Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and often the most neglected. It’s important that you eat a nutritious morning meal no later than an hour after waking up. A healthy breakfast allows the mind and body to work well throughout the day. Breakfast also is important for creating healthy eating habits, general health, weight control, greater concentration and productivity, and maintaining hormone levels and blood sugar. Breakfast will speed up metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day.
Most people who skip breakfast eat more during the day. If you start the day with an empty stomach, blood-sugar levels will be lower. As a result, during the day you’ll need “instant” sugar, usually a doughnut, chocolate, pasta or other unhealthy choice.
How do you find the time to prepare and eat breakfast every morning? Try getting up 15 minutes earlier. Or, prepare your breakfast the night before!
This recipe for baked banana oatmeal with walnuts and raisins is a healthy and delicious solution to your morning breakfast dilemma. Best of all, it keeps well when refrigerated and can be packaged in re-sealable containers and re-heated at work, if necessary.
Baked Banana Oatmeal with Walnuts and Raisins
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup or maple-flavored agave syrup
1 cup milk, organic soymilk, or almond milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 cup raisins, cranberries or craisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups milk, organic soymilk or almond milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon of butter or oil. In a medium bowl, combine rolled oats, half of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar. Stir with a fork to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the maple or agave syrup, 1 cup milk, egg, butter or oil, and vanilla.
3. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the raisins or cranberries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer.
4. Pour liquid ingredients evenly over the oats. Sprinkle remaining nuts and berries over top. Bake 35-40 minutes, until top is browned and oats have set. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
5. Combine cinnamon with 1-1/2 cups milk. Heat until warm, about 2 minutes. Serve oatmeal topped with warm cinnamon almond milk. Cover and refrigerate leftover oatmeal.
6. To reheat, place a serving of the oatmeal into a bowl. Mix cinnamon with almond milk and pour it over oatmeal. Heat oatmeal and milk on high in the microwave until the oatmeal and milk are warm, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award- winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her Web site is www.divapro.com