December 10, 2007

baked oatmeal

Perhaps I should dedicate this post to my cousin aG who I know loves eating oatmeal for breakfast. So I hope she will try to make this. Baked oatmeal is an interesting twist to the everyday oatmeal porridge we are so familiar with and may be getting bored with. This version will liven up the usual oatmeal fix and will add more enjoyment to breakfasts. I was doing my regular foodblog hopping one night when I saw a feature on this along with several reviews saying how delicious it is. With my interest all fired up, I assembled and mixed the ingredients in a bowl the night before, covered it with plastic wrap and refrigerated it, as suggested in the recipe. This is a very convenient time saving tip for busy morning rush hours. The overnight soaking was also important because it allowed the oatmeal to absorb most of the liquid. When baked, it turned out like bread pudding. Serve with additional milk or cream and fresh fruit on the side. It may also be served with vanilla ice cream for a rich dessert. Leftovers may be refrigerated and warmed up in the microwave. This is a great tasting healthier option which I've now included in my list of breakfast favorites.

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 stick or 4 tbsps. butter (melted)*
2 eggs
1 cup fresh milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

*for a lighter version, reduce butter to 1/4 stick or 2 tbsps. and mix with 1/4 cup oil.

Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl. I used dried cranberries but other chopped dried fruit will also work. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, melted butter and fresh milk together in a bowl. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to an 8 inch square pan or heatproof glass dish and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Be careful not to over bake. Serve warm with additional milk or cream and fresh fruit on the side.

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