For added ease, prepare this filling casserole the night before and gently reheat in the morning. Serve as is or with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a drizzle of milk. If you don’t care for coconut, simply omit it from the recipe.
Flipping through my timeworn recipe box is like a fun walk down memory lane. The site of my grandmother’s distinctive penmanship, hand-written notes from old friends, and recipes that I made for special occasions all take me back to a different time and place. As the archives on my blog continue to grow—at last check there were 717 published recipes!—I take similar pleasure in reading through and cooking the old ones. Usually there’s a bad photo to laugh at, too!
As the years pass by, taste buds change, new products become available, and I like to think that years of practice makes us all a little better. As I’ve made the following baked oatmeal recipe over the years, I’ve made modest adjustments to the original and recently took a moment to take a better picture. For old time’s sake, I am keeping a few old pics below. Don’t judge. 😂
In my original post I mentioned that I could eat meal this for dessert. It’s a bit like a blueberry cobbler, although the early version was sweeter thanks to the use of sweetened coconut and a quarter cup of brown sugar sprinkled on top. Feel free to continue using that method if you prefer the added sweetness.
On the other hand, if you want to dial the added sugar back even further, rest assured that a drizzle of maple syrup of sprinkle of brown sugar upon serving will make up for too drastic a reduction.
At one point I completely omitted the brown sugar on top, and I thought it was not quite sweet enough. My recommendation when reducing the sugar is to reduce more heavily from the base recipe and leave the sprinkle on top where you’ll taste it first. My kids are on board with the following level of sweetness, in case that adds any helpful insight!
While the original recipe was written using a 9×13 baking dish, I’ve made this in just about every pan size over the years, down to a 9-inch square (pictured directly below–this is also a slivered almond, no-sugar-on-top version). Personal preference as to thickness ultimately dictates here. Lately I’ve been settling on an 8×11 pan. I’ve included a variety of options and corresponding baking times in the updated recipe.
This wholesome breakfast is bursting with antioxidant-rich blueberries and crunchy, protein-packed almonds and is further enhanced by the tropical flavor of coconut. It has a novel preparation and is quick and easy, too.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered or sliced almonds, divided use
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, divided use (I use unsweetened; could use sweetened if preferred)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (may use honey)
- 2 cups your choice of milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (may use melted butter)*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries (may use one 10-ounce bag frozen; if using frozen, do not thaw)
- 2-3 packed tablespoons brown sugar
- Optional: 1 large banana, peeled and sliced into coins
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and lightly grease an 8 x 11-inch or similar size (2 to 2-1/2 quart) baking dish.**
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, 1/4 cup of the coconut, 1/4 cup of the almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, coconut oil or butter, and vanilla.
If using the optional banana, lay the slices over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Then sprinkle half of the berries over the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the fruit evenly with the dry oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Scatter the remaining blueberries, coconut, and almonds over the top. Finally, sprinkle the brown sugar over all.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the oat mixture has just set in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
This may be eaten immediately or made ahead and reheated. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- *When using melted coconut oil or butter, it is helpful if the cold ingredients have come to room temperature prior to mixing so that the oil or butter doesn’t re-harden once stirred in. If this happens, you may slowly heat in the microwave until the liquid mixture is just warm enough to soften the butter or coconut oil.
- **I have made this oatmeal in pan sizes ranging from 9×13 to 9×9 and they all work well. In my oven, baking time for a 9×9 pan is 35 minutes, a 9×13 pan is 25 minutes, and an 8×11 pan is right about 30 minutes. Choose your pan size based on what you have and how thick you think you might like your pieces–and then check a few minutes early until you know how long the oatmeal takes in your oven.
Nutritional profile calculated using unsweetened almond milk; makes 6 servings. Per serving: Calories 375, Total Fat 20 gm, Saturated Fat 11 gm, Cholesterol 31 mg, Sodium 310 mg, Total Carbohydrate 47 gm, Dietary Fiber 6.6 gm, Protein 7.5 gm
Nutrition Tips: Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant contents of all fruits. The blueberry is an excellent source of the antioxidant anthocyanin, as well as vitamins C, B complex, E, A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, and zinc. Oats are a nutrition powerhouse that provide soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar and promote healthy gut bacterial growth. Whole oats are also rich in avenanthramides, a powerful antioxidant which may help lower blood pressure levels and may have anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties. Almonds are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein, vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin and antioxidant flavonoids.
Lastly, for your viewing pleasure, some (very) old iPhone pics… 🤣