I tend to be in a breakfast rut of some kind or another, which you have definitely seen here (hello, a month or two of overnight oats). I’ve been mixing things up slightly of late, so I thought it would be fun to share three easy ways to get your mornings started off right. We have two different seasonally appropriate oats recipes and one savory pancake. Let’s start with the sweet stuff.
This week, I’m enjoying a new baked oatmeal recipe that I prefer to my old method. I present:
Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup mashed banana (generally two large or three medium bananas)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon liquid coconut oil, optional
- Handful of chopped pecans, optional
- Handful of chopped chocolate, optional
Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease or spray an 8×8″ baking dish or pie plate. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, spices, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt. Now add the banana, vanilla, milk, and coconut oil if using and stir until combined. Fold in the pecans and chocolate (I used half a square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, chopped small, but feel free to use semisweet or chocolate chips or none, of course) if using. Spread in the prepared baking dish to fill the bottom. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top fairly evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then place the dish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes to caramelize the sugar.
This recipe is firmer and a little more cake-like than my pumpkin version, but it’s still best eaten with silverware. It isn’t overly sweet, so if you prefer a little more dolcezza in your mornings, feel free to up the sugar or drizzle a little honey or agave on your slice. I made this batch Sunday night and will eat it through Thursday morning. It reheats beautifully.
Here’s another seasonally appropriate oat recipe that serves one:
Butternut Squash Oats
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- A few pecan halves
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water, and butternut squash. Heat over medium-high until it reaches a boil, then add the oats and reduce to a simmer (low on my hot stove, medium-low on a normal one). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the oats reach your desired consistency, about six minutes. Right before they’re done, add the sugar and spice (everything nice). Serve topped with pecans.
Butternut — or really any kind of sweet winter squash — is very similar to pumpkin in flavor profile, so while it isn’t a typical oatmeal add-in, it doesn’t taste out of place at all. The spices and pecans make it a warming, wonderful breakfast. Plus, it’s a great use for leftover roasted squash that is too scant for a lunch or dinner recipe.
And finally, I offer a savory take on breakfast or brunch:
Zucchini Sourdough Pancakes with Tomato Sauce
- 1 small zucchini
- 3 pinches of salt, divided
- 2 drizzles of olive oil, plus more for cooking pancakes
- 1/3 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 1 can diced tomatoes (blended if you prefer that texture)
- Fresh or dried oregano, to taste (I used three sprigs of fresh, but 1/2 teaspoon dried would be great, too)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 fresh hot pepper, minced or a pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter, freshly fed
- 3/4 cup flour (I prefer white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup water
- Freshly ground pepper
Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred using a food processor if you have such fancy things or a cheese grater. Add to a bowl with one pinch of salt and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it’s softened. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, vinegar, pepper, and a pinch of salt and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
While the sauce simmers and thickens, squeeze the moisture out of zucchini and add to a medium bowl. Combine with the sourdough starter, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt, and drizzle of olive oil just until mixed together. Now heat a skillet over medium or medium-low heat with a little oil. When hot, add 1/4 to 1/3 cupfuls of batter to the pan, careful not to overcrowd. (I did 1/3 cups and made two batches of three pancakes each. Sprinkle pepper over the top and let cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottom stops being batter.
Flip and cook another 2 minutes until set. I like to press down slightly after flipping. The pancakes are done when they firm and lightly golden.
Top with tomato sauce and eat immediately.
These were a fun departure from normal pancakes, and they tasted especially delicious after my five-mile run Sunday morning. If you don’t have sourdough starter, you can also make them using your normal pancake base — just don’t add any sugar or sweet spices.
What’s your favorite breakfast recipe? Are you a savory or sweet fan? I like both, though I try not to add too much sugar to my sweeter breakfasts because then I crave it all day long. I like to use fruit to sweeten as much as I can.
This post has been linked up with In Her Chucks’ “What’s in the Box? #47”!