Baked Berry Oatmeal

Cereal.  More specially oatmeal, is how I begin most weekdays.  I love it warm with apples and walnuts, cold with yogurt and almond milk, and more recently in the form of steel cut oats with fruit salad.  I'm always on the lookout for new ways to prepare it, although I have yet to get bored.  The newest craze, at least to me, is baked oatmeal.  Think giant cookie with milk in a breakfast!  Whoop, whoop, this is how all days should start.  Hearty, filling and oh so yum.
The flavour combinations with oatmeal are endless.  Although for summer, I like to stick with fruits.  Feel free to add any fruit, dried or fresh, nuts or nut butters of your choosing.  I'll share more flavour combinations such as pumpkin and gingerbread when the season calls for it.  Currently I'm all about the berries, so here it goes:

Baked Berry Oatmeal

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 dried cranberries

maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
Combine oats, 1/4 cup of almonds, 1/4 cup cranberries, sugar, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.  In separate bowl, whisk milk, egg, 1 1/2 Tbsp butter and vanilla.
Sprinkle two-thirds of blueberries at the bottom of the coated baking dish.  Cover with oat mixture.  Slowly drizzle milk mixture over the oats.  Gently tap dish on work surface to distribute liquid.  Scatter remaining berries and nuts across the top.  Drizzle with remaining melted butter.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until top is nicely golden and oat mixture has set.  Allow to cool slightly.  Drizzle with maple syrup.
Serve as is, or add almond milk in a bowl.

Yields: 4-6 servings


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