Baked Oatmeal Casserole

If you are looking for a breakfast (or snack) that has protein, nutrients, fruits, nuts, fiber, and iron, and is quick, easy, satisfying, and filling, then look no further than here. Yes, seriously, this casserole is all those things and more.

I love this casserole because I can make it a night ahead and just serve up portions in the morning with a little zap in the microwave. You can eat it plain because it is moist and has so many flavors, or add a drop of pure honey or maple syrup over it. It’s a complete meal in itself and it’ll give you all the energy you need to take you through your busy mornings.

Another great thing about this casserole is that there are no rules for what you can put in it. I used what I had on hand, which was frozen blueberries and rhubarb, pecans, and bananas, but you could easily use strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and walnuts. Whatever your heart desires.

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Baked Oatmeal Casserole

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup brown sugar, plus extra for topping

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup pecan or walnut pieces, divided

1 cup frozen berries, divided

1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen rhubarb pieces

1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided

1 banana, sliced

2 cups milk

1 large egg

3 T butter, melted

1 T vanilla

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1. Preheat oven to 375* and grease a 10×7 baking dish.

2. In a large bowl combine the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the nuts, half the berries, the rhubarb, and half the chocolate. Mix well.

3. Lay this mixture out evenly in baking dish. Top with banana slices and remaining nuts berries, and chocolate.

4. Whisk together milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter (make sure the butter sits a minute so it’s not too hot).

5. Pour over oatmeal mixture and gently shake the dish so the milk goes through the oats.

6. Sprinkle additional brown sugar over the top (maybe 1/8 cup) and bake for 35 minutes.

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Breakfast Cookies

Part of my campaign for a healthier year is to make more breakfast options for the boys before school. During the summer I get lax and allow them to eat cereal when they want, but even though I buy relatively healthy cereals I still don’t want that to be what they go to school on.

Hence the breakfast cookie 🙂 I’ve seen posts for this before and thought, “Seriously? That can’t be good.” But I am here to testify that while, no, it’s not as nutritious as a bowl of oatmeal, these cookies are still a far better cry than most boxed cereals. Plus they are packed with protein, fiber, and iron. Also, you can easily leave out the chocolate chips and/or switch out the fruit for some other kind.

I felt really good giving these to my kids for breakfast along with a banana and some yogurt, and I find myself eating these most mornings when I am busy or just don’t want to bother cooking.

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Breakfast Cookies

3 small ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup water

3 egg whites

1 2/3 cup flour (1/2 unbleached & 1/2 whole wheat) *(- 1 1/3 T)

1 1/3 T corn starch

1/3 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups quick oats

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried cranberries

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1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Using a mixer, combine mashed banana, lightly beaten egg whites, peanut butter, honey, water, and sugar until smooth.

3. *After removing 1 1/3 T of the flour, replace it with the same amount of corn starch and sift together thoroughly. This combination works just as well as pastry flour. However, if you have (whole wheat) pastry flour on hand, the measurements would be 1 1/3 cup all-purpose and 1/3 cup pastry flour. Combine flour with salt and baking soda.

4. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture. Add the oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, and fruit. Dough will be dense.

5. Scoop onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and using a wooden spoon, shape the dough into circular shapes, slightly flattened on the tops. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned. Makes 15 large cookies.

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Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie

I didn’t know anything about ‘nanner pudding until I came down South. It’s like the mascot of Southern desserts down here, and any Southerner will agree that it is a staple at potlucks and family gatherings. I haven’t made one in quite some time so when Hubby said he’d been craving banana pudding it was nothing to whip something up. Now, there are lots of recipes out there, and even some die-hard ones that go a little above and beyond (I’m talking toasted meringue and everything). I like to keep it simple.

A traditional banana pudding has just a few main ingredients: banana flavored pudding mix, bananas, and vanilla wafer cookies. In fact I posted a recipe well over a year ago here. But this time I decided to get a little fancy, and it’s easy to see how simple it is to change up a simple recipe and make it something more.

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Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie

1 chocolate crust

2 bananas

1 pkg instant banana pudding

2 cups milk

1/2 cup Nilla wafer cookies

1/2 tub cool whip, thawed

1. Make pudding according to package directions and set in fridge for about 5 minutes.

2. Slice a banana and place all over the bottom of the chocolate crust. *Sorry, I just bought a premade crust. No recipe for that here just yet.

3. Take about 3/4 of the banana pudding and pour into the crust, over the bananas. Spread out evenly.

4. Place the cookies on top of this pudding layer, about 9 cookies, and then slice the second banana and layer them here, too.

5. Combine the remaining pudding with the cool whip and top the pie.

6. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Must keep cool. (I recommend some time in the freezer, if necessary)

7. Drizzle some chocolate syrup over the top, if desired, and enjoy!

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Banana Dabs with Banana-Albumen Dip

Dabs are another word for Dodger, which is a word commonly used to describe the hush puppy. These Banana Dabs are a lot like a hush puppy in that they are fried bread balls, but what makes these awesome is their light and fluffy banana texture and flavor. Even better is the frothy sweet banana dip that goes with it. But if you don’t like the idea of eating albumen (raw egg whites) then rest assured that these little dabs go excellent with chocolate syrup!

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Banana Dabs 

1 3/4 cup flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 ripe banana, mashed

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup water*

Banana-Albumen Dip:

3 tsp sugar

2 egg whites

1 ripe banana, mashed

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1. Heat at least an inch of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. Mix together mashed banana with the vanilla, then add in flour, sugar and baking powder. Slowly mix in the water. *You may need up to another 1/4 cup but only until the batter is sticky.

3. Spoon out large teaspoons of batter into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on all sides- about a minute. Dabs will be beautiful and puffy.

4. Set all dabs to drain on paper towels.

5. In mixer whip egg whites with sugar and mashed banana until super frothy and thick.

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