Baked oatmeal – a staple in our home on the weekends – nourishes our family, providing a much-loved alternative to soaked oatmeal porridge. When my father, a man who rarely enjoys a home-cooked meal, comes to visit there is, inevitably, one imperative dish on the menu: baked oatmeal – all the better when it’s dotted with dried cranberries, apricots and nuts. I could pan-fry a great steak or roast a chicken so savory and herbaceous it could bring tears to your eyes, but it is always baked oatmeal that must greet him on his visits.
And why not? Baked oatmeal is both deeply nutritive and deeply satisfying. Steel cut oats are gently soaked overnight in water acidified by a touch of yogurt or fresh whey which helps to increase not only your body’s ability to better digest the grain, but also your body’s ability to better absorb its minerals. Oats are rich in minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc, but due to the effects of naturally occurring antinutrients found in whole grain, such as phytic acid, those minerals due your body little good unless oats are properly prepared as they are in this recipe. Moreover, oats are a rich source of B vitamins including folate – that critical nutrient which is vital to reproductive health and the proper development of babies growing within their mothers’ wombs (read more about best sources for vitamins and minerals).
In our home, we serve baked oatmeal on Sunday mornings with a hefty dollop of fresh, raw milk yogurt – occasionally including a touch of maple syrup as a treat. This recipe for baked oatmeal yields approximately sixteen servings, which means plenty of leftovers to serve us a quick and easy breakfast for the rest of the week.
baked oatmeal with dried fruit & nuts
By March 28, 2010Published:
- Yield: 12 to 16 Servings
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 40 to 45 minutes (baking) mins
- Ready In: 50 mins
Wholesome, filling and a perfect alternative to soaked oatmeal porridge, baked oatmeal nourishes and satisfies. This recipe for baked oatmeal is seasoned with cinnamon and dotted by the inclusion of raisins, dried cranberries and apricots, though you can use any dried fruit you have on hand. A combination of chopped almonds and dried cherries yields a beautiful result. Some families might find they prefer baked oatmeal without the addition maple syrup; yet others, who are just beginning their transition into real food may prefer to sweeten the dish with up to one-quarter cup maple syrup. I recommend you choose grade B maple syrup, which is richer in flavor and less expensive than grade A maple syrup.
- 1 pound steel cut oats
- 1 cup walnuts, or other nuts
- 2 tbsp yogurt, kefir, whey or buttermilk (for soaking)
- dash unrefined sea salt
- 6 pastured eggs
- 2 cups whole, fresh milk
- up to 1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried unsulfured apricots (diced)
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (plus extra for greasing baking dish)
- Pour the steel cut oats and nuts into a ceramic container or mixing bowl.
- Add enough filtered water to completely submerge your oats and nuts. Add a dash of salt and a two tablespoons of fresh yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk.
- Allow the oats and nuts to soak, covered, overnight in a warm place in your kitchen – about eight to twelve hours.
- After the mixture of oats and nuts has soaked overnight, dump them into a colander to drain and place the mixture back into the ceramic container or mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking pan with coconut oil or another wholesome fat of your choosing.
- Meanwhile beat together eggs, milk, maple syrup (if you’re using it), until well-combined and frothy.
- Pour the mixture of eggs, milk and maple syrup over the soaked oats and nuts, stirring well to combine into a porridge-like mixture.
- Gently fold dried fruit, cinnamon and coconut oil into the porridge-like mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and smooth it out with a rubber spatula to ensure even baking and a good appearance.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for forty to forty-five minutes or until the oatmeal achieves a pleasing golden-brown color on top, a knife inserted into its center comes out clean and free from liquid and the fragrance of baked oats, dried fruit and cinnamon perfumes your kitchen.
- If you can bear the wait, allow the baked oatmeal to cool for five to ten minutes before cutting into squares and serving.