This is one of my favorite breakfasts so it’s about time I shared it with all of you! When served warm, there’s a beautiful burst of blueberry juice in each bite. I mean, take a look at these gorgeous blueberries after the bake! They’re absolutely exploding with flavor!
A lot of people know that blueberries have antioxidant properties. Oxygen is a very reactive element, so when cells in your body are exposed to oxidative stress, they acquire an extra charge to produce reactive oxygen species. The most common of these are hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and the hydroxyl radical. Now these reactive oxygen species are just that: reactive! They won’t just hang out in the cell. They’ll react with other components of the cell get rid of that extra charge.
So if they lose their charge and became neutral species again, what’s the problem? Well the problem is what they react with in order to lose that charge. Most problematically, they can react with DNA. Once this happens, the DNA becomes prone to mutation.
Life has evolved many antioxidant systems to protect itself from these reactive oxygen species. There are a number of enzymes and compounds that can reduce these species. And if they fail to reduce the species before they react with DNA, there are also a number of mechanisms in place to prevent mutations. So in view of all these checkpoints, how much of an impact do the antioxidants we consume actually have? The research regarding real health benefits by consuming antioxidants is fairly inconclusive. That’s a discussion we’ll save for another time.
The recipe below is from Gina over at Skinnytaste, so check out her website for more great recipes!
- 2 medium-sized bananas, cut into half-inch slices
- 1.5 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
- Lay banana slices in a single layer over the bottom of your baking dish.
- Sprinkle half the blueberries over the banana slices. Sprinkle cinnamon over the fruit. Drizzle 1 tbsp of honey over the fruit.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Make a few slits in the foil to let out the steam. Bake for about 15 minutes until the bananas become soft and the blueberries start to leak a little bit of juice.
- While they bake, combine the oats, walnuts, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Pull the initial bake out of the oven and layer the oats mixture over the fruit. Pour the milk mixture over the oats.
- Sprinkle walnuts and blueberries over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!