Baked Oats

Now that Halloween is over and there’s no more candy to tempt me, it’s time to start eating better. I’ve recently decided to make an effort to eat less processed food. (Do homemade twix bars count?) I pretty much have the healthy dinner thing down, so most of the processed food I eat was coming during the day because it was simpler to grab of bowl of sugary cereal or a handful of overly salty crackers from box rather than take the time to make real food.

But I had certain criteria when looking for things to eat during the day:

  1. Easy to make (either the day of or ahead of time)
  2. Eaten at room temperature or easy to reheat
  3. Easy to snack on (e.g. can be eaten at my computer without being too messy)

Common denominator? EASY. I put a lot of effort into making a good dinner so I don’t want to have to worry about the rest of the day. This recipe, I’m happy to say, fits all three criteria. It only takes 10 minutes to whip up (and in a single bowl at that) and 25 minutes to bake. It’s easy to divide up and can be eaten multiple ways (more on that below). Plus, it has a really soft texture and sweetness that is somewhere between cake and a granola bar so it tastes like a treat, not like health food.

Baked Oats

My aunt gave me the recipe years ago because it was my favorite thing to eat for breakfast when I stayed at her house. I changed it slightly by reducing some of the sugar and replacing it with honey (natural and good for you) but that didn’t affect the taste at all. I may try replacing all the sugar with honey next time.

What’s also great about this recipe is that just like oatmeal, it’s an extremely versatile base that you can eat almost any way you want, with whatever you want added to it. You can eat it warm or at room temperature. You can eat it dry or with milk. You can top it with anything you like: fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds, granola, coconut, chocolate chips. My favorite combo is to top it with granola, (I’ve been making large batches of this yummy pumpkin granola lately) dried cranberries and almonds. I love the contrast of the soft baked oats with the crunchy granola and chewy dried fruit.

I also realized it would be great if instead of adding the fruit afterward, you cooked some of the fruit right along with it. It’s sort of like a healthier version of fruit cobbler. So far I’ve tried it with apples, pears (pictured), and peaches and it’s been wonderful every time. I think it would also be great with any kind of berries or a mixture of different fruits. And it’s fun to play with the spices in the recipe. For instance, ginger and pears go great together or nutmeg and cinnamon are good with peaches or apples.

Fruity Baked Oats

Basically the sky is the limit with this recipe because you can completely customize it just for your own tastes. It also means that you’ll never get bored with it since you can add different toppings every time. I make a pan of this at the beginning of the week and eat it for breakfast every morning. It’s a great way to start the day!

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Site Note: I finally relented and made a page for Back to the Cutting Board on Facebook. I’d love it if you’d go over and “like” it! Thanks! :)

Baked Oats

Baked Oats

from Back to the Cutting Board

Breakfast | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 40 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon or 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tbsp. any other spice (ginger, nutmeg, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup milk (doesn’t matter what kind, I use nonfat or 1%)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten, or egg substitute

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 in. square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Make a well in center and add in milk, melted butter, honey and egg. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges start to darken and the top is golden brown. Let cool in pan for a few minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Possible toppings: brown sugar, granola, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds. Also great with milk or cream.

 

Fruity Baked Oats

Fruity Baked Oats

adapted from

Breakfast | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 45 min

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups* fresh fruit or berries, peeled (optional) and very thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon or 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tbsp. any other spice (ginger, nutmeg, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted, divided
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

* Use enough fruit to cover the bottom of the pan. 1 large apple/pear/peach is usually fine for me.

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 in. square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of the melted butter into the bottom of the pan. Place all the fruit into the pan in a single layer. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Make a well in center and add in milk, melted butter, honey and egg. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Pour into the pan over the fruit and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges start to darken and the top is golden brown. Let cool in pan for a few minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Possible toppings: brown sugar, granola, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds. Also great with milk or cream.