Feb 232015

Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal

A mean little cold front blew into town overnight — ushering in a week of cold, wet mornings to finish up February. So today seemed like the perfect time to (finally) dive into a cookbook that’s been patiently waiting for me — Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons, by Megan Gordon.

Megan is also the author of the blog A Sweet Spoonful (how pretty is that kale power salad?) and founder of Marge Granola — something I clearly need to check out pronto.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve ever made a baked oatmeal before. And let me tell you, this opens up a whole new world of oatmeal possibilities for me that is all together more appealing than the stovetop stuff I’ve occasionally tried to convince myself to eat for breakfast. But cooked in the oven, the top of the oatmeal get toasty and lightly crispy — like the edges of an oatmeal cookie. And the generous amounts of crunchy toasted walnuts and almonds give great contrast to the smooth banana and creamy oats. Oh, and it’s a snap to put together — just a bit of measuring and stirring, then I was able to wander off to my desk while it baked and filled the house with beckoning aromas. This is how you eat oatmeal.

Oatmeal + Coffee

I have to confess that I didn’t actually wait the suggested 15 minutes before serving myself a bowlful. But I did go with Megan’s prescribed toppings of maple syrup and flaky salt — and a slight drizzle of heavy cream. Paired with a good cup of coffee, it was the perfect way to chase away the chill of this wet, cold morning. I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

Recipe: Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal

2 cups / 200 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 60 g sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
1 cup / 100 g walnuts, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups / 360 ml milk
1/2 cup / 120 ml buttermilk
1/2 cup / 120 ml applesauce
1/3 cup / 80 ml maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1 3/4 cups / 260 g)
3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
Flaky salt (optional)Warm cream or milk, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease an 8-inmch square baking dish with a little coconut oil, fully coating the bottom and sides.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and kosher salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the milk and the buttermilk, applesauce, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla. Add to the oat mixture and fold together quickly until just combined. You don’t want to stir too vigorously because you’ll break up the oats, making them mushy when baked.

In the prepared baking dish, spread an even layer of sliced bananas (this usually takes 2 full bananas). Then evenly spoon half of the oat mixture on top of the bananas. Top with the remaining bananas and then the rest of the oat mixture. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup milk on top and drizzle with the coconut oil. The mixture will seem really wet at this point. Don’t worry; the oats will soak it all up.

Bake until the oatmeal is bubbling and has a slightly golden top, about 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of flaky salt and/or a little warm cream or milk. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for 4 to 5 days. Serves 6 to 8.

Reprinted with permission from Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon (Ten SpeedPress, © 2013).

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