One of the biggest misconceptions about homeschool families is that we have more hours in the day than other families. SOOOOOOOooohoooohooooo not true. I was running a cake decorating and catering business before starting this blog- all whilst trying to keep twins alive- so my days have never been long enough. In addition to that, my artistic bent means I’m just not a morning person to begin with. Quite frankly, I looooathe waking up early in the morning. Once you’ve thrown together this Banana Chocolate Chunk Baked Oatmeal you’ll find it’s not only delicious, but easy to assemble and that it requires little prep and supervision, which means it’s helpful on busy days or early mornings.
This oatmeal is mildly spiced and has a great balance of sweet banana and high-quality chocolate flavors. The oatmeal is a healthy way to fill up for the day ahead.
What you will need to make the Banana Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal:
Start with a few cups of Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats. Gluten-free rolled oats- like these from Bob’s Red Mill– will add to the versatility of this recipe. It’ll be a great dish to serve to crowds, since it will have very few allergens.
In addition to the oats which, again, need to be old-fashioned; you’ll need 3 very ripe (but not black) bananas, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract, semi-sweet chocolate, and your choice of milk. I’m broadening my horizons here on the blog, so I’m making this a vegan breakfast. If you’re like my hubby and against all things vegan- feel free to use cow’s milk. It will produce the same deliciousness.
Old-fashioned rolled oats are a must!
I keep reiterating the fact that you’ll need to use old-fashioned rolled oats- as opposed to quick cooking or instant oats- only because it really does make a difference. The old-fashioned oats are literally pressed grains and they are better equipped to handle and overnight soaking, which is what we’re going for. The other two are pulsed and ground down, which causes them to become mushy and pasty- so not what we want.
After you have measured your oats into a large mixing bowl, add a half-teaspoon of baking powder to them. This leavening agent is going to give your oatmeal a wee-bit of puff and texture after it’s baked.
Now add the ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and light brown sugar to the bowl.
Whisk everything to distribute the sugar, spices and baking powder throughout the oats. Set this aside while you work on the last part of the recipe.
Mash the bananas well
Here’s a funny story- my daughter is repulsed by eating bananas on their own. We used to think she was being a drama queen as she sat there heaving while trying to choke down a bit of banana. As it turns out, she has a legit aversion to the texture. Well, whaddya know?
Anywho! We stopped force-feeding her straight bananas and settled for baking them into breads, pancakes, and this oatmeal, instead. So, all of that’s to say, if you have a child who can’t get with the texture of a banana, try incorporating it into different recipes.
Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the ripe bananas into a semi-smooth paste. Avoid the use of black (overripe) bananas as they tend to have an overwhelming flavor- one that isn’t appealing.
Combine the wet ingredients
Add the almond milk and the vanilla extract to the mashed bananas and whisk to combine them.
Pour the mixture into the bowl with the spiced oats and mix everything together well.
Now just pour the banana-oat mixture into a lightly greased 9″x13″ baking dish.
Soak for 4-8 hours in the fridge
While you can bake this right away, the oats will still have a bit of bite to them because they won’t have enough time to soak and soften. I recommend wrapping your pan in foil and refrigerating the oatmeal for anywhere from 4 to 8 hours (overnight) to get that soft, chewy oatmeal we all know and love.
After your oats have soaked, place the cold, covered dish into your cold oven. Turn the oven to 350°F and allow the dish to warm gradually as the oven heats up. Don’t put your cold, ceramic dish into a hot oven because it will shatter.
Once the oven has come up to temperature, set your timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is up, carefully remove the foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the center is no longer soupy.
Banana + Chocolate Chunks= a match made in heaven
Towards the end of the oatmeal’s baking time, use a chef’s knife to roughly chop a semi-sweet chocolate bar. A 1/2- 1 cup will suffice. Set the chopped chocolate aside.
Once the oatmeal is fully baked, remove the pan from the oven and immediately top with the chocolate shards. I prefer this to baking the chocolate with the banana oatmeal since it leaves my chocolate all melty and gooey. Cover the pan with that foil you removed earlier to speed up the chocolate’s melting.
The finished result is nothing short of perfection.
How should you serve this Banana Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal?
Any way you want, really.
I prefer to eat mine as is, straight from the pan- while still warm, of course.
My son likes to eat his with more milk stirred in, so it’s creamy. If you want a creamier version, just add a 1/4-1/2 cup of warmed milk to your serving and stir them together until you’ve achieved your desired consistency.
My daughter prefers more chocolate, so I chop up extra for her to add later. Hector- my husband- likes stirring dried cranberries or cherries into his because he’s super bougie now that he’s retired.
However you decide to serve your Banana Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal, do so while it’s piping hot. You can store any leftovers in the fridge for 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months!
Pin this recipe for breakfast tomorrow and be sure to share the banana chocolate chunk love with your world!
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Overnight Banana Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal
Begin this easy-to-assemble recipe the evening before. Cow's milk can be used to make this a non-vegan recipe.
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 1/2 cups almond or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (or chips)
Lightly grease a 9"x13"x3" baking dish with vegetable cooking spray (or butter if non-vegan is okay).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to toss the oats in the spice mixture. Set the oats aside.
Using the same whisk, but in a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, almond milk, and the vanilla extract.
Add the wet mixture to the spiced oats and mix everything together well.
Pour the banana-oat mixture into the prepared baking dish, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and place it into the refrigerator.
Allow the oats to soak for 4-8 hours (overnight)*.
After the oatmeal has soaked, transfer the baking dish from the refrigerator straight into your cold oven.
Turn the oven to 350°F and allow the dish to heat gradually as the oven heats up. Don't put a cold, ceramic dish into a hot oven because it will shatter.
Once the oven has come up to temperature, set a timer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, carefully remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the center is no longer soupy and the surface is a deep brown color.
Once the oatmeal is fully baked, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chunks over the top.
Serve the oatmeal while still hot- either on its own, with milk stirred in, topped with more chocolate, or with dried (or fresh) fruits, instead.
*While you can bake the oatmeal right away, I don't recommend doing so since the oats will still have a bit of bite to them. The 4-8 hours of soaking gives the oats enough time to soften.
Any leftovers may be stored in the fridge for 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months!