Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Oatmeal Bake with Chai-Spiced Date Caramel

My weekday breakfasts usually consist of some combination of fresh fruit, eggs, and yogurt. On the weekends I like to make something a bit more decadent like omelets, frittatas, or oatmeal bakes, like this one and also this. This banana upside down one is spectacular. It is lovely all by itself, but I highly encourage you to make the chai-spiced date caramel which adds a nice warmth and irresistible sweetness to the deal (I could smear this stuff on just about anything, and am looking forward to different recipes I can use it with.) This recipe takes a bit of time between the preparing, sitting, baking, and cooling, but it is worth it to wow your brunch guests with a heavenly breakfast. If there are any leftovers, you’re lucky enough to have an easily re-heatable and delicious weekday breakfast that will start off your day with a sweet, warm glow.

from: Blissful Basil

serves: 8

caramelized upside-down bananas

1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick coins

oatmeal bake

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mashed ripe banana (about 2 small bananas)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup raw walnut halves, chopped
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Chai-Spiced Date Caramel (Optional, but highly recommended!)

1/2 cup boiling water
1 chai tea bag
2/3 cup pitted and packed Medjool dates (about 8 dates)
2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking tray with foil. Lightly grease a round 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil, and place it on top of the baking sheet. (This is simply to catch any sugary liquid that bubbles out during baking.)

For the caramelized upside-down bananas

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar and melted coconut oil, and spread it evenly into the greased springform pan.

Arrange the sliced bananas on top of the coconut sugar mixture, forming a circular pattern. This layer will eventually be the top of the oat bake, so take your time with this step.

For the oatmeal bake

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond milk, mashed banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the rolled oats, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.

Add the wet mixture to the dry and use a spatula to stir until just combined. Set the oat batter aside for 5-10 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Slowly spoon the oat batter into the springform pan, ensuring that the sliced bananas stay put. Use the back of the spoon to gently smooth out the batter.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the surface is a light golden brown, the edges are slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan, and the top springs back when gently pressed. It won’t look 100 percent set, but the oats will continue to set as they cool.

Let cool for 20 minutes.

Once the pan is cool enough to handle, release and remove the sides of the springform pan. Place a serving platter face-side-down on top of the oat bake. Get a firm grip on the bottom of the pan, and carefully flip the oat bake onto the platter in one motion. Run a knife or metal spatula between the base of the pan and the bananas to release.

For the chai-spiced date caramel (optional)

Combine the boiling water and tea bag in a heat-safe pitcher-style measuring cup. Steep for 5 minutes, discard the tea bag, and cool the tea in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Add the cooled tea to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Process until you have a smooth sauce, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. If your sauce is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin. Alternatively, if your sauce is too thin, add more pitted dates, one at a time, to thicken. This is a spoonable caramel sauce rather than on that drizzles, so keep that in mind as you make adjustments.

To serve

Slice the oat bake into as many pieces as desired. Spoon a bit of the chai-spiced caramel (if using) onto a plate and nestle a slice of the oat bake on top.

Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days.



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