Thursday, April 11, 2013

Baked Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, and Chocolate - vegan & gluten free

Baked Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, and Chocolate

I've been making overnight oatmeal for my breakfast at work for months now, and while it is super easy, delicious, and adaptable, it's also less delicious without lots of fresh fruit. It's sort of in between food seasons right now; winter crops are done and asparagus and strawberries are just starting to show themselves.

Baked Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, and Chocolate - vegan & gluten free

I've been stalking looking around blogs, Pinterest, and Google searches for new inspiration. I didn't find a perfect recipe, so I came up with my own hybrid version. I used bananas and extracts for the sweet component, so there's no added sugar. At least until the idea of adding chocolate gets lodged in your brain.

Baked Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries, Bananas, Almonds, and Chocolate - vegan & gluten free
adapted from a variety of interweb sources, including here, here, and here

So, obviously this is a recipe that you can adapt pretty easily- spices, extracts, liquids, fruits, nuts, and chocolate are all negotiable. Keep in mind that the liquid content of the fruits you choose will affect the baking time, so keep an eye on your oatmeal. For example, subbing in frozen berries sounds delicious, but it will probably take the oatmeal longer to set with the addition juices. Speaking of juices, I don't see why juice wouldn't work for all or part of the liquid.  Juice, however, is significantly sweeter than milk, so keep that in mind. I haven't added any sugar to this, but a) you can or b) drizzle with maple syrup or sprinkle with brown sugar on a per serving basis if you or whoever is eating this is so inclined.

2-3 ripe bananas, sliced
¾ C steel cut oats
3 C milk (any kind works- I used a combination of almond milk and coconut milk from a carton)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ C sliced almonds
1 C (about 5 oz) roughly chopped strawberries, divided
¼ C (about 1 oz) roughly chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×12 or similar sized baking pan. Line the bottom with sliced bananas.

Combine oats, milk, vanilla, almond extract, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and half the strawberries in a medium bowl and mix together. Pour into prepared baking pan. The pouring action will dislodge some of the banana slices. Don't worry about it- it's fine. Evenly sprinkle remaining strawberries over the top. Bake for about 60-90 minutes. Note: other recipes included bake times of 60 minutes, but I found mine to still be too liquidy at that point. Keep an eye on your version. I stopped baking after 90 minutes, even though it was still liquidy. However, as it cooled, the oatmeal solidified. I suspect I could have taken it out somewhat sooner. Just use your best judgement. Oatmeal is a forgiving food. If you decide you want to include chocolate, I sprinkled mine on top of the oatmeal about halfway through the baking time.

Remove from oven. Either eat warm immediately (oats will be a bit more liquidy) or, allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight to set and serve in the morning either cold or warmed up with a bit of milk.


  1. Reminds me of rice pudding and bread pudding, both of which take to a variety of additions when baked.

  2. I absolutely just love the flavors you've included in this recipe. I must try, for sure!


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