Jul 28, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

Do you wake up starving in the morning like I do? Here's a hearty and scrumptious way to start the day. This is basically MY favorite way of making this. There are several versions "out there," but this specific method is what truly works for me. (I'd give credit where it is due, but I can't for the life of me remember where I got this exact recipe.) This particular recipe serves 10-12, but it can easily be halved. Though I don't know why anyone would want only HALF of this oatmeal goodness, especially since it stores well in the fridge and can be reheated.

The night before you plan to have "Baked Oatmeal" for breakfast, mix 6 cups rolled oats with 2 cups buttermilk. Cover loosely with a dish towel and soak overnight.

The next morning, the first thing I do is crack 4 eggs into a bowl and set aside. This gives the eggs a chance to come to room temperature (or close).

Now preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then, using a wooden spoon, break apart the soaked oats a bit. They will be pretty clumpy and hard to stir. You just want to break them up enough that when you add your dry ingredients, they will be evenly distributed.

Now add 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the oats and mix well.

Melt 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of coconut oil. (If you don't have coconut oil, use 2 sticks of butter. But know this: virgin coconut oil is SO good for you!! You can get some here.)  I melt them separately, but you CAN melt them together. You'll just need to start the butter to melting first, because coconut oil melts FAST, and you don't want it to get too hot. Then set them aside to cool a bit.

Next, take two of these beauties. (Pears are good, too, or any other fruit you'd like. I have a friend who even makes it with chocolate chips from time to time!)

Then peel and chop or grate them. (I grate mine so I don't have to worry about babies choking on large clumps, but I also think the oatmeal is moister and more apple-y throughout, which is just yummier!) Add the fruit and all its juice to the oat mixture.

Now butter a 9 x 13-inch pan or, as in my case, a casserole that holds a comparable amount. (You can also smear coconut oil in the pan. Both ways work fine. If  I'm using a metal pan, I like to line it with parchment paper first and then butter THAT so the metal doesn't touch the food.)

Lightly beat eggs with a whisk. Then beat in 3/4 c. honey (or Sucanat). I personally like the rich taste the honey gives it, but it can get expensive using that much raw honey at once. In fact, I tend to hoard our honey, so sometimes I use half honey and half Sucanat. But recently I got all crazy and tried 3/4 c. Sucanat with no honey, and it was a success! (Whew!) Still totally delicious. 

Now, to the eggs and sweetener, slowly add the melted butter...

and oil, while whisking quickly.

Now you can add the liquid ingredients to the oat mixture.

Looking good...

Spread the mixture into your buttered pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees.

Once baked and dished into individual bowls, I like to sprinkle with raisins (for those who can eat raisins) and then pour a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream on top. (The raisins can also be baked into it. I prefer to leave them out of the baking process, so I don't have to pick them out later.) Stir and eat!  

Of course, this little guy eats his like THIS--. No raisins and no cream usually ('cause he's already drinking lots of rich, whole raw milk).

I've found I can really save time in the morning if I'll go ahead and do some of the steps the night before, like wash and dry the apples (I could probably go ahead and grate them and stick 'em in the fridge, too), measure out the honey (or other sweetener), set out the dry ingredients and measuring spoons (or even go ahead and measure them out), etc.

There are even more recipes for similar dishes on sites like Allrecipes.com, but THIS recipe is truly healthy, as it includes the all-important grain-soaking step. Soaking grains like oats before cooking makes them as healthy as they are supposed to be. (You might have read that I try to do this in some of my other recipes.) Why soak?? Well, whole grains like oats (or whole wheat flour, brown rice, etc.) contain SO many good things for you--things that we genuinely NEED! But they also contain enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid that make it difficult for YOU to digest them properly and make it next to impossible for you to absorb the actual minerals/nutrients they contain. So, it's sort of pointless to bother with oats unless you're going to soak them. Aren't you glad to know that?

Okay! So. I hope you enjoy breakfast tomorrow...You will if you try Baked Oatmeal. It's like having dessert for breakfast!!

This post is linked with Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family and Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday.

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  1. This looks great - love the step-wise instructions with soaking! Is this any good leftover cold or room-temperature? Just wondering.

    Thanks for the post!

    pandora665 at yahoo dot com

  2. Good question. I think it's BEST nice and hot from the oven. That said, I often set my kiddos up with their bowls, and then while they eat (while they're occupied), I get a few things done. So by the time I get around to eat my own breakfast, it's EASILY room temperature, and I enjoy it just fine. I've honestly never tried it COLD. I'm guessing it could be good. You'll just have to give it a shot! ;)

  3. My family eats it both cold and hot. We eat it hot out of the oven but cold from the fridge the rest of the days. I suppose in the winter you could leave it on the counter (instead of refrigerating it). My kitchen is HOT in summer and COLD in winter. If I have room in my fridge in winter, I refrigerate it.

  4. Okay, finally made this today! I accidentally let the butter just barely brown during the melting process - my daughter said it tasted like "caramel oatmeal"! :) I did add a teaspoon of vanilla, b/c I always add a tsp of vanilla to anything baked almost!


    pandora665 at yahoo dot com

  5. Too much carbohydrate content for me (and there's nothing in oats that I need that I can't get from other, more nutritious foods), but my daughter will LOVE this recipe for her mornings, to go with her sausage!

    One note, if you're using farm-fresh eggs...you can eliminate that whole bringing-them-to-room temperature step altogether by just not refrigerating your eggs. As long as they have NOT been washed, they keep just fine at room temperature. Ours come straight from our hens to a basket on the kitchen counter, and never see the inside of a refrigerator. They actually stay fresh longer than refrigerated eggs, not that we let them sit around long.

  6. Belinda, yes, I do use farm-fresh eggs. However, I do not raise them MYSELF. And because--so far--I have not been privy to exactly what is done to the eggs from the time the hens have laid them, I prefer to refrigerate...just in case the bloom is no longer intact. An egg that has had its bloom removed absolutely DOES need to be refrigerated. http://www.suburbanchicken.org/eggs.htm
    Otherwise, you are right. Leave 'em out! One thing I'm looking forward to when we get our homestead!!



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