We're getting down to an empty fridge here at my house. Our routine is that we go grocery shopping every 2 weeks, because we live in a tiny town and it takes extra time and money to get to the good grocery stores. Well, we're at the tail-end of our 2 week stretch now.. and I'm digging deep in the freezer and meals are getting interesting. At least we're not wasting any food! I'll be making this baked oatmeal for breakfast or dinner soon-- I love that it can be thrown together from ingredients that we always have on hand.
Can you feel it? Look around... you're sure to see it... it's...
Oatmeal. There's oatmeal in the air. Now that it's officially fall, things like overnight crockpot oatmeal and baked oatmeal keep catching my eye. I've been dying to try something new, something more like an oatmeal cookie you can call a meal.
I really fell in love with the idea of putting everything in the crock and waking up to a warm cinnamon-y aroma filling up our house. But everything I read was saying "don't let it cook more than 7 hours or else it will burn"-- and there was no way I was going to stay up until midnight or get up at 5 am to turn the crockpot off. I don't have a nursing baby right now and I'm staying in my bed as long I can! So, I gave up the crockpot idea, for now, and decided to go with an oven-baked oatmeal. If you guys have a good crockpot recipe that doesn't burn and has a firm texture, please let me know!
The next obstacle in deciding how to make this oatmeal was my lack of eggs. We've been out of eggs for 5 days now and surprisingly I haven't completely lost it. I start to panic when there are no eggs in the fridge. We are getting 3 dozen from someone with a local farm today and I am praising Jesus! Anyway... I knew I wanted a glorified-oatmeal-cookie-like texture to this baked oatmeal and that an egg would be the key to that texture. But then I realized- peanut butter. Peanut butter would be my binding agent and save the day.
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used sprouted oats)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large ripe banana, mashed until smooth*
1-2 T. honey or maple syrup
heaping 1/4 cup peanut butter (almond butter would be awesome if you stay away from pb)
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup milk or almond/rice/coconut milk
for serving: strawberry or blackberry jam
In a small bowl, stir together oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together banana, sweetener, peanut butter, vanilla, and milk.
(I did these 2 steps the night before, so I could just throw it in the pan in the morning.)
(In the morning) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into a well-greased baking dish or pan, or individual ramekins. I used my medium-sized cast iron skillet. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until set in the middle. Serve hot or room temperature with jam, or in a bowl of milk, if that's your thing. Makes 3-4 servings.
*Banana? again? I always like to throw one in because they add extra moisture and sweetness, so I can use less honey and milk. I keep a stash of ripe bananas in our freezer, so this is easy for me. If you don't have one ready or don't want to put it in, just increase the milk amount to 1 cup and add an extra bit of honey or maple syrup.
We loved how this baked oatmeal turned out!! It was such a fun Saturday morning breakfast. Delicious and filling, and not overwhelmingly sweet. The texture was great- soft, but not soupy. We could easily cut it into pieces, especially as it cooled down a bit. It was so yummy with jelly on top! I'm definitely making it again, and can't wait to experiment with more baked oatmeal in the future. Possibly with an egg in it.