Heidi Swanson (101 Cookbooks)'s new book, Super Natural Every Day, is full of innovative, delicious, healthy recipes. I sat down and read it from cover to cover the day I got it, and started cooking from it the very next morning. The baked oatmeal is just one of her genius ideas.
It's no secret I'm not a morning person. I do, however, like having some time to myself before starting the day, so I usually get things going in the kitchen before waking up Cal (Abbott tends to wake up on his own). With this recipe, all the work is done up front, leaving me free to linger by the bedside of the boy who insists he'll get up, 'as soon as I get out'. (I invented that line, Cal. I am not fooled.) As the mother of two boys who are always hungry, this is something I can get behind, full of fiber, protein and fruit. With this for breakfast, I can send them to school without worrying they'll be hungry by the time they get there.
Alexi's comment was, 'this definitely needs to go on our favorites list'. He has this eternal hope for a list of favorite recipes, so that something he loved won't be forgotten, never to be made again. Posting it here, I'm afraid, is the closest I come to said list.
by Heidi Swanson, slightly adapted from Super Natural Every Day
2 cups/7 oz/ 200 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60g chopped walnut pieces
1/3 cup / 2 oz / 60g maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries, fresh or frozen, or the same quantity of thinly sliced, bite sized pieces of peach or pear
Preheat the oven to 375F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8 inch square baking dish.
Mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and half of the walnuts.
In another bowl, whisk together the syrup, milk, beaten egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.
Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the fruit over the bananas. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish 'a couple thwacks on the countertop' to ensure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining fruit and walnuts across the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining butter on top and serve.
Yield: 6 generous portions