I don't usually make complicated breakfasts. I like the eat as soon as I get up in the morning, so something with a lot of prep doesn't appeal to me. Normally, breakfast is just some cereal or granola and milk.
Now that the mornings are getting colder, I'm craving something warm and comforting. I love oatmeal - as a kid I was addicted to those horrible sugary Quaker Oats packets. I've gotten used to plain quick oats sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, but it's not the same for me. I still want something a bit more interesting. This baked oatmeal fits the bill perfectly. It's packed with fruit and nuts and some brown sugar to amp up the flavor. The eggs and oats make it firm, while the milk makes it slightly creamy. It's a delicious and healthy dish to start the day with.
It makes a nice healthy dessert as well! Since it's more work than I would want to do first thing in the morning, I made this as a late-night treat, then had plenty of servings left to reheat for breakfast over the next several days. It reheats beautifully, whether in the microwave or the oven.
Baked Oatmeal Pudding
From Whole Grains for Busy People.
1 c water
1 c rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c 2% milk
1 grated apple
1/4 c + 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 c dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c pecan halves
fresh berries, to serve
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Slice the bananas and layer them across the bottom of the dish.
Pour the water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the oatmeal and salt. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir in the butter.
Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk, apple, 1/4 c brown sugar, cherries, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger in a medium bowl. When the oatmeal is ready, add to the bowl and whisk well to combine all the ingredients.
Pour the oatmeal mixture into the baking dish over the bananas. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove and sprinkle the pecans and 2 tbsp brown sugar over the top.
Return to the oven for another 30 minutes, until the center is set. Cool 10 minutes, then spoon into bowls and serve, topped with fresh berries.