Today is Christmas Eve Eve as my lovely cousin Asher Marie coined it. Hopefully everyone is traveling to family or is already relaxing and spending time with loved ones. I just arrived at my family’s refuge, Lakeview Manor, in Canaan Valley, WV. Despite the rain instead of snow, family time has commenced.

Many of us will be preparing food for a crowd this week, which can be stressful at times. Trying new recipes for the first time around family can be high stakes, especially with many cooks and preferences in the kitchen. I usually fall victim to swiping up on the many food blogger Instagram accounts I follow, to see their flashy new recipes for holiday sweets or side dishes, but healthy options usually don’t peak my interest this time of year. Feeding a crowd, in a healthy way, is really my main objective this year.

My Aunt Sally used to host Christmas morning brunch every year at her house, post gift opening, but the past few years we have spent the holidays in the mountains. My favorite dishes from my aunt’s Christmas brunch include Eggs Benedict with my dad’s Christmas ham from Christmas Eve dinner the night before, blueberry muffins with a sugar streusel topping and roasted Italian tomatoes.

In efforts to “lighten up” brunch, the spinach has been substituted for the ham in the Benedict, the muffins have been omitted, and yogurt parfaits have joined the buffet. This time of year I really yearn for warm and satisfying breakfast options. Lighter casseroles and oatmeal varieties have become my go-to favorites to feed a crowd at breakfast time. Even “choose your own adventure” and “build your own” breakfast tacos, burritos or sandwiches are always a fun and easy way to please all guests’ palates or dietary restrictions.

I recently had an oatmeal bake at a friend’s house for brunch and I have been on the hunt for a similar recipe. By nature, breakfast bakes are easy to prep and don’t take more than 30-45 minutes to bake, giving you more time to visit and enjoy your family and guests. Some can be prepped in advance and popped in the oven when ready, which is a nice option when hosting a crowd.

Enjoy your holidays! Try integrating a few healthier options into your holiday meal traditions to help keep you on track for the New Year!

BAKED OATMEAL WITH BLUEBERRIES AND BANANAS

Recipe from Skinny Taste

* I doubled this recipe to fit into a 9×13 casserole dish and to feed a larger crowd.

Variations and Tips from Skinny Taste:

  • Easily gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.
  • You can make this dairy free using any milk you would normally have on hand.
  • Swap the bananas for thin sliced apples and walnuts.
  • Swap the blueberries for strawberries or mixed berries.
  • To make ahead, you can refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 60 seconds, until warmed.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave)
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats*
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
baked-oatmeal-with-blueberries-walnuts-and-bananas
Image credit: Skinny Taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly spray a 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. * I used a 9×13 baking dish and doubled the ingredients.
  2. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp of the honey and cover with foil.
  3. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
  6. Remove the bananas from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries.
  7. Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the the top.
  8. Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: 1/6th

Amount Per Serving: Smart Points: 6 Points +: 6 Calories: 211.5 Total Fat: 5.5g Saturated Fat: g Cholesterol: mg Sodium: 77mg Carbohydrates: 38g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 23g Protein: 5.5g

Post by Sarah

 

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