It only took me a year and 1095 meals later to find a recipe that worked for at least three-weekday breakfasts. I literally have made every meal for the past year except five take-out dinners. When I see it in numbers it is crazy to me. For me, the hardest meals to get creative on are our breakfast and lunch options, those were the two we could leave the house for last minute. I can make a five-course dinner at the drop of a hat but when the other meals come up I am usually stumped. Along came this recipe for Caramelized Banana Blueberry Baked Oatmeal and the day was saved.
In the past year, our lifestyle and schedules have changed drastically compared to 2019 just like everyone else. With so much time on my hands with not working or doing in-person events, my health became a number one priority. My normal routine of getting in a quick spin session early in the morning now meant I had more time to increase my workouts as well as try out new things I normally did not have time for, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, and even a Boot-Camp or two. Longer morning workouts meant a pushed back breakfast time and since I like to at least be at my desk by 930am I was struggling with the same bowl of oatmeal or scrambled eggs.
I scoured the internet for healthy as well as interesting breakfast ideas on a regular basis. I hated overnight oats as well as pre-cooked egg dishes, except for a quiche or two. I finally found some inspiration at the end of last year with this recipe for baked oatmeal. As I printed out the recipe I told Lenny I was going to give it a try the next morning; he was suspect as well as I was. Sleep-deprived and in the dark I started making the baked oatmeal. In true Chez Us fashion, I ended up making changes not even knowing it. That is what happens when it is early, you don’t have your reading glasses on and it is dark in the kitchen. It was good! We were on the idea and the recipe evolved.
Changes I made –
- The original recipe uses eggs – I eliminated them from the beginning as I was trying to cut back on our egg consumption. I also did not read the original recipe correctly and did not use ground chia seeds, instead, I used whole ones and it worked! I love chia seeds in oatmeal recipes.
- Sometimes I make this recipe with coconut milk and sometimes whole milk, it really depends on what I have around the house. As well, Lenny has high cholesterol and his doctors frown on the use of coconut milk or coconut oil so I tend to go with whole milk. As well, I feel like the oatmeal is creamier when I use whole milk. That being said, use whatever milk product you like.
- Nuts – I left them out as I try to avoid some nuts due to minor allergic reactions.
- Sweetener – I use Date Syrup as it has a lower glycemic index and we try to watch sugar intact.
- Fruit – used fresh blueberries but have also tried with frozen, and both ways are good. I like adding the banana as it gives the finished recipe more fiber and we find it more filling.
- Bananas – use very ripe but not quite banana bread ripe fruit. I find if the bananas are not ripe it takes a lot longer to get a pretty caramelization on them. Bonus, ripe bananas taste so much better in this recipe.
Recipe: Caramelized Banana Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
2 cups whole milk or coconut milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 ripe bananas – very ripe but not banana bread ripe
1 tablespoon just date syrup
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed
Slice 1 1/2 of the banana into bite-sized pieces.
Place the banana slices, butter, and 1 tablespoon of the date syrup into a baking dish and lightly stir. Then place the baking dish into the oven and turn the heat to 375.
Bake the banana slices until caramelized with my oven it takes the time of heating the oven plus an additional 15 minutes. Stir once or twice to distribute the ingredients throughout the baking process. I find if the bananas are not ripe enough it takes longer to caramelize.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the milk, extract and chia seeds, stir and set aside while bananas bake.
Remove bananas from the oven and pour the liquid and the bananas into a small bowl.
Add the rolled oats, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon to the baking dish and stir to thoroughly mix.
Add the caramelized bananas (reserving the sweet butter/date syrup mixture), blueberries, and milk mixture to the oats and stir.
Slice the remaining 1/2 of the banana and lay on top of the oatmeal mixture.
Drizzle the reserved banana/date syrup over the sliced bananas.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Timing depends on how hot your oven runs. I usually take out the oatmeal at 25 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes.
More Oatmeal Breakfast Ideas