Warm summer mornings call for breakfast outside. There is really nothing quite like fresh tank-top-and-shorts–no-shoes weather and a side of free live music (birds singing) with your outdoor breakfast. This combination appears to pause time. Worries and hurries are suddenly stilled and forgotten–just long enough to remind one of the little, sweet, things in life which matter infinitely more than the things which try to take them over.
After sitting down to a homemade baked oatmeal with homegrown grapefruit and good company (my parents) and purposely forgetting my camera–in some cases, pausing to snap a quick pick for social networking purposes seems to steal an ounce or two of the joy of being present in a quality moment–I had to go a second round with the sweet-bitter-nutty-spicy-savory combo. I would be absolutely dishonest to say that I merely went for round two with my leftovers in order to capture a few images for the sake of making my blog look pretty. This was really worth it. In fact, as I write this I have just finished round three–I couldn’t bear to see a spoonful of those soft, firm, perfectly-cooked oats go to waste.
These yummy oats make an excellent, filling breakfast any day. They also provide fuel for and/or recovery from long bike rides/runs/swims/hikes/etc, and provide delicious omega 3 oils (walnuts, flax), fiber (oats!), and super antioxidants (berries, cocoa).
Taste them for yourself…
2 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. brown sugar (or less)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
1 c. walnut pieces (or other nut/seed)
1 c. berries (I used thawed frozen mixed berries)
1/3 c. chocolate/carob chips
2 c. almond milk, coconut, or other milk
1 egg (or flax egg…1T ground flax mixed with 3T water)
3 T melted coconut oil
1 T vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, sliced
Preheat oven to 375*F, and grease an 8×8″ baking dish/pan (or 10.5×7) and place on top of a baking sheet.
Mix oats, sugar, baking powder, spices, half of the walnuts, and half of the berries, in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla.
Add dry mixture into baking dish. Place chocolate chips, banana, and remaining berries and nuts on top. Pour liquid mixture over everything, and gently shake the full baking dish to disperse the liquids. Bake 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown and the liquid mixture has set. Let cool, and cut oatmeal into squares. Serve with fruit, honey, brown sugar, etc.