This vegan blueberry oat bake is a perfect make ahead breakfast. It’s packed with nutrition in the form of whole grains, fruit, and nuts.
When I was a grad student, I experimented with a lot of different make-ahead breakfasts. I learned that oat bakes are just about as good as it gets.
Here’s a short list of reasons why I love oat bakes so much:
Yes, I love regular, warm oatmeal, savory or sweet. But I don’t love to cook oatmeal on the stovetop when I’m in a rush. When I was in grad school, I was nearly always in a rush to get to class in the morning.
Oat bakes saved me. They allowed me to enjoy all of the wholesome goodness of oatmeal without any need to soak or cook oats in the morning. And they’re portable, so they were a good option when I was running out the door and in need of breakfast to-go.
I’m no longer a graduate student, but this blueberry banana walnut oat bake has remained a favorite breakfast. I’ve been making it for years now, with very few variations or changes, and I have no plans to stop.
An oat bake—also known as baked oatmeal—is simply an oven-baked way to enjoy oatmeal.
Oat bakes can be prepared in a variety of different ways. You can use rolled oats or quick oats. Some recipes call for blending the oats with plant milk or water before baking and pouring the mixture into a ramekin. The result is sort of like a mug cake.
I prefer oat bakes that leave the texture of rolled or quick oats intact. My method is to combine the oats with a liquid, fold in some fresh fruit, add any nutritious extras I want (usually nuts or seeds), and then transfer them to the oven.
You can make oat bakes more or less solid by adjusting how much liquid you use. When they’re ready, they can be eaten in slices, or you can warm them up in a bowl along with a bit of non-dairy milk.
When I do this, I sometimes like to mash them up a bit, so that they become a cross between a baked oat square and something resembling bread pudding. Yum!
I love how easy it is to make an oat bake—and this blueberry banana oat bake is no exception.
First, preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly oil or line an 8 x 8-inch square or 7 x 11-inch rectangular baking dish with parchment. Get your ingredients ready: chop your walnuts (if they aren’t pre-chopped) and your banana, etc.
For this recipe, my dry ingredients include oats, ground flax meal, spices, and salt. I fold in a chopped banana and fresh or frozen blueberries as my fruit. I add a quarter cup of chopped walnuts, too. This all goes in a big mixing bowl.
You can make oat bakes with simple non-dairy milk as the wet/liquid ingredient. But I like to sweeten this blueberry banana oat bake with a second banana and a small amount of agave or maple syrup (1-2 tablespoons, optional and to taste).
I blend all of these things together in a blender or a food processor.
Next, you’ll pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, fold them together, and transfer everything to your prepared baking dish.
The baked oats will require about 40-45 minutes of baking time. The goal is for the top to be golden brown and for the texture to be set, but still a little soft in the center.
One of the nicest things about this oat bake recipe is that it can be used as a template for other versions. Here are some ways that you can mix things up.
In place of the banana and blueberries, try:
In place of the chopped walnuts, you can try:
I like to use soy milk in this recipe for the plant protein. However, you can use your favorite non-dairy milk, which could be:
If bananas aren’t your thing, then you could try any of the following substitutes for the banana that gets blended into the liquid ingredients.
One third of a cup of:
Don’t be afraid to add some fun flourishes to the oat bake! A few options that I’ve tried and liked:
Oat bakes have all of the same, sound nutrition as regular oatmeal. This includes soluble fiber, trace minerals that include zinc and magnesium, some protein, and complex carbohydrates that can help to energize you and keep you full.
Any fruit you add can further enhance the nutrient density of your oat bake. Thanks to blueberries and bananas, this particular recipe is rich in phytonutrients that may help to prevent cognitive decline, compounds that may support cardiovascular health, and electrolytes that are helpful in maintaining hydration status.
The walnuts, meanwhile, contain antioxidants that are associated with anti-inflammatory action and Omega-3 fatty acids that may benefit cardiovascular health, mood, and more.
Oats aren’t a glutenous grain, but they can have trace amounts of gluten thanks to cross-contamination. Be sure to purchase gluten-free certified rolled oats if you have celiac disease.
Maybe my favorite thing about oat bakes is that they’re so useful as part of a weekly meal prep routine.
For one thing, oat bakes are easy to portion. Cut them into squares or rectangles and store them separately (in containers or in Stasher bags) for easy, pre-made, pre-portioned, packed and portable morning meals.
Oat bake leftovers also keep for up to five days in airtight container(s) in the fridge. You can make this blueberry banana oat bake on a Sunday, store it, and enjoy homemade breakfast for nearly an entire week after.
Absolutely! Freezing is another way that you can use this oat bake and others to help you with breakfast meal prep. Slices of the oat bake can be stored in Stasher bags or in airtight containers and frozen for up to six weeks.
If you want to freeze a whole oat bake for future breakfast consumption, that’s also fine. You can prepare the oat bake as directed in a parchment lined pan. After it bakes and cools, wrap it lightly and transfer it to the freezer for one hour.
At that point, you can remove the oatbake (it’ll be semi-solid from an hour of freezing) from the pan and parchment, wrap it tightly in saran, and freeze it for up to six weeks. Defrost it overnight in the freezer before slicing and storing or serving.
This oat bake recipe yields four larger or six smaller portions. You can enjoy a bigger portion on its own or with some almond or peanut butter for a quick, easy, portable breakfast.
Jam or preserves, apple or pumpkin butter, nut butters, and sweet cashew cream are all lovely accompaniments, too.
While this blueberry banana version is the oat bake that I prepare most often, it’s not my only cherished recipe. Here are a few others that I enjoy regularly through the seasons:
I hope that this versatile, wholesome, tasty breakfast will serve you as well as it has served me!