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Too Many Bananas? Try Baked Banana Oatmeal

Did you buy too many bananas this week? Are you bored with your usual bowl of oatmeal, raisins (or craisins), and brown sugar? Want to do something a little different with your morning oatmeal? Try Baked Banana Oatmeal. The easy-to-assemble dish uses ingredients--like those bananas on your counter--that are inexpensive and readily available. Plus, the baked oatmeal is different enough from the usual morning oatmeal to be a special treat. With nubby whole grain oats, lots of walnuts, dried cranberries, and sweet cinnamon, the dish is tasty and satisfying. The oatmeal gets plenty of sweetness from the bananas that bake atop the oats rather than from loads of added sugar. Serve the baked oatmeal warm with a dollop of vanilla or plain yogurt and you'll have a happy tummy and the nutrition you need for a busy day.

Baked Banana Oatmeal

Baked Banana Oatmeal -- Serves 6

2 cups of regular oats (old fashioned)

1 cup of walnuts, divided

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of cloves

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of low-fat milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon of canola oil

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of maple extract

4 medium bananas

1-2 tablespoons of raw (turbinado) sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add to the casserole dish the oats, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the dried cranberries, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and mix all the dry ingredients together. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, vanilla, and maple extract and pour the mixture over the oats. Slice the bananas into rounds and spread the rounds evenly over the oat mixture. Sprinkle on the remaining walnuts, then gently press the bananas and walnuts into the wet oatmeal mixture (don't try to submerge them, you just want them to adhere to the top of the oatmeal). Sprinkle the raw sugar evenly over the top of the bananas, if you'd like. Bake the oatmeal for 30-40 minutes until just barely firm and the nuts and bananas begin to brown. Serve the baked oatmeal warm with dollops of yogurt on top.

Baked Banana Oatmeal

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