Life & Other Stuff

Monday, August 22, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

I recently came across an article in "Whole Living" magazine about a woman who one day stared up at her cookbook shelf to find she had more than a hundred at her fingertips.  With a tendency to cook the same few recipes over and over again she decided to cook out of the box and adventure out into other recipes in these books.  Yup, I can relate. 

Her story also made me think of the movie "Julie & Julia".  She started cooking and blogging about her cooking adventures.  While her story caught my attention, perhaps it was the BAKED OATMEAL recipe in this article that made me stop in my tracks.  Looking through the ingredients I realized I already had all of them in my cupboards.  Plus, her passion for food photography and her interest in healthy cooking was a connecting point.  I was destined to make this recipe. 

Plus, I've been looking for something I can premake for breakfast, then grab and go, to munch at my desk when I got to work.  This seemed perfect.

I made it on Sunday and this morning (Monday) I had my first piece for breakfast.  Truthfully, it's one of the most delicious things I've ever made.  Yummylicious!  Scroll to the bottom for my extra tips.

Heidi Swanson's Baked Oatmeal
(Check out her website 101 Cookbooks)
Serves 6 to 8

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for coating baking dish2 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 c. walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped
1/3 c. fine-grain natural cane sugar
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
2 c. milk
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2" slices
1 1/2 cups huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries
Maple syrup, for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square baking dish.
2. Combine the oats, half the nuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg, half the butter, and vanilla.
3. Arrange bananas in a single layer on the bottom of the coated baking dish. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the berries, then cover with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle milk mixture over the oats. Gently tap dish on a work surface to distribute liquid. Scatter remaining berries and nuts across the top.
4. Bake for 35-40 min. until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Let cool slightly. Drizle with remaining melted butter and maple syrup.

This is what I used that was slightly different from what was called for...
  • sliced almonds. I liked the texture and it happened to be what I had on hand.
  • regular sugar and baking powder.
  • non-fat milk
  • extra cinnamon.  I LOVE cinnamon so too much wasn't "too much" for me.
  • extra vanilla extract.  A fan of a little extra in baked goods seems to go a long way.
Other thoughts...
  • great dish for a brunch potluck.
  • used frozen blueberries and blackberries.  I think this is a good idea because it kept the fruit form and didn't get overly mushy. 
  • definitely put bananas at the bottom.  Added a bit of natural sweetness and a nice texture to the mix.
  • I'd like to try this recipe again using other kinds of fruits.  Apples, pears, peaches, etc. might be pretty tasty in this.  [Update 11/13:  Thus far I've tried the recipe with apples and pears (along with berries).  I think pears is my favorite fruit for this recipe but that's a personal choice.]
  • I added the maple syrup at the end.  YUM YUM YUM!  But, I didn't add any extra butter.  Didn't need any in my book.  Save the calories.
  • could also be a dessert.  Add a scoop of ice cream, maybe throw in chocolate chips... versatile recipe!
  • Reheats well.


  1. My husband can't eat nuts so I made a modified version. Came out great. Used persimmons, raisins, and apple as the fruit. Delicious! Making it again right now with bananas, apples and soy milk.

  2. I love this recipe. You can use any fruits/nuts that suit you, just don't eliminate the bananas as they contribute moisture and sweetness. I use two eggs for more protein. I've used various combinations of the following: raspberries, blueberries, pears, apples, walnuts, almonds, frozen mixed berries. It also freezes well. Like it so much better than a gooey bowl of oatmeal!

  3. This recipe is soooo good, i still make it every week and have it about 4 mornings in a row - nothing better than blueberries, oats and cinnamon - nom nom nom!