Now, back to the weekend. Saturday and Sunday were very busy as we celebrated Aunt Doris's birthday. Saturday we went out for lunch with some friends, and on Sunday a few other people came over for cake. My Aunt Barbara was staying with us for the occasion, and I saw it as a great opportunity to break out the Baked Oatmeal recipe from Super Natural Every Day. The recipe is supposed to serve a hearty breakfast for 6, so making it for just 1 seemed absolutely crazy! Knowing that we'd be 3 for breakfast on Sunday, I decided I would put it together for myself and the ladies. I'll admit, I was skeptical. While I often eat oatmeal for breakfast, there's something about the texture that doesn't really appeal to me. This baked oatmeal, however, is wonderfully different than the sometimes soupy bowl of oats that your microwave can produce.
To begin, mix together the dry ingredients: 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Prepare your greased 8x8 baking dish: 2 bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick make the bottom layer and 2/3 to 3/4 cup blueberries scattered on top of the banana. You then spread the oat mixture over the fruit, making a nice even layer. I found that the sugar and cinnamon were at the bottom of the bowl, and the oats on top, so I did my best to make sure that I spread everything evenly instead of dumping cinnamon and sugar on one side of the dish and oats on the other. The oat mixture is then topped with about 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces.You then pour over the liquid.
The liquid mix is 2 cups milk, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/5 teaspoons melted butter. Heidi's recipe says to give the dish a bang on the counter to make sure the milk gets into all the little nooks and crannies. While I wasn't sure this would help, it seemed to, as a few bubbles did escape from the oats when I did my counter tap.
Then the whole concoction gets baked at 375 F for 35 to 45 minutes--mine went closer to 45.
Serve it up in individual bowls and enjoy! I'm very happy to say this one was a success for me. When I first told Aunt Doris I wanted to make baked oatmeal her eyes bugged out a little as she looked at me in what appeared to be disbelief. Really, she had no idea what she was in for. When the oatmeal she was served was sweet and embellished with plenty of fruit, it became clear that this wasn't the plain bowl of oatmeal that she'd been expecting. This was oatmeal done right!