Baked oatmeal

The calendar SAYS summer, but you're in the Pacific Northwest, you realize that we're rocking weather closer to late spring.  Or maybe, you're in the heat dome these days.  Regardless if you're sweating your ass off, or suffering from vitamin D deficiency with me, a delicious bowl of oatmeal is something that can be enjoyed year-round.

People's complaints about oatmeal range from - "it's boring", "I'm hungry right after I eat it", "it takes too long to make it in the morning".  Hogwash I say!  Even if you hate oatmeal and have tried many different recipes in the past, I urge you to give this one a try!  The following recipe is from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson (I got it from the library), but edited by me to reflect my preferences.

Baked Oatmeal
3 tblsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for coating baking dish
2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats (I prefer thick cut.  Use gluten-free if you're don't tolerate gluten)
1/2 cups of walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped (I skip the toasting, and just do the chopping)
1/3 cup of fine-grain natural cane sugar (I use homemade brown sugar)
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (we looooove cinnamon in this house, so I view a recipe's amount of cinnamon as a recommendation per serving.  I think I easily put 2 tblsp of cinnamon in this)
1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt (I use Real Salt)
2 cups of milk (I use So Delicious Coconut Milk)
1 large egg (I do 2)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I probably rock about a tblsp in this)
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2" slices
1 1/2 cup berries (I use blueberries)
Maple syrup, for drizzling

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
2) Combine the oats, half of 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 (I like to mix some of the blueberries with a little bit of homemade strawberry jam), then cover with the oat mixture.
Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats.  Gently tap dish on a work surface to distribute liquid.  Scatter remaining berries and nuts across the top.

See how the directions say to slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats?  That is in there for a reason...
4) Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set.  Let cool slightly.  Drizzle with remaining melted butter and maple syrup.
Even though the author of the cookbook is vegetarian, I find that this is best served with local bacon!
This has been shared over at Simple Lives Thursdays and Pennywise Platter Thursdays.

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