Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

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I am an oatmeal fanatic. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in fact have eaten for it all three meals (Not all in one day – I’m not that crazy… yet.) I like it hot, cold, simmered away on the stove, or made in the microwave ten minutes before I leave for work. With a million weird toppings or a pinch of salt and a splash of maple syrup, it is one of my favorite foods and my trusty standby. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, and no matter what’s in the fridge or the pantry, oatmeal is always there for me <3.

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Now I know not everyone is as gung-ho about oatmeal as I am. For example, one of my coworkers said “Ew” when I told her I had a recipe for baked oatmeal. BUT, let me tell you, if there’s a way to convert people to the O.G good-for-you grain, this Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal is it.

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Somewhere between a virtuous breakfast and a dessert, it’s creamy, nutty, and perfectly sweet, thanks to coconut milk and a healthy dose of maple syrup. The toasted coconut flakes and slivered almonds on top add a really nice crunch – a welcome addition to anyone who’s ever pushed oatmeal around in a bowl and declared it “mushy.” On a winter morning, there is no more comforting breakfast than a big cup of coffee and a heap of baked oatmeal, fresh from the oven and drizzled generously with maple syrup. And the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house is a total bonus.

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While I don’t usually cook with any particular dietary restrictions in mind, these days, it feels impossible to have a group of friends over without navigating a handful of allergies and personal preferences. This recipe is one of my go-tos when hosting brunch for a group, because it’s a hit with both the health nuts and the dough-nuts. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and can be nut free if you omit the almonds. And while food made for special diets can often end up feeling like a dreary alternative to the delicious food on the table, this oatmeal is anything but that.  I eat everything, and this is one of my favorite breakfasts EVER. Hope you love it, too.

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Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal


Ingredients

  • unsalted butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup slivered, blanched almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, such as Bob’s Red Mill
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup, divided
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cups rolled (“old-fashioned”) oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light, unsweetened coconut milk, such as Native Forest
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8x8x2 inch square baking pan with butter or coconut oil.

In a medium (10-inch) sauté pan, toast the almonds and coconut over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the coconut begins to brown. Begin stirring almost constantly and continue to cook until the coconut is golden brown (about 10 minutes total.) Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and ¾ teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, egg, vanilla, water, and maple syrup. Whisk vigorously until thoroughly smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries, pour into the prepared pan, and top with the almond and coconut mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through. Let the oatmeal cool for 5 minutes, and serve in squares or scoops with additional maple syrup on the side.


Blackberry Buckle

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in Chatham, MA, this summer, and have stopped a few times at a local breakfast spot called Hangar B. It’s off the beaten path –  at the tiny airport in Chatham – but worth finding. All their food is great, but the real standouts are their incredible homemade baked goods and jams.

The blackberry jam in particular is so good that I wanted to find to way another way to eat it. Because spreading it on doughnuts with lemon curd just wasn’t enough.

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I played around with a number of different cake batters and crumbles, and this Blackberry Buckle finally hit all the marks. It’s a riff on traditional blueberry buckle, or coffee cake, with a jammy swirl running through the middle. The cake itself is moist and has just a hint of lemon. It’s basically a vehicle for the blackberries and crumble, but very good in its own right too.

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This is the kind of cake you could make for dessert, and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or for breakfast, with a big mug of coffee. I would recommend serving it for dessert and then eating the leftovers before anyone else is awake the next morning.

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Use the best jam you can find for this cake- preferably one without a lot of “jiggle,” so to speak. I first tried this recipe with Hangar B’s blackberry jam and was very happy with the results, but I wanted to make sure the cake would be delicious with regular grocery store jam, too. I tried a few different kinds, and Bonne Maman and Hero blackberry preserves were by far the best.

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Blackberry Buckle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blackberry jam
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, such as Fage
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • crumble topping:
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour a 9” inch square baking pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the jam, 1 cup of the blackberries, and ½ tsp vanilla extract.  In another small bowl, make the crumble topping. Combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon, and pinch the ingredients together with your fingers until the mixture makes big crumbles. Set aside the jam mixture and crumble topping.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer),  cream the butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the yogurt, lemon zest, and remaining 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan, and spoon the jam mixture on top. Using a spatula, carefully spread the jam mixture to cover the entire surface of the batter. Add remaining cake batter in large spoonfuls and carefully smooth again. Don’t worry if the jam peeks through the top layer of batter in places.
  6. Sprinkle the crumble topping and remaining 1 cup blackberries on top and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the center of the cake springs back under a light touch.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.