Start the day right with this make-ahead recipe for baked oatmeal with wild blueberries and crunchy almond topping. You’ll get fiber, protein, whole grains, fruit, antioxidants, omega-3’s and phytonutrients all in one bowl! Even though the ingredients are so simple, when the oatmeal is baked it all comes together in a firm (but moist) slice…almost like a blueberry coffeecake. Except with no sugar 😉
And next to breakfast in bed, waking up to a ready-made morning meal is hard to beat! In the past, refrigerator oatmeal was my go-to favorite “hands off” oatmeal breakfast. But, making everything in one big casserole dish like I do for this recipe for baked oatmeal is much easier than spooning all of the ingredients into multiple different mason jars. Or maybe it’s just because it’s something new lol?
One thing is for sure, it’s easy….
Why Baked Oatmeal with WILD Blueberries is the Easiest!
First, I use frozen wild blueberries because fresh wild blueberries are almost impossible to find.
Although I haven’t tested my baked oatmeal recipe with any fruit other than frozen wild blueberries, I think they just might be the best choice if you want a super easy recipe. That’s because you don’t have to cut or peel blueberries. You don’t even need to thaw them! And I honestly can’t think of another frozen fruit that would work as well (frozen strawberries and raspberries would turn to mush, frozen cherries would be too big, frozen pineapple would be too watery, etc.)
Why WILD Blueberries?
From a culinary standpoint, wild blueberries are the best choice for this recipe because they are so small that they will merge better with the oat mixture (larger blueberries might separate from the oats and/ or get mushy).
And from a nutrition standpoint, wild blueberries are the best blueberries simply because they are more nutrient dense. Small but mighty, wild blueberries have more total antioxidant capacity (ORAC) than almost all of the typical fruits and vegetables you see at the grocery store and they have a considerably higher ORAC value than their bigger cousins, cultivated blueberries. The higher the ORAC value of a food the more powerful that food is at slowing the aging process, fighting disease, reducing inflammation and preserving health.
As mentioned above, fresh wild blueberries are almost impossible to find. Luckily Wyman’s brand of frozen wild blueberries is available in supermarkets nationwide.
Use “Whole” Almond Milk
And finally, if you want a rich-tasting baked oatmeal, be sure to use “whole” almond milk rather than the watered down stuff that makes up 98% of the almond milk market. We talk about the benefits of “whole” almond milk in this article as well as the fact that the vast majority of commercially produced almond milk brands contain less than 5 per cent almonds (the rest of the “milk” consists of water with some emulsifiers and added synthetic nutrients.)
When it comes to getting “whole” almond milk, you can either make it yourself (Here is my “whole” almond milk recipe) or look for New Barn brand. As of now, New Barn is the only commercially available “whole” almond milk brand that I know of.
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For those of you with food allergies and food sensitivities, it’s helpful to know this recipe for Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries meets the following dietary restrictions:
Dairy Free/ Bean Free/ Soy Free/ Vegetarian
Start your day right! A make-ahead complete breakfast, this recipe for baked oatmeal with blueberries and almond topping takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare and keeps for several days in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8 x 10 inch baking dish with coconut oil and spread the frozen blueberries into an even layer in the dish.
- Set dish aside.
- Combine the oats, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and almond extract and whisk well to combine. Pour the liquid egg mixture over the oat mixture and use a wooden spoon to gently stir ingredients together until just blended.
- Spoon the mixture over the frozen blueberries and set aside.
- To create the crunchy almond topping, put the maple syrup, coconut oil and almonds in a food processor and process until almonds are finely chopped and coated in the syrup and oil.
- Spoon the almond topping over the oats, using the back of a spoon for even distribution.
- Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and oats are firm. Serve warm. (Note: Store leftover baked oatmeal in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 4 days.)
Frozen wild blueberries: There is no need to thaw the blueberries in this particular recipe so it is not a mistake to cook them frozen. Don’t worry, they will thaw perfectly in the oven =)