I’ve always been a morning person. One of my most vivid childhood memories is when my parents bought me a digital clock to keep in my room, and told me I was not allowed to come in and wake them up until it read 7-0-0. Yikes. Sorry parents! Now that I’m older it’s not that I wake up early, it’s that when my eyes open (at least, when they do so of their own volition), I’m ready for the day. I don’t want to laze around in bed, and I don’t want to fall back asleep. I want to sneak downstairs, while the house is still quiet, and have some time to myself.
Often, that time is filled with making breakfast. Something a little more exciting than the usual smoothie.
I’ve been trying to make myself like oatmeal for years. It just seems so darn healthy, like if I ate a big bowl I would feel a surge of energy, and cross everything off my to-do list for the day. Like the people who eat oatmeal know something I’ll never know because it doesn’t often appeal to me.
But every time I see a baked oatmeal recipe, I can’t pin it fast enough. It seems less mushy, and like there’d still be some bite left in each oat. If I could get myself to enjoy baked oatmeal, maybe I could sneak into that club of oatmeal-eaters who have it all figured out.
What a great starting place.
Despite swapping out a whole bunch of ingredients so I could work with what I already had, this oatmeal was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was hearty, and left me full until lunch. It had enough bite for my liking. And most importantly, the flavor was just right. It was sweet, but not cloyingly so.
To make Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal for 6, you will need:
- 2 C oats (I used steel cut, and as I’ve never had them before, I have no idea whether that was an acceptable move. It tasted great, though.)
- 1/2 C sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 C shredded, unsweetened coconut, toasted, plus more for serving
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 C milk
- 1/3 C buttermilk
- 1/2 C applesauce
- 1/3 C maple syrup
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 T vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas, sliced
- 3 T butter, plus more for greasing the pan (the recipe called for coconut oil)
- chocolate chips, for serving
- cream for serving, if you’re so inclined
Grease bottom and sides of 8 x 8 pan with butter, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix oats, almonds, walnuts, 1/2 C coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl till combined. Mix milk, buttermilk, applesauce, syrup, egg, and vanilla in medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold till combined. Set aside.
Line pan with a single layer of sliced bananas so they cover as much of the bottom as is possible. This took 2 + bananas for me. Pour oatmeal mixture over bananas. Top with remaining sliced bananas. Melt butter in microwave and drizzle over bananas and oatmeal.
Bake 45 minutes, until oatmeal is set. Let cool about 10-15 minutes before serving. Don’t worry, it will still be plenty hot. After I got a big serving in a bowl, I piled on more toasted coconut and chocolate chips. Drizzle in some cream or half and half if you’re feeling extra-indulgent.