I’ve had baked oatmeal on my “to try” list ever since I saw a tweet about it last fall. Baked oatmeal? I’d never heard of such a thing. Usually food novelties pique my interest to the point of obsession, and this was no exception. After quickly Googling the term—and pausing to drool over some pretty gorgeous photos—I realized that this was something I’d simply have to make.
I usually have regular oatmeal (with cinnamon, cranberries, and flaxseed, very similar to the recipe below, in fact) for breakfast three to four times a week, but it’s reserved for weekends or days when I’m working from home and have a little more time. I know, quick oats don’t take that long to prepare (about a minute thirty in my microwave), but I just can’t seem to even spare that amount of time when I’m dashing out the door at 6 am to go to the office. On those days, it’s a glass of kefir mixed with ground flaxseed chugged while standing at my kitchen sink.
Anyway, traditional oatmeal is good enough, but baked oatmeal—now that’s a recipe for a food nerd like me. Toasty on the top yet soft and cake-like in the middle, it takes my morning from mundane to decadent in no time flat. Which brings me to another advantage of baked oatmeal—a pan or tray of ramekins can be baked over the weekend, when you have more time, then kept refrigerated for up to a week, allowing you to reheat servings as you need them (just pop them in the microwave for a minute or so). It may still not fit into my workday morning routine, but it’s getting closer.
Adapted from Wonderful Joy Ahead
3 cups old-fashioned oats (use gluten free if needed)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
1 ¼ cup milk (dairy or nondairy), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8 ramekins or an 8×8 square glass baking dish. If using ramekins, place them on a baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, flaxseed, brown sugar, and dried fruit. In a smaller bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, butter or coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and stir together.
Spread mixture in the prepared baking dish or divide equally among prepared ramekins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve with additional milk over top.