Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time for Change - Baked Oatmeal

Enough with the cookies and candy and chocolate!  I woke up this morning actually craving something healthy for breakfast, and decided on one of my favorites, Baked Oatmeal.

Like most things food-related in my life, this one is again heavily influenced by a recipe I found on Allrecipes, Baked Oatmeal II

...of course, I do tend to tweak recipes!  And this recipe is so easily tweakable, you'll find you might want to do it, too!  My changes included the following:

  • Reduce brown sugar from 1 cup to 1/2 cup
  • Add 1 tbsp, honey along with the wet ingredients (maple syrup works well, too!)
  • Reduce butter from 1/2 cup to 2 tbsp...also, I have used canola oil in place of the butter (2 tbsp) and I'm pretty sure applesauce would work nicely if you're REALLY cutting fat..but let's not get carried away just yet!
  • Use egg substitute instead of eggs (My EggBeaters turned out to be a carton of half and half, so I'm using real eggs today)
  • And last but not least, double the dried fruit and use a variety.  Dried blueberries were made for this dish....but I'm out of those!

 Step One:  Unwrap the world's greatest Christmas gift ever, your shiny, new Wusthof knife, and chop up some dried fruit.  

I'm using dried cranberries, dried apricots and prunes.  Don't laugh - these are not your Grandpa's prunes.  Prunes are actually excellent in baked goods - they add moisture, sweetness and even a little richness without adding fat.  Pureed prunes are awesome in (are you ready for this?)...Chocolate Cake.  But let's not get sidetracked here...  

Throw all your dried ingredients into a bowl - oats (I've used quick or old fashioned, and I bet steel cut would be lovely, too), brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Whisk or stir them together.
Add the milk (I'm using nonfat), eggs/egg substitute, honey, melted butter and vanilla, and mix together until combined.
Stir in the dried fruit and pour into a baking dish - something along the lines of an 8"X 8", or 9"X 9" will be perfect.  

To help retain moisture, I like to cover with aluminum foil and bake (at 350 degrees) for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes.

This is what it looks like when done....

You can certainly dig in right away, but I like to let it sit for a while to help it set up.  I like to serve with some fresh fruit on the side.  The texture of the baked oatmeal will be a bit crumbly - it's not oatmeal, but it's not exactly cake either - it's something in between.  If you're more in the mood for oatmeal, crumble some up and pour a little milk over it.
Bonus tip:  This stuff freezes beautifully.  Let it chill in the refrigerator to really set up, then cut into squares, wrap each in plastic wrap and put the individually wrapped squares in a big Ziploc bag.  Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave and you've got a healthy breakfast or snack item.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

Mama Goose said...

Yum! I wish I'd seen this yesterday so I could have made it this morning.