baked oats with berries and banana – perfect weekend brunch

Midweek eats

Porridge, or oatmeal, is a pretty much daily breakfast in our house. I make mine with thick rolled oats and flaxseed cooked just with water then finished with a mound of yoghurt and fruit. The recipe that follows would be a good one to make on a Sunday ready for quick, healthy midweek breakfasts.

Weekend feasts

When weekends come around breakfast is a more laid back affair and also more of a feast. Boiled eggs with sourdough soldiers and Maldon salt has long been our Saturday breakfast treat. Since having our boys we make pancakes most weekends, especially now they are big enough to help stir the batter, measure the flour and crack the eggs. We were getting into a bit of an egg and pancake rut so I had a flick through a few books to see what else we could add that was healthy, easy to assemble but tasted a little more celebratory. This recipe from Heidi Swanson‘s ‘Super Natural Every Day’ floated my boat. I love her books, they are a great introduction to healthier ingredients and are beautifully photographed.

We made it on 4th July, a Thursday rather than a Saturday, but as it was a day off and the start of a four-day weekend for us all, a good excuse for a leisurely breakie.

It was so good, think flapjack or crumble for breakfast. I adapted the recipe of course – I can never resist a few tweaks. This is a great one when you have a crowd to feed as it gives a welcome dose of stodge but is healthy too. It tastes like it will leave you in a carb coma but it won’t. You can play around with the fruits and nuts and it could even be prepped the night before and just popped in the oven when you wake up.

We had a couple of spoonfuls left over and it was really good with ice cream the next evening after dinner too.

Flavour your own yoghurt (or yogurt)

I felt it needed yoghurt with it so I did my usual plain natural organic yoghurt topped with some of the same Olallieberries (blueberries or raspberries would be good instead) I’d used in the oats. I also added some apricots I’d picked from my neighbours’ tree (with their permission!), which I’d quartered and frozen, ready for a burst of deliciousness on mornings just like this. I microwaved the fruit for two minutes then rippled it on top of the yoghurt. So pretty.

I’m on a bit of a crusade about yoghurt. I only buy plain, natural yoghurt as it means I can just buy a big pot and use it for all sorts of things. And I know there is no added sugar or other nasties that crop up even in organic flavored yoghurt. Usually we add frozen berries, grated apple or mashed banana to sweeten our yoghurt.

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Ingredients to make enough for 6

2 cups (90g) rolled oats

1 cup (85g) raw flaked almonds (or substitute any other chopped nuts or even seeds if you have allergies)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

half a teaspoon sea salt

1 cup (240ml) milk and 1 cup (240ml) warm water. You could use nut milk

1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup

1 large egg

2 tablespoons (25g) melted butter or coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ripe bananas, sliced into half inch slices

2 cups (170g) berries (frozen are fine)

You can pick up all the equipment I use through my shop.

To make:

1.  Pull out a roughly 8 inch by 10 inch baking dish (I used the one I usually cook lasagna in) and pre-heat the oven to 375F, 190c

2.  Combine the oats, baking powder, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

3.  In a jug, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, water, egg, melted butter and vanilla. It will go a bit lumpy as the melted butter solidifies slightly – this is fine.

4.  Layer the banana slices on the bottom of the baking dish in a single layer then cover the bananas with the berries (it is fine if the berries are still frozen).

5.  Sprinkle the oat mixture over the berries then pour the milk mixture over the oats, being sure to pour it evenly. Don’t worry if you are close to the top of the dish as it will hardly rise as it cooks.

6.  Bake for 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for a few minutes before serving.

I’d love to see what you end up with, so remember to share this on my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest when you make it. Tag it #ystcook so I can see!

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