Healthy Baked Oatmeal


Healthy Baked Oatmeal
(gluten free, and potentially dairy and sugar free too!)
This baked oatmeal combines simple and healthy ingredients and can be adapted for any allergies or flavor preferences. Stir the ingredients together in 1 large bowl, pour it into a greased baking pan, and bake. 

You’ll need:
  1. Oats: I recommend whole old-fashioned style oats for a hearty and satisfying texture.
  2. Milk: Use the variety of milk you drink. This baked oatmeal is wonderful with whole milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, skim milk, and everything in between.
  3. Eggs: 2 large eggs, while adding protein, bind all of the ingredients together. Have an egg allergy? Use extra applesauce or mashed banana.
  4. Applesauce or Mashed Banana: Adds flavor and binds. You can use more of either to replace the eggs.
  5. Maple Syrup: I recommend pure maple syrup for the best flavor, but other unrefined sugars such as coconut sugar or honey work too. 1/2 cup sweetens the entire dish. I used Stevia and it was great.
  6. Baking Powder: Lifts it all up!
  7. Melted Butter: A few Tablespoons of butter prevents the dish from tasting rubbery. Don’t replace with a non-fat alternative. Melted coconut oil is a wonderful dairy-free substitution.
  8. Vanilla, Cinnamon, & Salt: Each add sweet satisfying flavor.
  9. Berries. Add some fruit for flavor, texture, and all-around deliciousness. Replace with chopped banana, apple, peaches, pears, raisins, dried berries, chocolate chips, or even a spoonful of your favorite nut butter.

This Baked Oatmeal Is:
  • Prepped in 1 bowl
  • Made with unrefined sugar
  • Not overly sweet
  • Packed with fruit
  • Warm & satisfies for hours
  • Soft, chewy, & creamy
  • Adaptable for flavors, allergies, etc
Plus it requires minimum effort– just what our mornings need!

Ingredients
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • 2 large eggs*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) pure maple syrup*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana
  • 3 cups (240g) old-fashioned whole oats*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)*
  • optional for topping: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×9 inch or 11×7 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Any similar size or shape pan works, though 8×8 inch would be too small. See recipe note for 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Whisk all of the ingredients together in 1 large bowl. Pour into prepared baking pan. Top with nuts, if desired. (Or stir into the oatmeal.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the center appears *almost* set, which gives us a soft oatmeal as pictured above. For drier and more solid baked oatmeal, bake until center has set.
  3. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon or slice and serve with yogurt, if desired. Cover leftovers tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Notes
  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Bake the oatmeal, cool completely, and store in the refrigerator all week for easy breakfasts. Reheat in the microwave or cover and bake in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 10 minutes. To freeze, bake and cool oatmeal. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Warm to your liking.
  2. Don’t: Do not make oatmeal batter ahead of time. The oats will soak up all the liquid! Whisk it all together, then bake right away. See make ahead instructions above for alternative.
  3. Eggs: Eggs bind the casserole and add wonderful flavor. If needed, you can replace the eggs with 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
  4. Sugar: I recommend pure maple syrup because the flavor is outstanding and the baked oatmeal is extra moist! You can also use packed brown sugar, coconut sugar, or honey.
  5. Butter: What wonderful flavor! The baked oatmeal can taste rubbery without it. Don’t replace with a non-fat alternative. Melted coconut oil is a wonderful dairy-free substitution.
  6. Oats: Whole oats give you the best texture. Quick oats soak up more moisture and dry out the baked oatmeal. If using steel-cut oats, soak the oats in the milk for 20 minutes, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Add a few extra minutes to the bake time.
  7. Add-ins: Instead of berries, try the same amount of peeled chopped apples, peaches, pears, bananas, or other fruit. Or 1 cup chocolate chips, dried cranberries, nuts, or raisins.
  8. 9×13 inch Pan: Double the recipe for a 9×13 inch pan. The baked oatmeal will be extra thick and require at least 10 extra minutes in the oven. Tent with aluminum foil if the edges are browning too quickly.



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