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Baked Oatmeal - My Go-To Breakfast

Recently a friend told me she doesn’t like oatmeal. She’s tried multiple times, different recipes, but just can’t get over the texture. I sent her my favorite baked oatmeal recipe to try, and she loved it! I don’t mind regular stovetop oatmeal, but I definitely prefer the denser, chewier bite of a baked oatmeal. I found a recipe that I liked on someone else’s blog and have used it as a starting point for my own variations, swapping in flax seed for the egg because I am allergic to eggs. The flax also increases the fiber content of the oatmeal and adding fiber to my diet is something I’m actively trying to do these days.

 


grey bowl with oatmeal, fresh blueberries, and chopped almonds

I love oatmeal for breakfast because I don’t have a big appetite in the mornings. In fact, most days I skip breakfast in lieu of coffee with MCT oil and collagen protein. Sometimes, especially on cold winter days or when we’ve spent the previous day outdoors doing farm chores, I wake up ravenous! We sorted calves yesterday, which means a few hours out in the damp and cold; walking over frozen, uneven ground, running and walking back and forth across the paddocks to and open and close gates and coax little calves into the weaning pen. According to my Apple Watch, I more than met my activity goals yesterday. I may have met my goals for the entire week.


Oatmeal is a great choice in the morning because it is full of fiber (good for your gut), and easy to digest. Plus, it is easy to make, and you can put all sorts of things into it. I’ve even made a carrot cake flavored oatmeal. From an Ayurvedic perspective, oats are good for balancing the dry, erratic energies of winter, and for vata constitutions. You can adapt oatmeal to be more suitable for kapha and pitta by using add-ins and spices that balance those constitutions.

 

When you think of oatmeal, you might think of a bowl of off-white, runny, mush – healthy, but not very appealing. Baking gives it a firmer texture, more like a cake, and adding fruit, nuts, and spices gives you endless flavor combinations. Following are a few of my favorites, including my recipe for Carrot Cake Oatmeal.


Basic Baked Oatmeal Recipe:

Ingredients:

·      2 cups rolled oats (sometimes called old-fashioned oats)

·      1 tsp baking powder

·      ¼ tsp salt

·      1 ¾ cups milk or milk substitute

·      2 eggs or flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water per egg)

·      2 tbsp Oil, ghee, or butter (1 tbsp to coat the pan + 1 tbsp melted and added to liquid ingredients)

 

To customize this recipe, add any combination of the following:

·      1 tbsp spices

·      1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

·      1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

·      2 cups fruit

·      ½ - 2/3 cups chopped nuts and/or dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)

 

Instructions:

·      Preheat oven to 375

·      Coat 9 x 9 inch baking pan with 1 tbsp coconut oil, ghee, or butter

·      Mix wet ingredients (eggs; extract; milk; 1 tbsp oil, ghee, or butter) together in medium sized mixing bowl

(Include maple syrup but if using honey, save to drizzle on top after baking. Honey retains its nutrients and healing properties best if it is not heated.)

·      Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl (oats, baking powder, salt, spices)

·      Spread fruit in the bottom of the pan.

·      Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour evenly over the fruit.

·      Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes

·      Remove from oven. Top with nuts, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, or whatever else you like



clear glass baking dish on cutting board countertop with apple and cranberry baked oatmeal
Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cranberry

*follow basic recipe using:

·      1 quart canned apples, 1 pint applesauce, or 2 cups apples -peeled and diced

o   Note: if you are using canning apples either drain the liquid or add an additional 1 cup oats. I like to use the liquid as it adds more apple flavor and makes a bigger batch.

·      ½ cup dried cranberries

·      1 tbsp cinnamon

·      1 tsp nutmeg

·      1 tsp vanilla extract

·      Maple syrup


Blueberry Pear

*follow basic recipe using:

·      1 cup blueberries + 1 cup pears, peeled and diced

·      ½ tbsp cinnamon

·      1 tsp ginger

·      1 tsp nutmeg

·      1 tsp vanilla extract

·      honey (Per Ayurvedic recommendations, always add honey after baking. I drizzle some over the top when serving) 

 

Spiced Pear

*follow basic recipe using:

·      2 cups pears, peeled and diced

·      Pinch clove

·      1 tsp ginger

·      1 tsp nutmeg

·      1 tsp cardamon

·      1 tsp vanilla extract

·      honey  (Per Ayurvedic recommendations, always add honey after baking. I drizzle some over the top when serving)


Carrot Cake

*follow basic recipe using:

·      1 cup apples + 1 cup carrot, shredded

·      ½ tbsp cinnamon

·      1 tsp ginger

·      1 tsp nutmeg

·      1 tsp vanilla extract

·      Honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar – I like brown sugar in this one

·      ½ cup raisins

 

All of these recipes are easy to customize.

 

Vegan? Use flax eggs and a milk substitute. I like unflavored coconut milk but oat, almond, soy, flax, etc. all work just fine.

 

Need more protein? Use real eggs and/or add a few scoops of your favorite protein powder.

 

To reheat, put in a smaller baking dish and heat for 15-20 minutes at 350 or heat 1 tbsp coconut oil, butter, or ghee in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Heat on each side until golden and warmed through.

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