Thursday, July 19, 2012

Simple Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal isn't exactly new, but it's a breakfast that I didn't grow up eating and thus didn't serve to my own family until recently. Not that I served them Frosted Flakes or Pop Tarts either (which I did grow up eating almost daily), but my weekday breakfast modus operandi has been to keep it simple. Truthfully, oatmeal as a porridge is easier to make, especially since I soak the oats in the rice cooker overnight and then the timer takes over and cooks the oatmeal so that it's ready when we awaken. But oatmeal as porridge is pretty much just carbs whereas baked oatmeal adds protein via eggs and milk. It also tastes a little bit like bread pudding, which is a major plus in my book; it's worth getting up early to put it in the oven.

I came across baked oatmeal on the Nourished Kitchen blog and the first time I made it I followed Jenny's directions with the exception of leaving out the nuts (allergies) and dried fruit (I don't like dried fruit in my breakfasts - it's a texture thing).  We liked the flavor of the baked oatmeal, but the texture was a little difficult for me and J-Baby to get past; even with a 12 hour soaking the steel cut oats were definitely chewy.

This time I made the baked oatmeal with gluten free quick oats from Bob's Red Mill. It was a little more difficult to rinse and drain the oats this morning, but the results were worth it. This was a creamy baked oatmeal that even J-Baby could get on board with. I also used melted unsalted butter in place of the coconut oil as J-Baby has started complaining of stomach aches when he eats coconut oil. I think the butter made for an even more delicious baked oatmeal.

I soaked the oats with homemade whey (leftover from draining homemade yogurt). While others have said that soaking with whey added a tangy or tart taste to their baked oatmeal I haven't had this happen, but I do rinse my soaked oats before I cook them. I figure the soaking liquid has done its job in helping to neutralize phytic acid in the grain and I know that tangy oats don't go over well with J-Baby. (See the aforementioned soaked porridge which J-Baby will not eat because it is tangy, although Papa loves the added tang. But then, Papa also likes the texture of steel cut oats and dried fruit baked into things; he's easy like that. J-Baby is more like, well, me.)

Jenny's recipe states that it makes 12 - 16 servings; with a teen and a man eating we cut it into 12 servings and sometimes, like this morning, the teen has to eat two servings. But who can complain about a growing young man having a second helping of something so nutritious as baked oatmeal?

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