Growing up my mother would get up early and make a hot breakfast for us most mornings. Back then I could eat a stack of pancakes soaked in maple syrup and would not notice the sugar pulsing through my veins or feel the need to crash on the sofa 15 minutes after breakfast. Now that I am a Mom and am aware of how sugar can affect mood and concentration, I try to give my kids a breakfast that is rich in protein and healthy on a school day. We save the pancakes for special ocassions and weekends.
Mornings are rushed so I make breakfast ahead of time. Banana and pumpkin breads are easy to make and freeze well. They thaw quickly and can be toasted. I wish I could make egg casseroles but until the egg allergy goes away, I have to be creative. When I found this baked oatmeal recipe, I had to share it with you.
I love this recipe because it is packed with protein, fiber and vitamins and does not have any processed sugar. It is naturally sweetened with bananas, blueberries and maple syrup. Most kids have a huge sweet tooth right now after a summer filled with popsicles, ice cream and snow cones but you do not have to worry about them turning up their nose at this healthy breakfast.
You can make and bake this the night before or bake in the morning. It is better straight from the oven but 30 minutes may be too long to wait. It reheats well and will be devoured quickly.
To make this eggless for my son, I used 3 bananas instead of 2 since bananas can act as an egg substitute. If you decide to use peaches instead of bananas, make sure you use an egg or egg replacer like EnerG. We added more blueberries since my son was so excited to scoop them into the measuring cup and we needed more to balance the flavor of the extra banana. The recipe calls for 1.5 cups of blueberries and we used about 2 cups. Add as many as you want. If you do not love blueberries, use another berry like strawberries or sweet blackberries.
This is a very flexible recipe from Heidi Swanson. I adapted it slightly since I prefer pecans to walnuts and need to make things eggless. It is Gluten Free and can be dairy free with soy or almond milk and coconut oil instead of butter. Enjoy!
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees convection, 375 degrees conventional. Place 3 tablespoons of butter in a pyrex dish and melt in oven.
2) In a bowl, combine 2 cups rolled oats, 3/4 cup pecan meal (finely ground pecans), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon Margarita Himalayan Pink Salt with a zest of lime. Use a good sea salt if you do not have Margarita salt and add some lime zest. (The zest is rich in vitamin C, bioflavonoids and other antioxidants which help boost the immune system and protect the body against cancer and other diseases. It also improves the flavor.)
3) Remove the butter from the oven and add 1/3 cup of maple syrup and stir. Let cool slightly.
4) Butter the baking dish. Use a 7 x 11, 8 x 8, or similar size glass or ceramic baking dish. Slice the bananas into 1/2′ pieces and spread a layer of bananas across the bottom. Sprinkle 1.5 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries over the bananas. Pour the oat mixture over the berries and cover evenly.
Tip: If you freeze blueberries to bake later, add a teaspoon or so of flour to the blueberries and coat them so the berries do not stick together while they freeze. The blueberries in the picture below have flour on them.
5) Add 2 cups almond or whole milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to the butter and maple syrup. I prefer vanilla bean paste. Stir and pour over the oat mixture. Add 1/2 cup of blueberries and the 1/4 cup of chopped pecans over the top.
6) Bake for 30 minutes convection or 35 to 45 minutes conventional until the top is golden brown and a fork comes out clean when placed in the oat mixture on top. The bananas and berries on the bottom will be soft and gooey. Let cool slightly and serve warm. Enjoy!