Baked Oatmeal… Got it Right this Time
If I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, it would be oatmeal and raisins. The combination of the nutty, nutritious and satisfying oats, with the sweet chewy raisins is just perfect to me.
I love these two ingredients on their own, as well as in sweet and savory baking and cooking.
Recently, I came across a recipe for a dish that I had never heard of, but that made me squeal with delight as I read the screen: Baked Oatmeal. All I could imagine was YUMMMMM!
The list of ingredients read “This is the meal for you”, the pictures made my mouth water, and the instructions seemed reasonable, even for a kitchen dabbler like me.
Of course, like most recipes these days, I had to come up with a substitute for the nuts in the ingredients list, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I began by gathering the ingredients and following the directions. I made some substitutions along the way, but I was confident that it was going to turn out great.
After 45 minutes of baking, I pulled the dish out of the oven. It did not look like the picture that accompanied the recipe. It had a smushy uneven layer of baked egg on the top. It tasted good to me, but Derek turned up his nose, and I knew there was no way I could sell it to my picky little eaters
But the possibility of the divine creation that might be, motivated me to persevere. So I did.
Fast forward two weeks and a request came for me to bring something to my mom’s for our family mother’s day brunch. It would be an ideal opportunity to test attempt number two of Baked Oatmeal.
I made some modifications to the recipe and began preparing.
And then I got adventurous. I decided that in addition to the Baked Oatmeal, I would attempt yogurt cheese for the first time, and blend it with cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup to make a topping.
I am pleased to report it was a hit with everyone (except my children who selected pancakes and scrambled eggs from the smorgasbord). My 16-year-old cousin took three pieces home with her and had two helpings. She is a VERY picky eater.
One more note and then I will give away my secrets: I just had a cold piece for breakfast at my desk and it tasted great!
Ingredients for Baked Oatmeal
- 1 pound steel-cut oats
- 3/4 sees (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, hemp, sesame)
- 2 tablespoons yogurt, kefir, whey or buttermilk for soaking
- dash sea salt
- 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup raisins (or any other dried fruit you like)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup coconut oil, plus extra for greasing baking dish (could use canola oil or butter)
Method for Preparing Baked Oatmeal
- Pour the steel-cut oats and nuts into a ceramic container or mixing bowl.
- Add enough filtered water to completely submerge your oats and seeds. Add a dash of salt and a two tablespoons of fresh yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk.
- Allow the oats and nuts to soak, covered, overnight in a warm place in your kitchen – about eight to twelve hours.
- After the mixture of oats and nuts has soaked overnight, dump them into a colander to drain and place the mixture back into the ceramic container or mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking pan with coconut oil or another wholesome fat of your choosing.
- Meanwhile beat together eggs and milk, until well-combined and frothy.
- Pour the mixture of eggs and milk over the soaked oats and seeds, stirring well to combine into a porridge-like mixture.
- Gently fold dried fruit, cinnamon and coconut oil into the porridge-like mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and smooth it out with a rubber spatula to ensure even baking and a good appearance.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for forty to forty-five minutes or until the oatmeal achieves a pleasing golden-brown color on top, a knife inserted into its center comes out clean and free from liquid and the fragrance of baked oats, dried fruit and cinnamon perfumes your kitchen.
- If you can bear the wait, allow the baked oatmeal to cool for five to ten minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
- Top with yogurt, maple syrup or other topping of your choosing.
YIELD: 12 to 16 servings
TIME: 10 minutes (preparation), 8 to 12 hours (soaking), 40 to 45 minutes (baking)
YOGURT CHEESE CINNAMON MAPLE TOPPING
MAKING YOGURT CHEESE
1. Place a fine mesh strainer in a bowl.
2. Line the strainer with a clean tea towel.
3. Please 1.5 cups of plain yogurt (fat content of your choosing; I use 1%) on the tea towel.
4. Let drain over night in the fridge.
5. Resulting yogurt cheese should have a fluffy cream cheese-like consistency.
1. Blend yogurt cheese with 2 tbsp of maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon until smooth. This will thin out the yogurt cheese so it becomes a bit frothy and runny.
2. Refrigerate until time to serve.
Your result should look something like this (note the fruit in this photo; clearly not mine).