Too rushed in the morning to make oatmeal for your hungry gang? Cook up a batch of baked oatmeal the night before (or at the beginning of the week) and microwave it in the morning for a hearty, delicious breakfast. This recipe is highly adaptable: Depending on what you’ve got in the pantry, the walnuts and berries are optional; you can sweeten the dish with either sugar or maple syrup; and, if you avoid dairy, substitute almond or coconut milk for the regular milk. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.
• 2 cups rolled oats
• ½ cup walnut pieces
• 1/3 cup sugar or maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups milk
• 1 large egg
• 3 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled slightly)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 ripe bananas (cut into ½-inch pieces)
• 1½ cups blueberries or mixed berries
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the top third of the oven.
2. In a bowl, mix oats, half the walnuts, the sugar (if using), baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
3. In a second bowl, whisk together the maple syrup (if using), milk, egg, half the butter, and the vanilla.
4. Butter the inside of an 8-inch-square baking dish. Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries on top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, shaking the dish if necessary to make sure the liquid ingredients fully soak into the dry ingredients. Put remaining walnuts and berries on top.
5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until top is golden and oats have set. Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle remaining butter (and extra sugar or maple syrup, if you’d like) on top.
Serves six generously and refrigerates well.