Baked Oatmeal

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What memories does the word oatmeal bring to your mind? As a child, I grew up on oatmeal and I knew it as the cereal in the round can. At my grandmother’s house it came in tiny packages, all different flavors – just add water and those tiny pieces of fruit would plump up. As I got older, that same oatmeal was in every hotel in the continental breakfast room in those same tiny packages. Fancy hotels still had oatmeal – but now – it was it a big pot steaming with lots of toppings with silver lids and spoons. Yes, oatmeal has been a part of my life forever. My parents used to tell me, “It will stick to your ribs and you won’t get cold when you walk to school.” Of course, I believed them. I even told my daughter the same story. I even have gotten my granddaughter to eat oatmeal by putting frozen blueberries in the hot oatmeal and turning the oatmeal purple. I told her that it was Frozen Oatmeal from the movie and that the princesses eat this delicious dish. We have renamed this wonderful purple dish, “Castle Cereal!!” 

Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish culinary tradition because oats are better suited than wheat to the country’s low temperatures and high humidity. As a result, oats became the staple grain of Scotland. The ancient universities of Scotland had a holiday called Meal Monday to permit students to return to their farms and collect more oats for food.

Oats are a staple that we need to all have in our food storage. Like I have said before, store what you eat and eat what you store. Oats are a softer grain and they don’t last nearly as long as the harder grains. The best way to store oatmeal is in the whole grain form called oat groats and invest in a flaker or grain roller to have fresh rolled oatmeal for freshest and whole grain nutrition. Kitchen Kneads sources wonderful oat groats, steel cut oats, and quick and regular rolled oats.  Come to the store and stock up for your storage.

Oats are a whole grain food, known scientifically as Avena Sativa. There are many health benefits of eating oats, more than just sticking to our ribs and keeping us warm in the cold.

  1. The nutrient composition of oats is well-balanced.
  2. Oats are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan.
  3. Oats contain more protein and fat than most grains.
  4. Oats are loaded with manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamins B1 and B5.
  5. Oats are among the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat.
  6. Rich in antioxidants called polyphenols.
  7. Aid in reduced LSL and total CHL level.
  8. Reduced blood augar and insulin response.
  9. Increased feeling of fulness.
  10. Increased growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
  11. Finely ground oats may help with skin care.

The most popular way to eat oats is for to simply make a porridge. ½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup water, and a pinch of salt. Combine ingredients in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the oats, stirring occasionally. Top with milk, nuts, cinnamon, and/or yogurt. Oats are also used in baked goods, muesli, granola, and bread. Oats can be cooked and eaten as oat groats (the whole oat) or steel cut oats, oatmeal porridge. or ground into an oat flour and used in breads or pancakes. And let’s not forget the endless ways to make oatmeal cookies. This is one of the most versatile grains grown. Many of the oats grown in the world are from the United States along with Russia, Poland, and Europe.

I would like to share a recipe with you today that has become a family favorite. Enjoy. Try making this recipe. This would be a great dish for an Easter Brunch or Mother’s Day Brunch. I think this is a great breakfast for a summer morning on the patio. I think this would be a great fairy garden breakfast with my little granddaughter or after a dinosaur dirt digging time with my grandson.  Make this recipe part of your family Hygge toolbox!!

Vanilla Berry Baked Oatmeal

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 2 ¼ cups any type of milk, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups fresh mixed berries, plus a few extra for topping
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds or chopped pecans – toasted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish. Mix the flax meal and water together in a small bowl.  Allow them to thicken for a few minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rolled oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla powder. (If you are using vanilla extract instead, add it to the wet ingredients.)
  3. Whisk together the prepared flax mixture, the maple syrup, milk, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the berries.
  4. Turn the mixture out into your baking dish. Make sure all ingredients are evenly distributed in the dish. Top with a few additional berries. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds or pecans and sugar over the top and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the oats are spongy but solid.  Allow to cool.
  6. You can serve the baked oatmeal either warm or cold. Cut the oatmeal into squares and drizzle with additional milk, fresh ground nutmeg, fresh jam, or syrup.