Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Baked Oatmeal




Warm and satisfying baked oatmeal.


Oatmeal is one of those comfort foods that has always eluded me. Those who love oatmeal sing its praises about how it's so filling and cozy on a cold winter's morning. Every time I'd tried oatmeal, though, it just didn't taste, well, good. It was pasty and bland. "Add some brown sugar!" people would encourage me. That did something for the taste, but the texture was still off-putting: either drippy pasty or stiff and gummy. Not at all tasty.

The crockpot recipe I have here on the blog is pretty good, but still not worth singing about.

Then a month or so ago, at a women's group for church, my friend Becky made some baked oatmeal. I'd already had breakfast before leaving my house (I very rarely skip breakfast in the morning, even if there is the possibility of breakfast at my destination), but I thought I'd give this oatmeal a try, since I'd never tried oatmeal baked. And oh my goodness. THIS oatmeal I like. It's not pasty at all--just moist enough to make the oats al dente tender. It is sweet--like an oatmeal cookie. And it's warm and delicious. Mmm. A winning oatmeal indeed.

So now that we're in the depths of winter, I'm blogging about this new discovery. Whether you're an experienced fan of oatmeal, or you're like me, never really getting what the big deal is about oatmeal, give this recipe a try. I think you might just like it.


Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (or 1 1/2 c. steel cut oats)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (buttermilk is good, too)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9x9 inch pan and set aside.
  • Mix together sugar, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Add oatmeal, flax meal, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly and then stir in milk.
  • Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. (Note: I baked my half recipe for 30 minutes and it was perfect. When I baked a full recipe, the center still moved like a water bed when I tried to remove it from the oven after 30 minutes, so I left it in there for 6 more minutes. Another time I accidentally over baked it by I don't know how long, but I liked how it got all brown and crusty on top.) Remove from the oven.
  • Serve with milk, nuts, fruit, or whatever sounds good with oatmeal.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated and warmed up in the microwave easily. I also wrap single serving portions in foil and freeze. When I want to use it, I open the top of the foil and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Sometimes I'll microwave it a little at the end to get it hot.
Makes 8 servings (I halved the recipe today)
















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