What seems like a hundred years ago, I saw this recipe for a Fruity Baked Oatmeal on Annie’s Eats.

In fact, this was one of the first recipes to have ever made it to my “Must Try List”.

Since that day, I went back and looked at drooled all over the recipe several times, dreaming of the day where I would finally be sitting in front of my very own, and very real, serving.

Well, I finally did it!

Sort of…

Let’s just say I played around with the recipe a bit. I was in the mood for banana carob, you see?

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now why did I wait so long to try this?

You might remember that I had decided to go off grains for a while. I went completely off for a couple of months, then started reinstating them in very small quantities, so eating anything “grains” actually felt like eating a treat.

Like cheating…

However, I came to realize that it’s not grains my body seems to be having problems with after all, so I see no reason to stay off them any longer.

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Especially not oats!

Oats are actually SUPER GOOD for you. They’re even considered a superfood.

One that should be part of your daily diet.

And if you have issues with gluten, like I thought I did, well, you can still enjoy oats, as long as you make sure you buy the uncontaminated variety.

Boy, am I a happy camper now!

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Can you tell that I’m a HUGE fan of oats?

Especially when it gets fancy like this. Fancy AND easy!

This was my first time making baked oatmeal, but certainly not the last… I really, truly loved the experience.

You just combine all the ingredients, throw them in a baking dish, place that in the oven and forget about it. No constant stirring, so you can have this bake while you’re working out and have a delicious breakfast ready when you’re done.

And of course, you get to enjoy the leftovers for several days after that (if you’re lucky enough not to have anyone steal them from you, that is!)

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Oh, and of course, I made this one completely sugar free!

To help make it taste sweeter, I used carob instead of cocoa powder, but hey, I happen to ADORE carob. Sometimes, I think I like it even better than chocolate. Special thanks to Leanne for reminding me, about a year ago, that the stuff even existed. I had totally forgotten about it.

If you’ve never tried it, I say you should definitely give it a go. It’s very similar to chocolate, but I find it has a sweeter and somewhat richer, deeper flavor.

Of course, feel free to sub cocoa powder here, if you’re not a fan of carob, or don’t happen to have it on hand.

In fact, I say feel free to play with the entire recipe.

Try different fruit combinations, add nuts and seeds, or even cheese, why not?

A savory variety could be fun also…

So go ahead, let your imagination go nuts!

I know I will!

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal
 
Serves: Serves 4 (Nutritional Info includes Carob Sauce)
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped (save about a tablespoon to sprinkle on top)
  • Pinch salt
Wet Ingredients
  • ½ ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup date paste
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Extra goodness
  • 1½ ripe banana (one sliced spread at bottom,½ sliced on top)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened carob chips
  • 30g fresh coconut shavings (of course, you can use unsweetened dry)
Carob Sauce
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup carob powder
  • 3 scoops whey protein powder (I used Ergogenic's New Zealand Pro. Also, I used plain, but feel free to use vanilla flavored if you want a bit of a sweeter taste)
Instructions
Baked Oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir with a fork to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash half a banana until frothy in consistency. Add date paste and mix until well combined. Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients and mix with a whisk until well incorporated.
  4. Spread one sliced banana over the bottom of a baking dish. Top with oat mixture, then pour the liquid ingredients gently over the oats.
  5. Spread the banana slices, unsweetened carob chips and coconut shavings over the top.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set.
Carob Sauce
  1. While the oats are baking, add protein powder, carob powder and yogurt to a mixing bowl and mix with a spoon or whisk until well incorporated. It might look like there is too much powder at first, but it will come together eventually. Same goes for the "lumpy" feeling. Just let the mixture rest for about a minute and give it another quick stir. It will become nice and smooth.
  2. Add buttermilk and stir until nice and creamy looking.
  3. Pour generously over baked oatmeal at the time of serving.
  4. Both the sauce and oatmeal will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Before and after entering the oven

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Go ahead, serve yourself a generous serving

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Does that look good, or what? 

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I say it looks fantastic just as it is now… Do we really want that sauce?

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Of course, we want it! Just go ahead and pour that beautiful carob sauce all over your oatmeal.

Don’t be shy… Really POUR!

You’re only making it healthier!

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Now take a minute to admire this great dish that you’re about to eat…

Banana Carob Baked Oatmeal | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Alright, that’s enough torture. Just DIG RIGHT IN!!!