Baked Blueberry Oatmeal with Lemon "Cream"

Adam and I have a lot of arguments discussions about our future hypothetical children.

Don't get excited. There are no babies in our immediate future, but we do talk about our parenting views and hopes for our potential offspring. Currently there are several issues we fervently disagree on.  The probability that these will get worked out before any future bebe arrives are unlikely, but at least we've got them out in the open, right?

Here are a few:

Guns: Um, guns scare me. I would prefer to never have one in my home.  Adam shot his first gun on his grandparent's farm when he was five. Both his parents grew up on farms, and though he's very serious about gun safety, he wants to own one and teach our future children how to shoot. Yikes.

College: I like to think that I'm pretty open-minded about our future children's college choices. I hope they go to whatever college they desire. Yes, I may dress my baby in some Carolina Blue, but I will be fully supportive if he/she decides to go to State. If Duke is the top pick, I will swallow my pride and attempt to pay that tuition bill. The Hubby? No so such luck. Not only does he proclaim that no child of his will attend UNC, he insists that said child will NEVER wear any Carolina Blue. Since I'll be the one carrying that kid for 9 months, I think I'll win out on this one...

Breakfast: I grew up in a home with pretty strict no-cereal-with-more-than-10-grams-of-sugar rule.  We'd have those canned Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for a treat on the weekend, but we didn't ever really eat other sugary-processed breakfast foods.  Adam, however, grew up on a steady supply of Coco Puffs, Lucky Charms, Corn Pops, and the like. Oh, and Pop-Tarts. He loves Pop-Tarts.  A Pop-Tart never graced the inside of the pantry at my house, and I don't think I tried my first one until college. I might have gotten a little high-and-mighty once and declared that none of my children will eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast or any other such processed "junk" food. I might have also used the fact that I had zero cavities and Adam had-ahem-more than one, as my evidence. To no avail.

Here's the problem...Pop-Tarts are kind of tasty. Yes, I said it.

I never bought them before, and thus was never tempted, but now that I'm living with Adam and have Pop-Tarts glaring at me from the middle shelf in the pantry, my self-control has been tested, and failed. On more than one occasion.

The issue is that I am a breakfast person. I know some people wake up in the morning without much of an appetite. Not the case for me. Half of the reason I get out of bed in the morning is to go eat a bowl of  cereal.

Some mornings when I'm really tired and really hungry and the last bit of my Kashi cereal doesn't seem remotely appetizing, I grab a Pop-Tart.  The only kind I ever eat are the brown sugar ones, which of course Adam has figured out and now buys just to taunt me and build support for his argument.

You can imagine my relief when I found a breakfast item that trumped any Pop-Tart cravings. A breakfast that is hearty and healthy while also filling that sweet-dessert-for-breakfast niche that Pop-Tarts so slyly hold. 

Meet this blueberry baked oatmeal.

This truly feels revolutionary in the oatmeal department. Don't get me wrong, I really like regular oatmeal. The instant packet kind, the regular stove-top version, the cold overnight oats kind all had their place on my breakfast table on many occasions. The only problem was they weren't craveable. Like, I didn't wake up and get excited about eating oatmeal. 

I battled this for a while until coming to the conclusion that I just needed to grow up and eat healthy oatmeal for breakfast whether I wanted it or not.  This was the way of the world, I thought. Breakfast will not always be an amazing meal. 

Then I discovered this recipe. 

I resisted posting it for a long time. There are so many versions of baked oatmeal on the inter webs, and I can take no credit for this particular one. I originally saw it on Orangette, but used the recipe on Lottie and Doof, both of which were taken from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day.

But friends, I have made this baked oatmeal for four weeks in a row, and every morning when I have opened the fridge to get it out, I have been excited.

I have been excited about eating oatmeal for breakfast!

I think the magic comes in the baking. The egg, baking powder and vanilla extract make you feel as if you are making some kind of oatmeal cookie, however the two main ingredients--milk and oats--confirm that this is totally healthy breakfast material.

I added the lemon Greek yogurt "cream" this last time just to mix things up, and it was a lovely addition. The recipe is completely customizable. I've experimented with almond milk and regular milk, maple syrup and agave nectar, all of which produced equally craveable oatmeal. When blueberries were too expensive at the grocery store, I even tried a frozen berry mix, which was great as well. It's hard to mess this up.

I usually make it on Sunday nights and enjoy it for breakfast the rest of the week. The original recipe says 6 servings, but mine only lasts 4 or 5. (oops)

Go make this oatmeal! But if you really get a hankering for Pop-Tarts, try these.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal with Lemon “Cream”

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal:

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup sweetener of your choice (I’ve switched it up each time and tried honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and brown sugar. They were ALL delicious!)
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups milk (Again, I’ve used both almond and regular milk with great results)
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more to grease the pan
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 ½ cups blueberries or mixed berries (about 1 1/2 containers)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish or 9 inch round pie dish liberally with butter.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a large glass measuring container, add 2 cups milk. Then whisk in egg, mashed banana, melted butter, vanilla, and sweetener of your choice.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in blueberries. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 34-35 minutes or until the oatmeal has set and the top is golden. 

Easy Lemon “Cream”

1 16 oz container 2% plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
juice of one lemon

Open the container of Greek Yogurt. Add honey and lemon juice. Mix well and refrigerate until ready for use. 


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