Oatmeal Singles with Caramelized Whiskey Bananas

Oatmeal singles with caramelized whiiskey bananas

Oatmeal singles with caramelized whiskey bananas and chocolate chunks

We have a little problem in our house. A problem that manifests itself daily in hordes of small storage containers that return home each evening with us from work. All of the cooking done each weekend to provide healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks results in many, many small dishes that fill the top rack of our dishwasher in a blink. Most weeknights, we run the dishwasher with a full-to-bursting top rack, and a fairly light bottom rack. I do not enjoy the daily putting away of the clean containers, that must be stacked just so in a near Tetris-like fashion, so I am always looking for a way to use fewer containers on a daily basis. Enter the oatmeal single.

While browsing around on Pinterest, I came across Emily’s recipe for baked oatmeal singles…the recipe is very similar to my own baked oatmeal, just baked into muffin form – genius! I took Emily’s recipe for banana chocolate muffins and amped it up a bit with caramelized bananas with a shot of whiskey…and fair warning, you might have to taste the caramelized bananas a time or two, just to make sure they’re edible. A cook has got to have quality control, right?!

The finished muffins are perfect for busy weekday mornings – just pop one in the micro for 25-30 seconds, and head on out the door with a warm breakfast in hand, ready for munching.

And friends, you should know that Mark calls these delicious little wonders “Grumblecakes,” after a cartoon from Home Star Runner. Be sure to click on the grumblecake in the bottom right corner at the end of the animation.

Oatmeal cake with caramelized bananas

Even Santa likes oatmeal cakes with caramelized bananas

Baked Oatmeal Singles with Caramelized Whiskey Bananas
Serves 12

Oatmeal Mixture:
4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
2 eggs
3/4 tsp kosher salt

3 bananas, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 T packed brown sugar
2 T butter
splash of whiskey (because you CAN)
1/4 cup dark chocolate mini chips

  1. Scoop the oats into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the almond milk (room temp, or slightly warmed) into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the two eggs, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and ¾ tsp kosher salt and whisk until you have a smooth mixture, with the eggs beaten into the milk mixture.
  3. Pour the milk mixture over the oats, and stir gently to combine with a rubber spatula, and let the mixture rest while you deal with the bananas.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and melt 1 T butter in it. Add the bananas, and stir them into the melted butter. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes, until they start to break down a bit at the edges, then stir in the brown sugar. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the bananas breakdown almost completely, into a caramel colored ooze, with lighter lumps of banana barely intact. If you feel like it, add a splash of whiskey or bourbon and stir into the bananas – 1-2 tablespoons should do it. Turn off the heat, and remove the bananas from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375F, convection if you’ve got it. Give the oat mixture a stir while you wait – the oats should have already soaked up much of the milky liquid.
  6. When the oven is ready, spray 12 muffin tins with olive oil, or grease with butter.
  7. Fold the caramelized bananas into the oat mixture, and then stir in the chocolate chunks.
  8. Fill the muffin tins with the oat mixture – each cup should be full – the muffins won’t really rise.
  9. Slide the muffins into the oven on the center rack and bake for 30-40 minutes – check for doneness at 30 minutes if baking in metal tins. If using a silicone muffin mold, you’ll likely need closer to 40 minutes to fully cook the oats.
  10. The finished muffins should be browned on top, and if you slide a paring knife into the center of the cake, they should have a moist crumb, but not gooey.
  11. Cool the cakes in the tin for 10 minutes, then slide a butter knife around the edge of each cake, and remove to cool fully on a cooling rack before storing in the fridge in a storage container for 1 week.  Reheat cakes in the microwave for 25-30 seconds each.

What’s your favorite quickie weekday morning breakfast to get the day started right? Share in the comments section below…

Baked Oatmeal with Tart Cherries

It’s the fourth of July. A day for BBQing with friends, flag waving and spectacular fireworks shows. But before all the holiday hoopla, we all need a hearty breakfast to get the day started right. This is the perfect breakfast to impress your houseguests and requires a minimal amount of work.

David Lebovitz linked to this recipe on his Facebook page, and I knew I’d have to make it ASAP. I’d never heard of an oatmeal dish baked with a custard-like base. I was intrigued. The egg, milk and cinnamon spiced batter reminded me of my favorite breakfast which I now miss – french toast. I know you can make french toast with gluten-free bread, but we so seldom have bread in the house, that I’ve honestly never made it. But we ALWAYS have gluten-free oats in the house. In a normal week, we’ll go through a 2lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats between making a batch of my granola bars, and making oatmeal for breakfast…and then there’s my obsession with rice-cooker simmered steel cut oats. Yeah, we like oats around here.

So it didn’t take me long to grab the bag of oats and get a batch of this baked oatmeal started. Making the custard is so reminiscent of making french toast, it made me happy just whisking the eggs, milk and spices together. Once you mix in the oats, you’re essentially done until the next morning when you pop the baking dish into the oven…the oatmeal takes a little planning ahead, but I promise you it’s worth it. The finished dish, fresh from the oven and drizzled with a bit of cold almond milk – is heaven. The oatmeal could definitely stand on its own served in squares with a hot mug of coffee, but I prefer to dip my spoon into a puddle of milk and savor each spoonful, studded with the occasional tart cherry. Give this breakfast treat a try.

Happy 4th of July to one and all!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal? Share your oaty-wisdom in the comments below.

Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from Delicious Days
Serves 10

4 T butter, melted (plus some more for greasing pan)
3 eggs
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 cups almond milk (or dairy milk), slightly warmed
6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh fruit (whatever you have – peaches, fresh pineapple (Mark’s favorite) blueberries, apples, strawberries, etc)

  1. Start preparing your oats the evening before you plan to serve them: Use a large bowl with a lid so that you can mix all ingredients and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge without having to change dishes. Melt the butter in the microwave, then remove from the stove and let cool down a bit. Pour the almond milk into your mixing bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute, to slightly warm the milk. Break the egg into the bowl with the almond milk and beat with a whisk. Add the sugar, the butter and the spices and blend well. Lastly, add the oats and stir until everything is combined. Close the bowl with the lid and let soak over night in the fridge.
  2. Baking the oats: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13″ ovenproof dish with butter. Scoop 1/2 of the oats into the pan, and smooth out into an even layer with a spatula. Sprinkle the dried cherries over the oats, and then scatter the chopped fresh fruit over top. Scoop the remaining oats into the baking pan and smooth out with a spatula.
  3. Bake on middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until the top looks slightly browned color and the top of the oats feel crisp to the touch. Take out of the oven and serve warm. If you want to eat it more like traditional oatmeal, add a splash of milk.

378 cal per serving, 110 cal from fat, 12g fat 85mg cholesterol, 630mg sodium, 150mg potassium, 49g carb, 6g fiber, 17g sugar, 9.5g protein