Making Mornings Count

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What are your mornings like?

Is they an early rush—fighting to get dressed and cram a packed lunch in your bag on the way out the door? Do you have time in the morning to sit down and make a bowl of oatmeal for your family or roommate?  Is it a blur and somehow you end up on the train arriving at your destination before you truly wake up?

I’m curious, because I think the morning is a very important and interesting part of the day—you can learn a thing or two about a person from their morning routine.

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I believe I am pretty lucky in that I happen to be a morning person. I willingly get up early and make breakfast, exercise or do some yoga, and then get down to business (which, at the moment, happens to be preparing for presentations at school and I’m so not excited).

On a school morning I have just enough time to get dressed, pack my lunch, and then head out the door to catch the 6AM train. I don’t mind it, but of course I would rather be elsewhere.

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I’m a big fan of oatmeal, and baked oatmeal is a pleasant change. It might be you aren’t a fan of oatmeal, but you may then find you actually like it baked. It’s a whole new playground, I assure you.

My hope is that this recipe will inspire you, on the next morning you have time, to jump out of bed and turn your oven on. I think it’s a good idea to reward ourselves every once in awhile with an excellent tasty and nutritional breakfast.

Play with the ingredients as you will!

Banana-Blueberry-Maple Baked Oatmeal

vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, refined sugar-free

1 cup certified gluten-free oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/2 tsp gf and cf baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 cup rice milk
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 banana, mashed + 1 banana, sliced
1 big gigantic handful fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease of spray an 8-in square baking dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together oats, half of the chopped pecans, cinnamon. and salt (don’t add the baking powder just yet)

Stir in the rice milk, maple syrup, and mashed banana and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to soak (until the oven is preheated). You can slice the other banana while you wait.

Stir in the baking powder; pour oat and milk mixture into prepared dish. Place banana slices evenly on the top and scatter the remaining chopped pecans as well as the blueberries. No need to be neat about it!

Pop it in the oven for 35 minutes, until just set and browning along the edges. Let it sit on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking and setting before you slice and serve (it will still be warm so don’t be hasty! It will fall apart without the sitting time.).

Yield: 2 large servings for very hungry oat-loving people; OR 4 small servings (aka Alicia’s mid-morning snack)

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