Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cherry-Berry Walnut Baked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the comfy oversized hoodie of breakfast foods. It's warm, friendly, cozy. It doesn't have to look good ~ it just is good. Baked oatmeal is like a hoodie with style. It's got all the pros of the regular model plus a few perks to sweeten the deal. No stirring, no vigilant watching to see if the pot's going to boil over on your stove, no boiling over on the stove in spite of the fact that you only took your eyes off the pot for one second.
If a bowl of healthy, virtuous, whole-grain breakfast porridge married a sweet, sexy oatmeal cookie loaded with berries and walnuts, this would be their tasty, tasty offspring. It's soft but not gloppy, so it should please even those who object to what may be termed oatmeal's "gruelishness." It's lovely right out of the oven, but it's even better the next day (and the next). If you've got dinner in the oven the night before, throw this together (it takes, what, 5 minutes?), and stick it in the oven after your dinner is done. You'll have breakfast to reheat in the morning.
(Not to suggest that you're ever rushing in the mornings, but if you were ~ like my family tends to be ~ you might find it advantageous to have a really delicious, good-for-you breakfast on hand that can be warmed and served in light speed.)

Cherry-Berry Walnut Baked Oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup mixed dried cranberries, cherries, and blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick pan spray. Place melted butter in the casserole dish and add brown sugar; stir to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk and whisk lightly to combine. Stir in the oats, baking powder, and salt; then fold in the dried cherries, berries, and walnuts. {Note: As reader JT commented below (thanks, JT!), if you'd like, you can combine all the ingredients in the casserole dish at once and mix well. The melted butter will solidify when it contacts the cold ingredients and may cause the oats to clump together. Just break up any obvious lumps with your mixing spoon before putting it into the oven.}
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, until just firm and the center doesn't move when you gently jiggle the baking dish.
  3. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon into bowls and, if desired, top with milk or cream before serving.
Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes:
  • To reheat, place desired amount in a bowl, top with a little milk or cream, and heat for a minute or two in the microwave or covered with foil in a 350 degree F oven. 
  • Try substituting two small sliced bananas for the berries and add 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.  

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. It really looks amazing, and I loved your oatmeal as hoodie imagery at the beginning. Dead on!

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  2. I love that - the "oversized hoodie of breakfast foods." What a perfect description.

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  3. I've got an email sub to your blog but I've never commented before. This recipe has pulled my out in the open. I've been telling myself that I'll buy the next bag of gluten-free oatmeal that I find and I never do. This weekend I will just to try this out. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. Thanks so much for your kind comments, everyone!! I really hope you try this recipe, and that you enjoy it as much as I do. I make it a couple of times a week with different fruit/nut combinations. :)

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  5. I just tried this recipe this morning and it was fantastic! What a treat. My husband and I eat oatmeal every morning but this recipe took it to the next level. I added bananas as suggested and the banana/walnut combo was heavenly. As an added bonus, you can mix everything in the casserole dish so there's less clean up and I love that there's no chance of overboiling mess.

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  6. JT ~ Thanks so much for mentioning that you can mix everything together in the casserole dish. I've been doing this lately and forgot to amend the recipe ~ So much easier, like you said! (I'm going to fix it now.) I'm delighted that you enjoyed this as much as I do ... I just made a batch with pecans, cranberries, and bananas. :)

    Cheers,
    Sandy

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  7. I'm not a big oatmeal fan myself, but this one looks so appealing!I may have to give it another shot!

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  8. I love breakfast and it's one of our fav meals. Since we make everything from scratch (ok not the milk and yogurt, but close) this is a perfect way of changing things up a bit. My husband loves oatmeal but I have to be in the mood for the grueliness of it. This sounds like the perfect compromise. I look forward to trying it.

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  9. This oatmeal looks amazing. It seems pretty simple to
    mix all together. Thanks for the post. Yum!

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