Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Delicious breakfast

I’ve never really been an oatmeal-lover. In fact, it was only about two years ago that I had a bowl of oatmeal for the first time in recent memory. It was from Starbucks and was delicious topped with dried fruit, nuts and brown sugar.

But I can’t buy oatmeal every morning, and I don’t like the instant kind, particularly.

Instead, I decided to try baked oatmeal. I’ve seen any number of recipes in the last year for baked oatmeal, but I didn’t really understand the concept. Was it a quick bread? A version of oatmeal in a bowl?

Turns out, it’s more the latter.

I read a bunch of recipes and sort of put together a few of them to come up with the recipe I’ve made twice now, both with great success. My husband loves it, too, which surprised me. He loves grits and hadn’t been eager to try oatmeal.

You can add in your favorite fruits and nuts, but I chose an unpeeled apple cut into small chunks and pecans. I also added some cinnamon. I’d love to try it with blueberries and peaches sometime or maybe even banana and blueberries. Dried fruit would be delicious as well. If you like maple syrup (I don’t), you could use that as a sweetener instead of the brown sugar.

I let my oatmeal bake until it was a little brown on top.

Both times, I had a little bowl when it was hot from the oven, and it was so good. But I think the beauty of baked oatmeal is in the leftovers. Just add some milk into a bowl of the oatmeal and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Stir it up and you have this wonderful, creamy oatmeal with chunks of fruit and nuts mixed in. Reggie eats his cold.

The thing I love about eating this for breakfast (in addition to the good-for-you aspect) is that a bowlful really fills me up, and I’m not hungry as quickly as I am with my routine breakfast offerings.

Baked Oatmeal with Apples and Pecans
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 apple, unpeeled, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 8-inch (or similar size) baking dish.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with spoon to combine. Pour into baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.

When warming leftovers, place oatmeal in a bowl with a little milk and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Stir.

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