My grandma has a saying about oatmeal and I never make oatmeal without thinking it. “Oatmeal sticks to your ribs.” My grandma is probably the wisest woman God ever created so I am positive that this statement is 100% true. I started feeding my kids oatmeal when they were itty-bitty and I’ve never stopped. I vary the way I make it so they don’t burn out on any one way, but I have learned two important facts concerning my kids and oatmeal: 1. If there’s fruit in it, they will eat it every time. 2. If there’s chocolate involved, they will ask for seconds. (Mind-blowing, right? It’s like I’m a child whisperer.)
This casserole is so versatile and can easily be modified to fit the tastes of your family. It can also easily be made gluten-free just by using gluten-free rolled oats. It does take 30-35 minutes to bake, but I love a breakfast that I can put in the oven and let it cook while we are getting ready in the mornings. You can even mix it up the night before and refrigerate it until your are ready to bake it in the morning. It even heats up well (in case you don’t have 4 starving kids at your breakfast table like I usually do!).
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup walnut pieces (optional, of course), divided
- 1 cup berries of your choice, fresh or frozen, divided
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 2 cups milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbs butter, melted
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray or oil.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Adding only 1/2 of the walnut pieces, berries and chocolate chips. (Save the other half to add to the top in step 3.)
- In a separate, large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
- Pour the dry oat mixture into your 9×13 prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining half of the nuts, berries and chocolate chips and arrange the banana slices on top.
- Pour the milk mixture over the top and gently shake the baking dish to help the liquid settle through to the bottom of your pan.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until the mixture is set and the top is nicely browned. If you’re not on sugar police duty, you can sprinkle some extra brown sugar on top, but with the fruit, chocolate and sugar already in it, it isn’t really necessary.