Today I’m sharing with you a recipe I came up with for my new obsession: baked oatmeal.
I have heard a lot about it, but had never had it before until this weekend. The day after Thanksgiving, Will and I headed out to a local place for brunch. After all that I had eaten the day before, I honestly wasn’t too hungry and really wasn’t in the mood for my typical brunch choice of juevos rancheros or something similarly heavy. The small cafe that we went to, CafeMantic in Willimantic, CT, was having a special “Black Friday Brunch”, with lots of delicious options to choose from. As soon as I looked at the menu, the baked oatmeal option caught my eye, and then I couldn’t get my mind off of it. It seemed like the perfect warm breakfast on a cold morning, without being too much after the previous day’s feast.
The baked oatmeal from CafeMantic. My inspiration!
And boy was I right! It was absolutely delicious with flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar, and walnuts to add a little heartiness. Whenever I had heard of baked oatmeal in the past, I always just assumed that people ate it by itself, but this was served in warm steamed milk, which was absolutely delicious. I knew I must make this, and did as soon as we got back to Boston later in the weekend.
I searched the internet and read through several different recipes to start thinking about ratios of ingredients. Through my internet search, I saw that traditional baked oatmeal is made with a mix of milk and butter, but I knew that I wanted to use almond milk for mine, since we don’t often have cow’s milk in the house. I also wanted to make mine a bit less sweet than the restaurant version; it was a wonderful treat at the time, but I didn’t want to have something as sweet as theirs every day. I traditionally make my own oatmeal with just banana cooked in, no extra sugar, so I wanted this to be a similar level of sweetness.
2 C Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C almond slivers
1/4 C walnut pieces
1/4 C raisins
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (+ extra for serving)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 C Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 large egg
2 Tbs unsalted butter (melted)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large apple, chopped into small cubes (I used Gala, Honeycrisp would also be great here)
Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 baking dish OR a deep dish pie plate.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together almond milk, vanilla, and egg. Add in melted butter at the end, mixing constantly until fully incorporated.
Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add in chopped nuts and dried fruit and mix until incorporated. Fold in apple pieces, and spread mixture into baking dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the oats feel “set”. The final consistency of the middle will be similar to a bread pudding. Keep watch after 35 minutes to make sure that the top doesn’t get too crispy (unless that’s what you’re going for)!
Cool on a wire rack to desirable temperature.
Serve warm in a bowl with warm almond milk, sprinkled with a little bit of additional cinnamon on top.
This is also delicious straight out of the refrigerator, so it’s perfect for a quick breakfast during the week that can be made ahead of time. A serving heats up in about 30 seconds in the microwave, and one batch will make about 6-8 servings — perfect for Sunday meal prep for all of you folks who are too busy to make breakfast each morning.
As I’ve mentioned before, we make our own almond milk, which I prefer over most store-bought varieties. For instructions on this, please read here. Also note that making your own almond milk is extremely easy, and I definitely recommend trying it at least once if you’re an almond milk fan!
Simply use certified gluten free oats to make this gluten free, and you could probably substitute coconut oil for the butter if you wanted to make it dairy free.