Baked Banana, Berry and Maple Oatmeal

Baked OatmealTo invite my maids of honor and bridesmaids to join the wedding party, I hosted a brunch for those of them that live nearby (2 are in Kenya and one in Washington, DC so unfortunately they did not get to join).  Oh and yes, since you see I am picking a bridal party, Patrick did propose!  On December 30, and the wedding is October 19.  For the brunch, I cooked two delicious baked items.  One was a take on my Mushroom Quiche with Polenta Crust I posted previously, and the second was a baked oatmeal.  Now, I am not much of a fan of oatmeal other than the instant Quaker variety, whereas on the other hand my sisters are oatmeal connoisseurs.  Despite our varying love for oatmeal, this baked oatmeal dish amazed everyone!  It was sweet and healthy and warm and tasted like dessert but didn’t leave you feeling like you ate dessert.  I hope you try making this recipe!

Here’s what you will need:

2 ripe bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick

3 cups berries (I did 2 cups blueberries and 1 cup blackberries, but raspberries would be great too.  Mine were fresh, but frozen will work as well.  You will need to buy 2-3 packs of berries from the store to get to 3 cups.)

2 cups rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups milk (I used 2%, and made a version for my dairy free friend with almond milk.  I think this would also be delicious with soy milk)

1 egg (or two egg whites)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup maple syrup (you could also do agave or white sugar, but it won’t have quite the same taste) + 1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter (you can leave out the butter to make it vegan, or if you don’t want to eat butter; it’s not essential to the recipe, it just tastes good)

Here’s what you do:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Generously butter an 8×8 baking dish.  Then lay the sliced bananas in a single layer on the bottom (it’s okay if there is a little overlap).  On top of that, spread around about 1.5 cups of the berries.Bananas and Berries

3.  Mix together the dry oat ingredients – oats, baking powder, 2/3 of the walnuts and cinnamon.  (Note, if you decide to do sugar instead of maple syrup, you should add it to the dry ingredients here.  You can also choose to do neither maple syrup nor sugar for a less sweet version.)  Then, pour all the oat mixture over the berries and spread around evenly.

4.  Whisk together the milk mixture – milk, egg, vanilla and maple syrup.  Slowly pour the milk mixture all over the oats.  Pat the pan to make sure the milk mixture settles in between the oats.  Sprinkle the top with half a cup of the berries and the remaining walnuts.

5.  Bake the oatmeal for 35 to 45 minutes until it is set and the top is slightly browned.  (I did 45 minutes.)

6.  While the oatmeal is baking, combine the rest of the berries (1 cup) with the other 1/2 cup of maple syrup on the stove.  Mash the berries a little and cook over very low heat for about 20 minutes.  Add the two tablespoons butter and melt to combine.

7.  When the oatmeal is ready, pour the berry syrup over it.  Scoop and serve!

Enjoy!Bridesmaid Party Table

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