Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

This admission may be blasphemous in most vegan and/or healthy-eating circles, but here it is: I don’t really like bananas. I’ve mentioned it before, but it remains true. We just don’t get along.

Straight-up bananas are what really give me grief. Every so often I think my tastes and texture preferences might’ve changed, and I gamely set forth in a brave quest to conquer a single banana. (Of course, it has to be on the overripe end of the spectrum; any hint of green and the accompanying less-than-ripe smell and I’m gagging before I begin.) I peel it. I take a bite and quickly chew and swallow. This isn’t so bad, I think. I can do this. Then I’m two bites in and I’m remembering why I don’t do this. There’s a slimy mass on the back of my throat and an unpleasant smell in my nose. I force myself to swallow. I gag. I hand the banana off to S, who wonders aloud why on earth I keep doing this to myself.

Why, indeed. Bananas are a perfect on-the-go snack; they come with their own protective suit that keeps them safe in your purse or backpack. I want to be able to eat an entire banana while waiting for a flight without worrying about gagging aloud or having to furtively find a trashcan to dispose of the half-eaten fruit.

But alas, straight-up banana-lovin’ doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me.

I do, however, like bananas in other foods. Muffins. Softserve. And of course, banana bread. I love banana bread.

The thing about banana bread, though, is that I don’t consider it an appropriate breakfast food. Which is not to say that I’ve never indulged in a slice for breakfast, but it never fills me up. Banana bread—and most quick breads—are typically loaded with white flour, oil, and sugar. Not exactly the nutrients needed to get you off to a rip-roarin’ start.

This breakfast, however, combines all the flavors of banana bread in a wholesome, protein-packed baked oatmeal. It appeases both your love (or lukewarm like) of bananas and your need for a filling, nutritious breakfast. And it’s dead easy; everything comes together effortlessly in a blender. Now that’s a banana recipe I can get behind—no gagging involved.

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Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal

Serves four

  • Coconut oil, oil spray, or Earth Balance for buttering the pan
  • 3 very ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1 cup nondairy milk of choice
  • 2 T ground flax
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 T blackstrap molasses
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 C rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • 1/4 C add-in of choice (chopped walnuts, chopped dates, chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Spread the oil or Earth Balance around the inside of an 8”x8” square baking dish, making sure to cover all sides.

Add the bananas and milk to a blender and blend until fully smooth. Add all other ingredients except the oats and add-ins and blend again to incorporate all ingredients. Add the oats and blend for 30 seconds or so until the oats are partially broken into small pieces but aren’t fully blended.

Pour the mix into your prepared pan and drop any add-ins on top. Using a large spoon, gently fold in the add-ins. For an extra treat, sprinkle the top with a teaspoon or two of brown sugar.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the milk doesn’t look liquid-y on top of the oats. Remove from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes to let set, then serve and enjoy!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Live from Maryland, it’s Saturday morning!

There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of waking up, making something for breakfast, and crossing your fingers and toes that it turns out well because you still need something to blog about that very day. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. Ahem.

Happily, this particular breakfast is well-worth a post. I’ve always thought baked oatmeal was, quite literally, oatmeal you make on the stove and then pop in the oven for… some unknown reason. To firm up? To enhance the oat-y flavor? I had no idea. Turns out, you do the actual oatmeal-cooking right in the oven! And it makes a dish more akin to a casserole than a traditional oatmeal! Amazing. Who knew?!

My baked oatmeal is based on this one from Epicurious and this one from the fabulous Ricki Heller. I love Ricki’s idea of whizzing up the ingredients to make a baked oatmeal “pudding,” and I’ll definitely try that method next time. Meanwhile, though, I’ll be enjoying this blueberry-laden breakfast—and I hope you do, too.

 

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Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

Serves four

  • Coconut oil or Earth Balance for buttering the pan
  • 2 C rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • ½ C chopped walnuts, divided into two ¼ C portions
  • Scant ⅓ C brown sugar
  • ¼ C dried wild blueberries (optional)
  • 1 ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • Very scant ½ t salt
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 2 C non-dairy milk
  • 2 T ground flax
  • ⅓ C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C fresh or frozen blueberries (use more if omitting wild blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Spread the coconut oil or Earth Balance around the inside of an 8”x8” square baking dish, making sure to cover all sides.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (rolled oats through nutmeg, including ¼ C of  the walnuts) and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the wet ingredients (not including the blueberries) and whisk to combine.

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish, then pour the milk mixture over the top. Use a flat spoon or spatula to push the milk down into the oats so that they’re covered. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts (¼ C) and blueberries (fresh or frozen) over the top, pushing down a little to gently fold them into the oats.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the milk doesn’t look liquid-y on top of the oats. If you’re feeling decadent, sprinkle additional brown sugar or drizzle additional maple syrup over the top before serving.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.