As part of the From Scratch Club's virtual book club, I'm cooking various whole grain recipes out of Lianna Krisoff's Whole Grains for a New Generation. Our new meeting topic is oats.
Yay! I love oats and oatmeal. This will be a bit easier for me (and for Mr. Ninj!) than spelt.
(Sidebar: We have our book club discussions over on GoodReads and are fortunate enough to have Lianna, the author, as a participant. I just want to say hats off to Lianna for agreeing to do so; I can't imagine too many cookbook authors that sit around and listen to what amateur cooks have to say about their lovingly crafted and tested recipes. Particularly last week, when one of our book clubbers reported back that the recipe she made was "disgusting." Ouch -- thick skin required.)
I was drawn to Lianna's recipe for baked oatmeal for two of my favorite reasons: it's easy and healthy. Not to mention that it makes a panful of breakfast, perfect for either the two of us to eat throughout the week or weekend breakfasts when we have houseguests.
You likely also have all the ingredients in your pantry on any given day. A huge plus.
Another book clubber made this recipe and reported that she was a bit disappointed but she was expecting a texture more like cake.
It's not cake. Because, really, who wants cake for breakfast? (Don't answer that.)
I'd call it cake-ish but firmer -- although not as firm as a breakfast bar. I was able to cut the oatmeal into squares and lift them easily (and in one piece) from the pan. Additionally, the oatmeal is just a bit sweet but not cloyingly so, and the fruit gives it some nice chewiness.
Now, this is really important so don't skip over it: you must serve this baked oatmeal with a drizzle of milk or half and half to really make it shine. Or, better yet, dilute some vanilla yogurt with a little milk and use that for your drizzle.
Baked Oatmeal (adapted from Lianna Krisoff's Whole Grains for a New Generation)
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (I used cranberries, apricots and crystallized ginger)
1 cup milk
6-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
Milk, half-and-half or diluted vanilla yogurt for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and then stir in the dried fruit.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla. Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir thoroughly. Pour the contents into a prepared 9 x 9 baking pan and top evenly with the butter pieces. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and firm. Drizzle each serving with milk, half-and-half or diluted vanilla yogurt.