There are a few things I hold in high esteem. I’m not going to go through the list, but one of them is oats. Yes, I said oats. And I mean rolled oats. I can’t imagine life without. We are big grain people. Toast, granola, and oatmeal are the breakfast options for most days. Yes, I am very fond of a french omelet with a smear of avocado and a dollop of sour cream, but on most days (remember I’m the one with the toddler and infant) the grains are our morning friends.
I love to make granola. It’s so versatile–on the yogurt, on the ice cream, out of the jar–so delicious, and can be so nutritious. But we’ll talk granola another day.
I was trying to resist the urge to bake. I get this strong desire almost every day. If I go a day without baking, I absolutely need to do so the next. Well, this day I had scads of dishes and I knew the baby would wake up at any moment. But I couldn’t resist. I made baked oatmeal. I rationalized it by telling myself that it’s not cookies or cake (I’ve been doing a lot of that sort of baking) and we’ll have it for quick breakfasts the next couple of days.
I used the recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook (excellent resource!) blog as my base, but did my own thing with it. I encourage you to do the same. Use the base (oats, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs) and then have fun. You can go sweet or savory. I’ll put some options below.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grab an 8×8 baking dish and coat it with some cooking spray. Then mix the following:
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 apple, grated
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used a combination of sweetened and unsweetened)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/8 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup fruit (raisins, blueberries, chopped peaches, etc.)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Bake that for 30 minutes at 350 F.
This oat-bake was made using the above recipe. I went with granny smith for the grated apple and for the 1/2 cup of fruit, I mixed in blueberries (roll them around in some flour before adding to the batter). I also added 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves because it seemed to make sense at the time. And oh was it a good move. It turned out to be the perfect compliment to the blueberries and coconut. My eaters loved it. And by now, they’re practically professional.
This one is a peach oat-bake. I used fresh Jersey peaches, substituted the walnuts for slivered almonds (the cut of the nut is important), and added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the teaspoon that the recipe calls for. The bake was perfect. The peach slices stayed plump and juicy and the dish had a nice crisp edge and a soft, scrumptious center. It was all there.
Some other oat-bake ideas:
zucchini, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper
parmesan, rosemary, onion, salt, black pepper
sausage (yep!), green pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, garlic, oregano
raspberries, vanilla bean, almonds, almond extract, brown sugar
pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, pecans, vanilla
Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!