I didn't think anything could tempt me away from my daily bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, cooked in the microwave. But there's a new breakfast in town and it's still full of healthy oats but gussied up with warm fruit and nuts. It's sweet enough to satisfy someone with a breakfast sweet-tooth but at least for me, not too sweet in the morning. Or you could call it a "flourless oatmeal cake" and serve it for dessert. Your choice, just don't miss out on this easy, nutritious and ever-so-variable delight.
Plus, I explain why I write my recipes in my own style. It's for you, readers, for you.
On Facebook, there’s a conversation group for cookbook authors who take on arcane topics like the term-of-art “divided use” and whether to use weights or measures in ingredient lists. Dull stuff, this. Or is it?
Over the years, I’ve honed my own style of recipe writing with two features. I like to think my style makes it easier for both new and experienced cooks to follow my recipes.
INGREDIENT LISTS Recipe writers say “divided use” to signal that an ingredient is used more than once in a recipe. Ack! I hate this! Worse though, is when there’s no indication that an ingredient is split. Double ack!
Both techniques are easy to miss and worse, keep cooks referring back and forth trying to figure out how much goes in when.
This is why I split ingredients into their working groups. If an ingredient is used twice, it’s listed twice. If a recipe needs water, or there’s a final seasoning with salt and pepper, they’re listed. Why? It’s for you, readers. I know your time is precious, that you want good results the first time.FIRST SCAN My objective is to provide an instant understanding of how a recipe comes together, just by looking at the ingredient list. I like to visually demonstrate that a recipe is simpler than a longer list of ingredients might suggest. Experienced cooks may need little more than that list, in fact, recipes from long ago were no more than ingredient lists, no instructions at all.
WHILE COOKING I want to provide a quick visual check to answer questions like, Did I get everything? or What’s next?
WEIGHTS & MEASURES My recipes provide typical American cup measures but also metric weights (in grams) and when it makes sense, weights in U.S. Customary Units (that’s pounds and ounces) for ingredients that come in packages marked with ounces or vegetables, say, which are easily weighed when purchased. Why?FOR INTERNATIONAL VISITORS Weights in grams helps cooks from outside the U.S. accustomed to ingredients presented in grams.
FOR BAKERS Many bakers rely on the precision of a kitchen scale for baking.
SAVING DISHES But I often show ingredients in grams, even when they’d typically be measured in a measuring cup. Why? To save dishes! For example, for this recipe for Baked Oatmeal, I put a bowl on the scale and add the buttermilk, sweetener, oats and walnuts, all without a measuring cup!
FEEDBACK So how do these techniques work for you, readers? Do you notice? Do they work for you? inspire confidence in the kitchen? Or not?
For a few weeks now, I've made one batch after another of Easy Baked Oatmeal. The first squares are warm for breakfast on the weekend, after that, they're warmed up in the microwave for a quick, healthy and filling breakfast on the run. Plus, the variations seem endless! There's Easy Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries & Bananas (below) which a least one picky-eater grandkid scarfed down warm with a little maple syrup for dessert a couple of Sundays back. Seconds were requested, nobody knew the difference! There's Easy Baked Oatmeal with Pumpkin & Pears (I'll post that recipe on A Veggie Venture soon). So have fun with this recipe, turn it upside down and make it all your own.
EASY BAKED OATMEAL with APPLES & WALNUTS
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Serves 9 (easily doubled for a crowd)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups (245g) buttermilk or skim milk
- 1/3 cup (105g) sweetener (I’ve used maple syrup, honey, sorghum, even a sugar-free almond syrup, all work!)
- 2 tablespoons (30g) melted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups (190g) old-fashioned oat meal
- 1/4 cup (30g) chopped toasted walnuts (don’t skip)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 of a large apple, cored and chopped in small pieces
- 2 ripe bananas, cut in small chunks
- Oatmeal Mixture
- 1/4 of a large apple, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup (30g) chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- Warm maple syrup or half & half, optional
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. (If you’re doubling the recipe, double the ingredients and use a 9x13 pan.)
OAT MIXTURE In a large bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the buttermilk, sweetener, butter and vanilla. Stir in the oatmeal, 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Stir in apple.
TO COMBINE Arrange the banana pieces in the bottom of baking dish, cover with Oat Mixture. Arrange apple slices decoratively on top, sprinkle with ¼ cup toasted walnuts and raw sugar.
BAKE Bake uncovered for 35 – 45 minutes until top is golden and oat mixture has set. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes.
TO SERVE Cut into nine pieces, serve warm, plain with Baked Bacon or drizzle with warm maple syrup or my favorite for temperature contrast, half & half.
LEFTOVERS Cover and refrigerate, this may look like "cake" but it's not. Rewarms beautifully in the microwave in 30 seconds.
This version is close to the original recipe. Substitute 4 ounces (3/4 cup, 115g) fresh or frozen blueberries for the chopped apple. Don’t stir it into the Oat Mixture, however, it’ll stain the oats in a way that’s not pretty, just arrange atop the bananas pieces. Then arrange another 4 ounces of blueberries on top of the Oat Mixture.
I love how fresh blueberries "puff" up in Easy Baked Oatmeal but frozen blueberries are cheaper and easier to find year-round. I bought a four-pound bag of blueberries for a steal at Walmart the other day for $4. At least I thought so. When I got home, the receipt read $11-something. So much for "stealing" blueberries.
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011
Cheese Gnocchi Pie Cheery Cherry Banana Bread Spiced Yogurt Chicken Apple Cider Indian Pudding Baked Apples Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter (<< look at all the apple recipes!) Hamburger Soup I Heart Food Blogs Moroccan Onions Homemade Kabocha Squash "Pumpkin" Purée
This Week, Elsewhere
Companion Cornbread from Companion
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Roasted Whole Red Onions with Sweet Potatoes & Rosemary
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture
More Oatmeal Recipes
Shop Your Pantry First
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