I don’t like oatmeal. I never really have, but there is a part of me that alleges it’s time to start eating healthier. That means, if I want to be “healthy” by eating oatmeal, I can’t go by my usual recipe for choking it down – which would be 1 part brown sugar, 2 parts oatmeal, 2 parts whole milk. There’s just something about a whole half cup of (firmly packed) brown sugar and a full 8 ounces of high fat milk piled on top of a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal that hints to me that I might be cancelling out all healthy benefits.
Call me crazy, but that’s my guess.
The concept of baked oatmeal has been hovering at the back of my brain since this fall when it popped up on something like four different blogs all within two weeks of each other – and at least twice I remember the authors saying that they don’t typically like oatmeal either. So I thought I’d give it a shot.
This cinnamon roll flavored baked oatmeal was surprisingly palate-able to me: the oatmeal anti-enthusiast. The recipe below caters to my own personal preferences – a chewier, occasionally crunchy, baked oatmeal. I don’t like mush, so this recipe is particularly dry, and I left out any fruit that might squish to oblivion in any given bite. I’d much rather add fresh fruit at the end. If you want the oatmeal softer, just add more milk – and really, if you like squishy mush, feel free to add as much fruit as you like.
When it came out of the oven, I was pleased to see it resembled granola on the top, and it was cake-like on the inside. That’s why I threw caution to the wind, and busted out the heavy cream and powdered sugar.
Just a little.
To go with the cinnamon roll theme.
And it was good.
Healthier eating can come in baby steps.
Next time I make this, I’ll do it as part of a meal. . . with a side of bacon and a bowl of fresh berries. . . . Hey – bacon is protein!
Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons chopped golden raisins (I only chopped the raisins because I don’t like squish – leave them whole if you don’t mind.)
3/4 cup 2% milk (use more milk of you’d like the oatmeal softer – add about 1/4 cup)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cream and powdered sugar (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with butter.
In a bowl, add oats, 1/2 of the cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle in raisins and toss.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla.
In another bowl, stir the brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into the melted butter.
Pour the oat and raisin mixture into the baking dish. Then drizzle the brown sugar/butter mixture over the top as evenly as possible.
Pour milk and egg mixture evenly over the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the oats are set.
Makes about 4 modest servings.
If you would like to use the cream and powdered sugar, whisk about a quarter cup of cream with a tablespoon of powdered sugar (or more to taste) and drizzle over individual servings.
Source: adapted from Elly Says Opa.
PS – It is now months after I originally posted this recipe – but I feel this variation is worth mentioning.
Spraying the dish with cooking spray also works well, and happens to be easier and more convenient. I also skipped the raisins today, and added one small Gala apple, peeled and small diced. For the cream, I went with a drizzle instead – about 1/3 cup powdered sugar whisked with about one tablespoon of heavy cream and thinned with half and half until it reached an easily pour-able consistency, then I drizzled the “icing” over the baked oatmeal while it was still hot from the oven.
The result was a delicious, sweeter breakfast bake.
Who said we need to stick to healthy? (and really, it’s not that bad!!)