I don't know why, but around this time of year, we all start to get a little sick of the same old weekday breakfast routine. All of a sudden the omelets and hot cereal we normally enjoy seem tiresome and less than palatable. Maybe it's because the days are cold and snowy and it's hard to imagine spring ever coming, or maybe it's because it seems like forever since there was a break from school and work or maybe...who knows? Anyway, if you're feeling like this and want something a little different but still easy and quick for those rushed mornings, try this baked oatmeal. It's chock full of healthy goodies, a little out of the ordinary and best of all, is made ahead of time and simply reheated or eaten cold. If you like oatmeal, you're going to love this!!
What's great about this recipe is that it's so versatile and flexible. You can use regular old-fashioned oats or the quick kind, skim milk, whole milk, almond milk (probably even coconut milk, though I've never used it before), cut the sugar down, toss in any kind of extras like raisins or other dried fruits and nuts. Plus the whole thing is mixed in one bowl and cooked in a pan. Literally it takes 5-6 minutes to put together and will yield you breakfast or snacks for many days!
You can eat this in a bowl topped with milk but it's more of a cake that you cut into squares and eat as is with a fork (or just your fingers if we're being totally honest) or with some jam or fruit or maple syrup on top. It's warm, hearty, moist, slightly sweet and totally comforting! A real wake-you-up morning treat--which is what us down-in-the breakfast-doldrums-types were going for all along!
Makes at least 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 7 minutes; Bake Time: 25-30 minutes
- 6 cups oatmeal, old-fashioned or quick-cooking
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups milk, any kind (I use skim-feel free to use any % of cow's milk or almond or soy milk)
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
- 1 cup chopped nuts ( I use walnuts, also optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13 pan with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve with milk, fruit, jam, maple syrup or as is.
3. Oatmeal lasts several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheats well in the oven or microwave or is good cold too.
Note: Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I cut the sugar down a bit, used unsweetened applesauce and added raisins and nuts. http://www.melskitchencafe.com/baked-oatmeal/