Friday, March 12, 2010

Baked Oatmeal


Let me first preface this by saying: please don't judge this dish by the picture!  It takes an ugly one and I tried to make it pretty to no avail.  Okay, moving on....

I don't know why, but I'm not much of a fan of oatmeal.  Not the kind you get out of a packet filled cinnamon and apples or a fruit and cream variety (those are actually good), but the real kind.  I think it's mostly because it's always bland to me and while most prefer brown sugar on theirs, I turn my head the other way. 

I really wish it didn't have to be this way because it's really good for you and promotes healthy weight loss.  I just can't do it.  Until today.....

I have been running across various recipes for oatmeal add-ins which I've definitely marked to try.  Things like fresh fruit, vanilla, different flavorings, etc.  All things in which I think I may be able to work with and have the gumption to actually eat it!  But when I came across this particular recipe, I knew I had to try it and had a good feeling it would be a nice way to break me into the world of real oatmeal.

It's packed with flavor and is sweet, but not too sweet and you're getting a good, healthy dose of fresh fruit in the morning, which I really love!  I think I could actually get used to this stuff and the best part yet: it's super versatile in that you can ultimately use just about any combination of fruit you'd like!  Who knows, I may get to the point where I'll want to take an even bigger plunge and try steel cut oats....we'll see though.  I'm not promising anything!

Baked Oatmeal

3 cups Quick Cooking Oats
1/2 cup Applesauce
4 cups Milk
1 Egg
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Pears, cored and chopped roughly
1 1/2 cups Strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine oats, applesauce, milk, egg, syrup, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; mix well.  Fold in pears and strawberries.

Pour into a large baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.

Store any leftovers in the fridge and microwave to heat up.

Note: Frozen fruit may be used in place of the fresh and this dish may also be made up to 1 day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Yield: 12 Servings
Source: Adapted from Proceed With Caution


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