Baked oatmeal with banana and blueberry

by Danielle Charles

What do you get when you cross a blueberry crumble, a bowl of oatmeal,  and a soufflé? Something like this dish I would bet:  oatmeal custard  layered with sliced bananas, blueberries and chopped walnuts and baked until it becomes something miraculous – vanilla and cinnamon perfumed perfection. This is taking oatmeal to an entirely new level. Just the thought of this baking away in your oven while you sip your morning brew is enough to pull even the most resistant straggler out of the covers on a cold drizzly day.

You can vary the fruit and nut combinations as you see fit and seasonally applicable: try swapping out the blueberries for a chocolate-hazelnut butter if you want to be really decadent; or try blackberry with pecans and apple; dried cherries with toasted almonds and dark chocolate;  pumpkin puree with hazelnut and cranberries; or skip the fruit altogether and layer pistachios, walnuts and honey with lots of cinnamon for a baklava style oatmeal custard. The possibilities, as always, are limited only by the imagination.

Baked Oatmeal Custard with Banana and Blueberry

Adapted from the recipe found in Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson.

Serves 6

  • 2 cups oat groats or steel cut oats*, soaked in water to cover overnight with a tsp of yogurt or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg (pasture raised and organic)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup each walnuts and hazelnuts, toasted and  roughly chopped
  • 2 bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

*An oat groat is the entire seed of the oat plant, unprocessed and least susceptible to rancidity – keeping perfectly fine at room temperature. Steel cut oats are slightly less trouble to work with, but because they have been cut from their whole form, are very sensitive to heat and light and go rancid rather quickly – so to be sure to buy them as fresh as possible and store in the freezer.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

2. Lightly butter an 8 inch square casserole dish.

3. Strain the water from the oats and the walnuts.

4. If you’ve used oat groats, place the strained oats in a food processor with the milk, eggs, maple syrup, butter, spices and salt. Process until the oats are well broken up. Otherwise, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, etc in a bowl until well blended, and then add the steel cut oats.

5. Layer the bottom of the ramekins or casserole dish with bananas, and then follow with a layer of blueberries and chopped walnuts. Cover this with half of the oatmeal mixture, and repeat the layering process again.

6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until much of the liquid has absorbed and the oat mixture is mostly firm.

8. Let cool slightly, then serve with a trickle of maple syrup and some good quality cream or milk.