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Do-It-Yourself

Baked Oatmeal

Back when I lived in a college dormitory, there was something called the dining commons where we pretty much got an all-you-can-eat breakfast/lunch/dinner with a swipe of the student ID.  Most meals were anticlimactic, but the best meal they served at the college I went to was breakfast and only when they served — wait for it — baked oatmeal.

Before college, I had no idea what baked oatmeal was.  Most people still haven’t heard of it, but it’s a life changing way to eat that good ol’ oatmeal.
I had a sudden craving for it, then went my usual route of browsing on Pinterest for a recipe.  Sure enough, there were plenty.  I read through several of them to get an idea of what I wanted to do, then came up with the below – a strawberry banana baked oatmeal.

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pecan chips
1 cup strawberries
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ripe banana

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 13″x9″ baking tray with non-stick spray (go for a smaller tray if you’d like the slices to be thicker).

In a bowl, mix the rolled oats, cinnamon, 2/3 of the nuts, and half of the strawberries.  In a separate bowl, mix the milk, eggs, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla.  Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and mix thoroughly.

Pour all of the contents into the baking tray.  Make sure it’s evened out, then sprinkle the remaining pecan bits on the top.  Slice the banana then place them on top with the remaining strawberries like below.  Pop it into the oven.

You’ll bake it for 35 minutes or until it’s a golden brown.  The edges will start to get darker.  Once it’s done, take it out and cool.

I slice them in squares then put a square in a bowl.  Top it off with some cold milk, some fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey.  Dig in!

For the next few days, you can just put a square into a bowl, reheat in the microwave, then add the milk.  It saves a lot of time in the morning when it comes to prepping breakfast.  In case you’re wondering, this was the first time my husband tried baked oatmeal, and he loved it!  He even went out of his way to text me while at work to say that it was delicious.  He just ate it with fresh fruit and greek yogurt – no milk.  I sometimes have it without milk too.  Just as yummy.

I felt like the strawberries may have been too tart for me, so next time I might try a blueberry banana combo or if I’m feeling rebellious, maybe even a banana chocolate chip 🙂  There’s also the option of just making it without fruit baked in it then just topping it with fresh fruit.  There’s definitely a lot of creative room for this one, so have fun and enjoy!

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