Shortly after I began working for RSVP three years ago, I met one of my former college professors for dinner during a trip back to my alma mater in Indiana. I spent the evening catching up with him and his wife, and naturally our chat turned to my new job. “I really like it there,” I told them, “but I don’t think I will ever be a morning person.” You see, RSVP was my first ever “real,” Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 (well, 8-to-4:30) job, and that meant I had to get up at the then-unheard of hour of 6:00 a.m. if I wanted to be showered, fed, and in the office on time. My friends laughed, and assured me that a regular early-to-rise schedule would eventually make a morning person of me.
They were wrong.
Getting me out of bed before 9 or 10 a.m. requires either some sort of dire emergency, or an especially obnoxious alarm (or an especially obnoxious and hungry cat – but I repeat myself). Since emergency awakenings are (thankfully) few and far between, I am usually roused by a persistently howling alarm (or a persistently howling cat…or both), and the rousing is not pleasant; in fact, it’s often grumbly and disoriented.
At least until I remember that I have this waiting on me for breakfast.
That is my reason for getting out of bed before my body and mind are ready. It’s a delicious concoction I call my “Getcha Outta Bed!” baked oatmeal, and it is not only yummy, but also packed full of healthy, good-for-you ingredients, like bananas, blueberries, and whole-grain oats. It has the ooey-gooey texture of a decadent cake, and is satisfyingly sweet without being too cloying. The recipe is simple, yet versatile, and it’s easy to make ahead for a quick breakfast on the go – but also just as delightful when part of a hearty, unhurried weekend brunch. The bottom line is: if you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, then this is the breakfast for you. You can find step-by-step directions & pictures below, as well as a downloadable & printable recipe at the end of this blog. Good mornings are guaranteed!
To make your own Getcha Outta Bed! baked oatmeal, you will need the following delicious ingredients:
As well as the following bowls, dishes, and utensils:
Preheat your oven to 350°, then grease your baking dish with a teeny bit of butter. Yes, butter. Don’t be afraid. You don’t need to use much; I usually use 1/2 tablespoon or less. It’s just enough to give the inside of the dish a little of a sheen, and prevent your oatmeal from sticking to the sides.
Measure 1.5 cups of oats into your largest bowl, and combine with 1 level teaspoon of baking powder, a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside, and take a moment to imagine how much better your mornings are going to be now that you will have this breakfast on hand.
Next, grab your medium mixing bowl & whisk together 1 cup of almond milk, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Once those are well-blended, add 1/4 cup of honey and whisk again until the mixture is slightly golden and lightly frothy. This can take some elbow grease, depending upon the thickness of your honey. Be sure to use your rubber spatula to scrape every last drop of that sweet stuff out of your measuring cup!
Set your sweetened milk mixture aside for the moment. Peel your bananas and break each into quarters, then mash the quarters using your fork and small bowl. It's OK if there are some lumps after mashing, but the bananas should be mostly smooth and creamy once you’ve finished.
Add the mashed bananas to the rest of your wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Once they are well-blended, pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together.
Gently fold in approximately 1 cup of frozen blueberries to the batter, then pour the mix into your greased baking dish. I like to use my 1/3 cup measuring cup for scooping the blueberries out of the bag; I find it is easier and less messy than trying to pour them into a cup. Once your batter is in the baking dish, you may need to scoot blueberries around to ensure an even distribution throughout.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350°, then turn the oven off and allow the oatmeal to rest inside, undisturbed, for 15 minutes longer. Remove, allow to cool for 10-20 minutes, then cut into 6 equal portions. You may serve the oatmeal immediately, or store it in a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. Feel free to experiment with how you eat it! Some like it cold, while others warm it up; some put it in a bowl with a little milk, while others eat it dry. A friend of mine likes his with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt on top - sort of like a breakfast bar a la mode! Me? I like to warm mine up at 50% power in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, then melt a tiny sliver of butter on top for added richness. I enjoy it with a couple of boiled or scrambled egg whites, a small banana, and the occasional cup of coffee or ounce of cubed cheese.
Be sure to download or print the recipe below, and don't be afraid to try using different types of milks, sweeteners, or even fruits! For a delicious fall breakfast, substitute pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, replace the mashed bananas with 1/2 cup - 1 cup of pumpkin puree, and use frozen cranberries instead of blueberries. The possibilities are endless, and you're sure to find a combination that will Getcha Outta Bed! each morning.
Contributed by Renee Pugh.