Monday, December 27, 2010

baked oatmeal bliss.

photo credit: michelle shefveland

I am an oatmeal addict, but had never tried baked oatmeal until I attended a retreat at the Oak Forest Center in Frederic, Wisconsin, where they served us raspberry baked oatmeal for breakfast. I think I had three servings. And if I hadn't needed to share it with the other seventy people in attendance, I definitely wouldn't have stopped at three.

So what exactly is "baked" oatmeal? Well, traditional oatmeal is "porridge-style," which is made by combining water or milk with dry oats and cooking it either in the microwave or on the stove. Baked oatmeal, on the other hand, is made in the oven and usually in family-size quantities. The consistency, while always variable based on the amount of liquid and baking time, is usually drier and less, well, porridge-y than porridge oatmeal. It is a more elegant dish, lending itself to special occasions like Sunday brunch in a way that porridge oatmeal would be out-of-place. And there are hundreds of ways to spice it up (literally); throw in your favorite spices, nuts, fruits, jam, or whatever you happen to have on hand to make it your own.

While at my parents' home for Thanksgiving I did just that,  tweaking a recipe that combined my favorite things: pumpkins, walnuts, apples, and cranberries. It was like dessert, but as wholesome as it was delicious! The recipe I used was from My Kitchen Addiction, which I adapted by omitting the wheat germ (just because I didn't have any at the time; wheat germ is a great way to add nutrients and flavor) and increasing the pumpkin. My family devoured it. Home again for Christmas, I will surely be trying another twist on baked oatmeal from the recipes below. Let me know if you do too!

baked oatmeal recipes
Pumpkin Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal from My Kitchen Addiction
Chocolate Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal from The Ungourmet
Amish Baked Oatmeal from Food.com
Banana Baked Oatmeal from Kath Eats Real Food
Applesauce Raisin Baked Oatmeal  from MyRecipes
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