What comes to mind when you think of that word? My first thought is "ugggghhhh.....I don't even want to think about what I'm going to eat in the morning!" I just want to get out of the door as quickly as possible, and most mornings my stomach is not in the mood for anything fancy (like eggs). However, my metabolism won't let me skip breakfast, so I have to deal with it somehow.
A pan of baked oatmeal contains anywhere from 8-14 servings, depending on how big you need a serving to be. It can be baked once at any time of the day, cooks for only 30 minutes, and after that can live in the fridge for at least a week, unharmed. It reheats beautifully ('cause I don't know about you, but I'm definitely not going to BAKE something for breakfast every morning). It can also be incredibly unhealthy - most of the baked oatmeal recipes I've seen have so much butter and sugar in them that they'd hardly count as a balanced breakfast. In an attempt to have it all I started adjusting recipes until I finally settled on the following, which seems to hit all the marks.
Makes 1 full 13x9 pan, for between 8-14 servings.
- 6 C old-fashioned (not quick) oats
- 1/2-1 C brown sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon or blend
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 C milk, or soymilk (which is what I use) to make this dairy-free
- 3/4 C water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter
Place the butter in a 13x9 baking pan, slide it in a cold oven and turn it to 350* while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. The butter will melt while you prepare the recipe. Once the oven is heated, the butter should be just about melted.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the water, milk/soymilk, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the eggs and stir again. I like to crack each egg into my measuring cup before pouring into the bowl, so I can fish out any shell pieces if necessary.
Take the hot pan out of the oven, and pour the oatmeal mixture into the pan. Hold the pan with a pot-holder and stir the butter into the rest of the ingredients.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and around the edges.
Eat hot, or let cool and place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week for storage.
If you cut into the oatmeal while it's still hot, it will be crumbly and loose, but after a night in the fridge it will cut easily into neat squares - great for grabbing and eating on the run if needed!
I like to cut out a square, heat it up in the microwave, and pour some extra soymilk and maybe a little maple syrup on top.