, 1 cup almond milk, 1 egg, and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.

Layer the mixed dry ingredients over the baked fruit mixture in the pan. Then pour the mixed wet ingredients over the dry ingredient layer, making sure the dry ingredients are coated evenly. Layer 3/4 cup berries and 1/8 cup nuts on top.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until set and golden brown. Best served warm from the oven but reheats well.

The Breakfast Bowl

Besides getting engaged three weeks ago, the breakfast bowl is the best thing that’s ever happened to us. We eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner at least three times a week and never get tired of it. It is so good. The only thing I don’t like about the breakfast bowl is it isn’t bottomless.

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This meal started out as a hot cereal sweetened with dried cherries, brown sugar, and slivered almonds. But it was boring. So I overhauled the entire project to include my favorite savory breakfast items and The Breakfast Bowl was born. We buy Arrowhead Mills Hot Cereal in bulk with our Amazon Prime membership. I’m not kidding when I say we could feed an army with the hot cereal we have on hand right now. And yes, that is a value pack of MorningStar Farms Sausage Patties. You could toss any cheese you like into the mix, but to save a few calories we go for The Laughing Cow.

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The Breakfast Bowl

Yields 1 bowl

1 serving of multigrain hot cereal (like the kind from Arrowhead Mills or Bob’s Red Mill), prepared according to box instructions

1 egg, fried in a lightly oiled nonstick pan

1 veggie sausage patty, prepared according to box instructions

1 wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle or Light Creamy Swiss

Hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste

Optional topping: sliced avocado

Combine prepared hot cereal, fried egg, cooked veggie sausage, and cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dash of hot sauce – like my favorite, Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce – and enjoy!