Before I get into talking about this recipe. I want to talk about oats first. Do you know how many varieties of oats there are? I don't know a number, but in my research I've found a lot. The four common varieties of oats I see in recipes are 1) quick oats, 2) regular rolled oats (also referred to as regular oats), 3) old-fashioned oats, and 4) steel-cut oats! Now there is a big difference in all of these varieties and when a recipe calls for a certain kind of oat, you should probably follow the guideline . If it's truly a good recipe the kind of oat you use will make a difference in the quality and taste of your dish.
So you can see the difference in these 4 kinds of oats, I took a picture!
Regular-Rolled Oats and Old-Fashioned Oats really look similar, but you can tell from this picture that the Old-Fashioned Oats are a lot thicker!
Now I hate soggy oatmeal. The amount of water vs oatmeal you use determines the soggy-ness of the oatmeal, but quick oats are so thin that they generally produce a softer, less-textured oatmeal. I don't like quick oats for oatmeal. Regular rolled oats will give you more texture. For me old-fashioned is really the best quick(er) oatmeal to make. It doesn't cook as quick as quick oats and that's because it isn't rolled as thin. Now steel-cut oats are the best kind of oatmeal when it comes to quality and nutritional value, but they take about 30 minutes to cook, so they aren't quick. Steel-cut oats basically are an oat berry cut in half. If you haven't seen an oat berry it looks similar to a wheat berry or grain of wheat. They are marvelous!
Maybe that's enough blabbing about oats. This recipe calls for old-fashioned oats. I definitely wouldn't use regular or quick oats in this recipe because those two oat varieties won't soak up as much of the moisture and then you'll be left with a soggy oatmeal. The reason I LOVE, and my husband LOVES, and my 19-month old daughter LOVES this baked oatmeal is that it is rich, full of texture and flavor, and it is very un-soggy. It's not dry either, it's the perfect consistency!
From this amount of blabbing I'm sure you've come to decide that I am an oatmeal snob! So if I think it's good and you like oatmeal, then you'll be sure to love it!
**One last note....This recipe calls for bananas and blueberries (which compliment each other very nicely if you ask me). I'm anxious for raspberry and peach season because I think those two flavors will also be stellar in this recipe!
Baked Oatmeal with Fruit
1 cup old-fashioned oats
¼-½ cup chopped pecans or almonds, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash or two of salt
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick ( or peaches 1-1½ cups)
1-1 ½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), divided ( or raspberries 1-1½ cups)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or 8x8 glass pan.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, mix to incorporate. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter/oil, and vanilla.
Evenly distribute the sliced bananas/(peaches) in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the blueberries/(raspberries). Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer and then pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the top of that. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with more maple syrup on top if you like or just plain, it has great flavor without the added syrup!
Recipe Source: lightly adapted from annies-eats.com