Saturday, March 3, 2012

Baked Apple Oatmeal

An ideal Saturday morning sounds like this: getting up before the rest of the world, well-rested, and venturing out to my vegetable garden to greet the birds and worms under the warm sun. Post weed-pulling, it's back to the kitchen for a good breakfast and the sounds of WXPN's Sleepy Hollow. A close second is a rainy, late winter-early spring morning in the kitchen with Sleepy Hollow, something to read, and this baked apple oatmeal.

Oats, nuts, maple syrup, and spices. By now you've noticed that they're quite common in my recipes. There's the obvious reason, they're delicious, but the more practical explanation is that I always have them on hand. If you have been baking with me these past few weeks then you have these essentials in your kitchen cabinets as well, and whipping up this baked oatmeal will be a piece of cake.

I follow Green Kitchen Stories, a recipe blog by an adorable family in Sweden, focused on whole, organic, vegetarian dishes. The pictures alone are beautiful. Earlier this month, David and Luise, posted this Baked Pear Oatmeal and I couldn't wait to try my own version. I love oatmeal. It has the same healing powers as a bowl of homemade soup - when your belly is warm you're suddenly at peace and the stressful, busy world seems far, far away. I've never been a big pear fan, so I knew I would be trying mine with apples (any baking apples will do). I also swapped the almond milk for soy, the walnuts and hazelnuts with almonds and pecans, and the pepitas with sunflower seeds. As with most oatmeal-based recipes, it's good no matter how you try it. Make a bowl even better by topping it with banana slices, dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins, honey, or brown sugar.

Baked Apple Oatmeal
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories, February 2012
Makes 4-6 servings

2 c. oats
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1/4 c. pecans, chopped
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves
pinch of salt
1 egg
2 c. soy milk
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla
2 baking apples, diced
1 T. coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing pan

Preheat your oven to 375° and grease a 9 by 9 in. baking dish with coconut oil.

Combine oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, baking powder, spices, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat egg and add to soy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir well.
Spread apples in the bottom of the baking dish and cover with oat mixture. Pour egg and milk mixture evenly over the oats. Lastly, drizzle the melted coconut oil over the top. Bake 30-35 minutes until oatmeal is lightly browned. Let cool slightly before serving. Can be stored and re-heated.