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We’re on a roll this week with the hot meals. We began the week with soup and now a warm, baked oatmeal. After all, I don’t need to remind you, it’s still winter.
Spring is coming, my friends, but until then let me offer you a couple of warm, real food recipes that are sure to become family favorites.
Today’s recipe, a fruit-filled baked oatmeal, is a great family recipe because just about everyone loves oatmeal. Well, except my husband. I think he’s just an exception to the rule. He has very strong opinions about food. To name a few…
- a lunch or dinner meal should always include either meat or cheese
- oatmeal is more of a we-don’t-have-anything-left-in-the-house meal than a meal made for enjoyment
- slow-cooker meals are disgusting
Because of these strong opinions and (sometimes welcomed) honesty, Dustin is one of the best taste testers and recipe approvers. He’s brutally honest, in a good way, and can detect even the slightest “off” taste. Oh how I love that man.
That said, this oatmeal recipe is, surprisingly, a winner with him. Maybe it’s because the oatmeal is baked, which makes it slightly different than the stove-top version he grew up with—the version I’m slowly helping him fall in love with. <–It’s a slow process.
As we’ve talked about before, there are multiple ways to enjoy real ingredients. Just because you don’t care for one way at the moment, doesn’t mean you don’t like that ingredient. This pancake recipe is another great example of how oats may be enjoyed beyond a traditional oatmeal. This applies to veggies, fruits, meat, and just about any and every real ingredient out there.
This recipe is also a great food prep option. You can make a batch of oatmeal on Sunday morning for breakfast, and then use the leftovers again on Monday and even Tuesday morning. If your kiddos love this oatmeal, you could even include a slice in their lunchbox. Oatmeal is one of the kids favorite lunchbox meals. (Learn about using food prep to create easy-to-pack, nourishing lunches, here.)
While this recipe was tested and written as a baked blueberry oatmeal, the seasonal possibilities are endless. You could use chopped apples or banana slices, or try nuts or seeds, or maybe peaches. I think it will be fun to experiment with this recipe throughout the year. I would love to hear what version becomes your family’s favorite.
Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries (Make-Ahead Breakfast, Gluten-Free, Dairy and Egg-Free Option)
An oven-baked oatmeal with blueberries, or the seasonal fruit of your choice. Make this oatmeal in advance to enjoy for breakfast throughout the week.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (208g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2-2 tsp ground cinnamon depending on taste
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk such as: whole milk or a plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey*
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TB butter melted, or melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries **
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter or oil.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and sweetener of choice (honey or maple syrup).
Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Finally, stir in the melted coconut oil (or butter). You don’t want to stir the coconut oil into the milk or you will have clumps--that's why we're adding it after the ingredients are mixed.
Let the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes for the oats to absorb the liquids.
Gently fold the frozen blueberries into the oatmeal and pour into the prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top of the oatmeal with your spoon or the back of a measuring cup.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center is firm and edges are browned.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
*The amount of sweetener used will depend on your personal taste. For a sweeter oatmeal (although not overly sweet), I love 1/2 cup. If you want a oatmeal that's not sweet, 1/3 cup may work better for you.
**While this recipe was tested and written as a baked blueberry oatmeal, the seasonal possibilities are endless. You could use chopped apples or banana slices, or try nuts or seeds, or maybe peaches. I think it will be fun to experiment with this recipe throughout the year.
Egg-Free Option: If you want to make this an egg-free recipe, use flax eggs. I like 2 tablespoons of ground flax + 5 tablespoons of warm water, let sit for 5 minutes. You will still want to follow the instructions above--after letting the flax sit to gel, it should be whisked into the milk.