Picture a hungry dog presented with a table full of smoked sausage and bacon. This is the relationship between my children and oatmeal. They devour it in any form—nuked, stovetop, steel cut, slow cooker, you name it.
Ah, oatmeal. What’s not to like? It’s economical, a whole grain, and simple to prepare. Except …I don’t like it much. I will sometimes eat a small portion of the gooey nuked stuff. But I don’t go for seconds. And my husband won’t touch it, which means I have to come up with something different for him when we have oatmeal.
This oatmeal is different. It is the only version of oatmeal that my husband will voluntarily eat. I always have seconds. And the kiddos have thirds (in portions at least as big as mine). It’s special. Unlike regular oatmeal, it isn’t sticky-goopy at all. It’s soft and slightly chewy, with morsels of tender cinnamon-spiced apples and the distinct flavor of vanilla. I also love that it’s healthier than many other breakfast foods. Does anyone else have a hard time distinguishing between most breakfasts and dessert? Cupcakes…I mean, muffins. Fried batter with glaze…oh pardon me, pancakes. Protein-infused sugar…hello yogurt. Crepes… ahem.
Baked oatmeal is also super-easy to make. Just combine the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients, mix it all together with the apples and bake for about half an hour until the liquid is absorbed. Sometimes I cheat and just mix everything together in the pan to save on dishes. (It is harder to mix everything thoroughly that way, so I do recommend at least mixing the liquid ingredients together separately before adding to the baking dish.)
You can even mix this the night before, cover it and keep it in the fridge until morning. In the morning uncover it, give it a stir, and then bake as directed. The leftovers keep very well in the fridge and taste great when quickly reheated in the microwave.
Enjoy this uncommonly good baked oatmeal with fresh milk, warm or cold.
If you’re looking for other breakfast ideas, consider these light and tasty whole wheat waffles.
adapted from Love Grows Wild
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Preheat oven to 350*.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate container, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Add the butter slowly to the milk mixture, whisking the entire time. Stir the liquids into the oat mixture along with the apples. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the top is golden brown.
Serve with warm or cold milk. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the microwave or oven.