Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Bake

Guys...want to know something funny? If you check out the bio on my site (About Me) I make a strong claim. I don't like oatmeal. Never have, but have always wanted to. Something about the sweet smell and all the exciting, variety of toppings, always had me drooling at the site of someone else's bowl...but gagging the second I brought the spoon to my mouth.

I never understood why. Every item of food the disgusts me, does so in a very obvious way and I have no desire to eat or be near them (I'm looking at you, olives). But oatmeal always bummed me out. I wanted to be part of the cool kids 'I eat oatmeal because it's easy and healthy and cheap' club, but every time I tried, I couldn't. That is, until recently. I'm not sure what changed (probably tastebud maturation, but who really knows), but I ordered the overnight oats at Kings Highway in Palm Springs and fell in love. And slowly but surely, I'm growing even more fond of it as I learn to create the right consistency and flavors for my preference (still don't love soggy hot oats with little flavor). Enter, this oatmeal bake. For me, it's the perfect consistency, great hot or cold, not to sweet with just the right amount of tartness with the blueberries and lemon. Also, it makes a great make ahead breakfast for yourself or your kids, as well as a healthy Easter brunch treat! Feel free to switch up the fruit and flavors - it's a wonderful platform to let your creativity tastebuds soar.

If you're in need of additional Easter meals, check out my Asparagus and Spring Onion Frittata, Strawberry & Peach Yogurt Bites, Blue Crab Cakes, and Crispy Chicken with Artichokes and Leeks.

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup chopped pecans or favorite nut

1.5 cup milk (almond, coconut, cow, all good options)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

2 eggs

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp lemon juice + zest of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tsp

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries + 1/4 cup for topping

1 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar for topping

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In one large bowl combine the dry ingredients - oats, pecans, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, and sea salt.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients - eggs, milk, lemon juice, zest, and oil.

4. Gently add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Gently fold in the blueberries, reserving a 1/4 for topping.

5. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with oil, and then pour in the mixture. Top with additional blueberries and a little coconut sugar on top.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, depending on preferred texture.

7. Serve warm and top with yogurt, additional fruit, honey, maple, etc.

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