There are plenty of reasons why we make less than healthy meal choices in the morning. In the rush to get the day started, we might feed our families but not ourselves. Or we think a cup of coffee is all we need. Then the inevitable mid-morning crash occurs and we’re on the hunt for another cup of coffee or for a sugar-charged snack to give us some energy. If you’ve ever found yourself dragging after 10 am, it’s probably because you’ve not yet fueled your body in a way that gives it real energy. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! And it’s the best time to start off our bodies with the right kind of food to give us a boost that will put a little pep in our step.
Our strawberry banana oatmeal breakfast bake is just the solution to those hectic mornings when we need to eat something good but also on the go. A healthy breakfast packed with sustainable ingredients gives us the boost of energy we need to get moving and stay moving. Fresh strawberries, bananas, pecans, and whole grain oats give this meal natural sweetness and heartiness. And just to reward ourselves for being so good about actually eating breakfast, we figured a few chocolate chips would be a good idea – especially if they’re antioxidant-rich dark chocolate chips. This is a recipe that we could easily serve up for a weekend brunch, but we like to have it as a go-to breakfast for weekday mornings. We can just grab a slice along with our cup of coffee and hit the road, knowing that we’ve got good fuel to start the day.
Our whole family loves this! The kids feel like they’re almost getting away with dessert for breakfast. And we love it because we know that mornings can be busy and it’s super easy to just skip eating altogether. This strawberry-banana oatmeal breakfast bake helps us get out the door with a quick and quality-filled meal-on-the-go. And if eating first thing in the morning doesn’t work for you, put a slice of this in a storable container or wrapped in parchment to eat as a mid-morning snack. You’ll be glad to have something delicious on hand to help curb any cravings for those notorious break-room donuts or an extra large sugary coffee.
Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bake
40 minutes to prepare serves 6-8
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 banana, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 cup strawberries, sliced and divided
½ cup dark chocolate chips + extra for topping
2 cups milk
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup brown sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a baking 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, ¾ cup sliced strawberries, pecans (reserve 2 tablespoons for topping), and chocolate chips together in an bowl.
Add milk, melted butter, 1 egg (beaten), and vanilla to oatmeal mixture. Stir to combine.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Top with sliced bananas, reserved sliced strawberries, reserved pecans, and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until top is slightly golden and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle top of bake with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar then return to oven to broil for 30 seconds.
Remove from oven to set and cool before serving.