Happy weekend brunch! I know a lot of people got to enjoy an extra day off this weekend due to family day, presidents day or some other random ‘day”, so I hope you were all able to indulge in your own brunch. I spent my Sunday in the best way I can think of, snuggling pigs, donkey’s, llamas, goats and chickens…ok, the chickens weren’t quite as easy to snuggle but they were just as fun to play with. I even had a very curious turkey who seemed to take a liking to me and my camera, so much so that she wouldn’t let me get a picture of her as she was determined to be as close as possible to me at all times.
Me and my friend Tanya are in the beginning stages of planning a few charity bake sales as part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, so it only seemed right that we should take a trip out to R.A.S.T.A. and visit with the owner Lucie and the furry/feathered residents there. I’ll share the photos and talk about the sanctuary in another post, as I have lots of pictures to share! And I went a little overboard with photos of the donkey’s (Tango & Romeo) but they’re just so cute I couldn’t help myself!…..ok, I can’t leave you without one photo….
All that animal love requires some tasty fuel and for some reason I’ve been craving tropical flavors like mad lately (I think it’s my body’s way of telling me I need a vacation). I haven’t made baked oatmeal in like, 2 years? Which is ridic because it’s stupid easy to make and even more awesome then regular oatmeal. To make me feel like I’m somewhere on a tropical island and NOT in the middle of the cold and overcast Canadian prairies, I toasted some coconut, adding some mango (hot damn do I miss fresh mango!), threw in some dried pineapple chunks and some of those ever so special-to-me Hawaiian macadamia nuts.
Oh, and rum. I didn’t want to get smashed during breakfast, so I just added a little bit for some of that tasty boozy flavor. The best part (or what was supposed to be the best part) was the caramelized bananas spread out in all their glory on top of the oatmeal. Sprinkled with some brown sugar, they’re baked under the broiler for just a few minutes to make them all bubbly, sweet and tasty. Once again, I managed to turn the broiler on and walk away from the oven without setting the timer…I put way too faith into the ability of my own memory…so mine got a little toastier then they were supposed to…so toasty that I scared the crap out of Apollo by setting off the smoke detector…..sigh….nope, never gonna learn.
Tropical Baked Oatmeal
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut, toasted
- 1/3 cup dried pineapple, chopped
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or agave syrup, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1/3 cup mashed banana
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond or light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mango, cut into chunks
- 2 bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the top third of the oven. Oil an 8-inch square baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, pineapple, macadamia nuts, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the sugar or agave, rum, mashed banana, coconut oil, vanilla, milk and pineapple juice. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and fold in the mango. Pour into baking dish and spread out evenly.
Arrange the bananas in a single layer over the top and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, for the last few minutes set the oven to broil and bake until the top is bubbling and the oat mixture has set, make sure you watch closely as it can burn quickly. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.
Serve with additional brown sugar, agave syrup or some coconut yogurt for that extra tropical touch.