Breakfast is the most agile meal in our home.
On weekends its a slow first cup of coffee and flipping through cookbooks for the best frittata recipe. It’s Dutch pancakes with different fillings and homemade whipped cream. Sometimes it’s a walk to one of the 15 new coffee shops in our neighborhood because gentrification somehow means there needs to be a latte available on every corner. You can roll your eyes at the above, it’s fine. I would too.
On weekdays, things are different. Monday through Friday mornings are a mad dash to get showered, dressed, coiffed, tinted moisturized, caffeinated, and somehow manage to both feed and take out the dogs while preparing Ben a semblance of a well balanced breakfast. Healthy carbs + fruit + protein + no sugar. I’m sure I’m missing something like organic flax seeds but honestly, aren’t we all just slowly coasting to our kids demanding Fruit Loops in three years? Let’s be real.
Anyway, all this to say that weekday mornings are kind of a shit show and I’ve given my child frozen waffles with a side of plastic container freed berries more than I’d like to admit. But, like any modern mom who’s writing a confessional blog for all 35 of you to read, I’m trying to get better. Plan things, balance between small luxuries of weekends and the hurricane of weekdays. That is, unless I’ve procrastinated on work emails from the night before in which case frozen waffles it is because gotta get that paycheck to buy the frozen waffles. It’s a vicious circle, really.
In comes baked oatmeal. It’s on the healthier side of the breakfast spectrum. Not like a pancake or a biscuit which sound like you’re feeding your kid straight to diabetes. Oatmeal can be fancy, healthy, delicious and it just sounds like you’re being a good parent. “I made my child oatmeal! Then we frolicked in a field while he engaged a full range of emotions by singing to the birds, touching dewy grass, and only wearing a sustainable linen romper.” You get the point.
This oatmeal can be adapted in a myriad of ways and here’s the best thing - its a dream for making ahead of time because it lasts in the fridge! Also, it’s not breakfast in a jar which is a trend I am 100% over at this point. (Chia seeds have had their moment, have they not? How much cold mush that’s been sitting in almond milk can we consume before we admit to ourselves its not actually that good.) Basically, you bake oatmeal in whatever milk and filling you choose then serve it like some fancy breakfast cake.
Seriously, it’s easy and dirt cheap because oatmeal is like $3 for a container to feed a family through the apocalypse. I made ours with peaches from the market to keep my Brooklyn blogger cred but you can make it with frozen berries that everyone has sitting in their freezer from three months ago and it’s just as good.
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1.5 cups milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Scoop of honey or sweetener of your choice, about 2 tbsp.
Berries, stone fruit, apples, chocolate chips, live your best filling life here. Or just use whatever you have in your pantry, who has the time or energy to really deliberate this one.
Almonds, walnuts, pecans… seriously go nuts.
Preheat over to 350F.
Butter a pie dish or 9 inch square baking dish if you have that on hand. Someday I’ll have a kitchen with all the things. Today is not that day. It was either a small pie dish or a lasagna pan and this recipe is good but it’s not lasagna size good. You know? Portion control.
Mix all the dry ingredients.
Mix all the wet ingredients.
Mix them together.
Pour into baking dish and stick in the oven.
Come back about 35-40 min later when the fruit is bubbly and the top of your oatmeal is solid.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt and some strong coffee. Add fruit or nuts and drizzle some honey or maple syrup if you plan to shill it on social media.
Store in the refrigerator, covered for up to 4 days. To reheat, put in a bowl and pour a bit of milk on top to moisten then microwave for a few.