I try to buy local, in-season produce when I can, but last-minute plans and little energy after a long day of work and a post-work yoga class can easily sabotage my efforts to use fresh produce in the proper amount of time. While exaggerated, that meme of the avocado that's ripe at 6:00pm and rotten at 6:02pm explains my frustration of buying and using fresh produce, especially fruit!
Life hack? Stock up on frozen staples for future meal-prep ease! Buy frozen fruits like berries, and veggies like peas and broccoli florets. I love adding frozen berries to smoothies and frozen peas to any stew-like dish I make. Frozen produce helps make meal prep easier because you're not running to the grocery store for those select, fresh items. You'll save a little money too, as frozen produce can be purchased at any time during the year, and fresh, out-of-season produce is often quite expensive.
By no means am I suggesting you replace all fresh fruits and vegetables with their frozen counterpart. Fresh produce, when locally grown and in-season, contains important vitamins & minerals to support health. However, if you're in the middle of a long winter, grabbing frozen produce can help save money and still add some of those vital nutrients into your diet, like vitamin C to ward off that pesky cold.
Here's what you need to make my Mixed Berry Baked Oatmeal (makes 4-6 large breakfast servings)
- 1 ripe medium banana
- 2 cups frozen, mixed berries, split into 1 cup portions
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with ghee (you can also spray non-stick cooking oil) and set aside.
In a blender or food processor, puree banana, 1 cup frozen berries, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Add in all dry ingredients—oats, coconut flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, salt—and mix until thoroughly combined. Finally, add in remaining 1 cup of frozen berries and mix until they're evenly distributed throughout mixture.
Pour mixture into baking dish, making sure mixture is level. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until edges are slightly browned and middle is no longer soft—you can lightly touch top of oatmeal to determine if it's still "gooey" inside.
Serve immediately for a sweet snack, topped with coconut yogurt or a scoop of almond butter, or store in air-tight containers for your weekly breakfast meal prep. Oatmeal will last 3-5 days in the fridge.