I love breakfast.
Almost as much as I love dessert. In my eyes, the best breakfast is one that blurs the lines between breakfast and dessert – nutritious and wholesome to power you up for the day, yet sweet and slightly indulgent to make it feel like a treat. And the more like cake or pudding, the better.
This recipe started off as banana bread baked oats before I realised that the flavor combinations are limited only by your imagination (or in our case the pantry stores). I’ve made plain banana bread, I’ve made raspberry and dark chocolate and I’ve made apple and cinnamon but this one my friends is the favourite – Apricot, Coconut and Dark Chocolate Baked Oats. Maybe even enough to knock pancakes from pride of place as Saturday’s mainstay breakfast…
How can you go past crunchy toasted coconut, oozy chocolate chips and chewy, sweet apricot pieces baked into a base of dense, oat-y cake with a subtle banana undertone. HOW?!?!
Now I know there are chocolate chips in it and chocolate chips don’t generally classify as ‘healthy’. HOWEVER, as there is a grand total of about 30 chips in the whole recipe I don’t think it’s really a big deal. Plus if you’d like to make it completely sugar- or dairy-free there are some great options now for sugar-free and raw chocolates – Loving Earth and Pana are my picks, but your local supermarket health food section or specialty health food store will have other options.
This isn’t really a weekday breakfast as it takes a good 45 minutes to cook, but you can absolutely whip up a batch on the weekend and zap any leftovers in the microwave for a quick weekday brekkie. Or as a morning tea if you’re my husband – despite my bewildered cries of “but it’s a breakfast dish….” - and I have it on his authority that it’s just as delicious cold, which is good enough for me.
But for a proper healthy breakfast indulgence eat it straight from the oven; chocolate chips still melting, coconut freshly toasted and the oat mix delightfully moist and slightly reminiscent of your favourite banana cake, served with a big dollop of yoghurt. It’s definitely a breakfast worth waiting all week for.
Apricot, Coconut and Dark Chocolate Baked Oats
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup milk*
1 cup oats
1 tsp each baking powder and cinnamon
2 tbsp chia seed
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
¼ cup shredded coconut
½ cup apricot halves, finely chopped
Handful of dark chocolate chips
1) Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2) Add milk and eggs to the mashed banana and mix thoroughly.
3) Add oats, baking powder, cinnamon, chia, protein powder (if using) and coconut to the banana mixture and stir to combine.
4) Fold through apricot pieces and pour into a greased ovenproof dish.
5) Scatter chocolate chips on top and bake for 40-45 mins, or until just cooked through.
6) Serve immediately, with yoghurt if desired.
* Use almond, coconut or regular dairy milk - whatever you prefer.
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