I hope this day after Christmas finds everyone well. For me, this cold and peaceful winter morning involved staying in bed late, drinking tea, and best of all, enjoying baked oatmeal.
I am a bona fide oatmeal lover. I never ever thought I would be such a goody-two-shoes that I would eat oatmeal every morning. But somehow this routine has a solid foothold now. I have rolled oats, steel-cut oats, quick-cooking steel-cut oats, quick oats and oat bran on hand at all times. When I travel for work, I have BetterOats packets on hand for snacking and mornings in the hotel. So when I came across baked oatmeal after hearing people rave about it, I had to try it. I had noticed a recipe in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday and went at it.
We have been trying our hand at baked oatmeal recipes over the last week and I can’t get enough of it. Next week I’m throwing a brunch for my lovely former roommate and her out-of-town guests the day after her wedding. Being that some guests are vegan, I tried my hand at making a vegan version of baked oatmeal, launching off from Heidi Swanson’s baked oatmeal recipe from Super Natural Every Day. Her version includes eggs, butter, and milk (and her version is delicious, I can attest) but with a few tweaks, everyone can enjoy the miracle of baked oatmeal. I replace the milk with non-dairy almond milk (you can use soy if you prefer but I prefer the lighter taste of almond milk), the butter is replaced with oil, and the egg is replaced with a half of a mashed banana. If you like oatmeal you will love this version, which is like a mildly sweet dessert for breakfast. Without the guilt. And having tried a dairy version and my vegan version, I can honestly say I liked the vegan version even better.
Vegan Baked Oatmeal with Apricots and Blueberries; adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday
Serves 6 for Breakfast
- 2 cups of rolled oats (use ‘old fashioned’ oats, not ‘quick’ oats)
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup natural cane sugar or maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Scant 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups almond milk, soy milk, or other non-dairy milk
- 1/2 banana, mashed
- 2 Tbsp canola or coconut oil (melted if hard)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into thin strips
- Raspberries, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375° with a rack in the top third of the oven. Oil the inside of an 8 inch square baking dish.
- In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the sugar, if using, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, if using, the non-dairy milk, 1/2 mashed banana, the oil, and the vanilla.
- Arrange the banana slices in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the non-dairy milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple thwacks on the countertop to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining walnuts across the top.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut into squares and serve in bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup and pool some almond or soy milk on the bottom. Serve with a few raspberries if you have ’em.