Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal
My daughter returned from sleepaway camp this summer raving about the baked oatmeal she had at camp. Can’t say I’d ever had such a thing. Curious, I took advantage of a 16-hour road trip from Chicago to New York to peruse recipes. I was pretty psyched at the possibility of anything new and exciting entering the breakfast rotation.
I tried two recipes. The first was a vegan recipe containing cocoa, coconut and peanut butter from Marcus Samuelsson’s site. The flavors were fantastic. Being a vegan recipe it contained no eggs to leaven it. Consequently, the texture experience had all the appeal of gulping down wet paper mache.
I was then directed to a recipe written by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks by several bloggers who’d republished her recipe. I found the original on Epicurious, published with her permission. The flavor and texture were great. However, I couldn’t get over wanting the flavors of the other recipe with a more pleasing texture. So I just combined the two. Result? Awesome.
Frankly, this has the appeal of a candy bar or a Ben & Jerry’s flavor without the sugar rush: chocolate, coconut, peanut butter and bananas. Walnuts are a fantastic, protein boosting addition but my kids had conniptions about them. The texture is light, marbelized with cocoa and warm sweet chunks of banana keeping each bite interesting.
I make my life easier when I make this on a school morning by pre-mixing the wet and dry ingredients the night before. I then quickly assemble it and get the lunches ready while it bakes.
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder I love Droste. Ghirardelli is nice too.
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 14-oz can coconut milk. Use the full fat stuff. It has much fuller flavor. The fat in the coconut milk and peanut butter is enough to moisten the dish so you don’t have to add any other fat.
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
2 bananas, cut in half width-wise and then in thirds lengthwise
½ cup chopped walnuts
Mix the dry ingredients
1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
2. Stir in the oats. The cocoa-sugar mixture will want to settle to the bottom. That’s okay.
Combine the wet ingredients
1. Whisk them all together. The peanut butter will dissolve into the coconut milk.
Assemble and bake
1. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
2. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with coconut oil or butter.
3. Spoon a light layer of the oat mixture over the bottom of the pan- just enough to fully cover the bottom. Use the spoon to make sure you get distribution of the cocoa-sugar mixture from the bottom with each spoonful of oats.
4. Layer on the bananas and walnuts, if using.
7. Jiggle the pan a bit to distribute the wet ingredients throughout the dish.
8. Bake about 35 minutes on the center oven rack. Doneness is indicated by little cracks that will start to form over the surface of the oatmeal.