Baked oatmeal may be my favorite place for blueberries- in the middle of winter, that is.
But right now, it’s the thick of July in California, why, you may ask, am I posting about that right now?
Ah. Hear me out. Now’s the time for my truest favorite way to eat blueberries- in the summer, straight out of hand. Which means it’s also the best time to store up those amazing violet balls of flavor for this hot breakfast come January.
The best winter berries are summer leftovers, squirreled away into the freezer for tasting summer well past the season. Show your future self some love by saving up some of those berries now. Trust me, this is worth it.
I’ve been crushing on baked oatmeals for years now, but after tinkering with baked steel-cut oatmeal, I’ve simply gone loopy in love. It’s just so. . .everything. I know I have it bad for this breakfast. I blame Heidi Swanson- each of her last three cookbooks have had a glorious recipe for baked oatmeal. The most recent one in Near and Far was beginnings of this one. The lemon zest on the pan is really a lovely touch. But the steel cut obsession is all mine.
Preparing the oatmeal ahead of time, giving those little oaty nuggets an overnight rest, means the morning is easy. Preheat the oven when you wake up, and pop breakfast in as you hit your morning routine. The soak also bolsters nutrition content and makes them easier to digest. Yay, for the double win.
Baked oatmeal finishes triumphant- nutty, nubby, and bursting with berries and lemon zest. Steel cut oats crunch up in a way that rolled oats just can’t touch. If you crave the crunchy bits on the edge of a cookie or scone, this one’s for you. Enjoy!
And don’t forget to get some summer berries socked into the freezer this season.
2 tablespoons butter
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups steel-cut oats
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
3-4 cups blueberries
Butter the inside of a 8×8 or 9 inch round baking dish. Zest the lemon over the buttered dish. In a bowl (or a measuring bowl with side markings to save even more dishes), whisk buttermilk, maple syrup, water, egg, vanilla, and sea salt. Sprinkle oats and baking powder over the top, making sure there are no clumps, and gently fold in to the wet mix.
Arrange 2 cup of the blueberries in the buttered pan and pour oatmeal mixture on top. Dot the pan with the remaining blueberries and almonds. Cover the pan with foil or a lid and refrigerate overnight, allowing the oats time to absorb the liquid.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 375. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and crisped.
Note: the butter can be swapped for coconut or olive oil and the buttermilk with un-sweetened non-dairy yogurt or milk with a squeeze of lemon or 1/2 t. of apple cider vinegar. Likewise the blueberries can be replaced with other berries or chopped summer fruit.