Well I’m back. Not that I was greatly missed… Thank you Andrea for picking up the slack while we moved to Oregon, got situated, lost yet another SD card then grudgingly bought another one, got internet back up and running… All the dreary details that come with a big move! So far Oregon has been top notch in my book, but check back with me in a few months when the rain has been incessant for weeks on end. I don’t fear much (besides mannequins and messy eye brows) but forces that would prevent my girls and I from enjoying what the outside has to offer DOES scare me. We usually hit up two parks a day, am and pm runs… So if any of you are from Oregon or an equally rainy climate, please please offer me your life saving techniques for the wet months!
I’ll share with you today my new best friend that was introduced to me the first day here: baked oatmeal squares. You don’t favor oatmeal?! Keep reading because this is nothing like the traditional bowl (I’m talking to you Jessie.) Here’s the pitch: you put in only FIVE minutes of prep time to eat breakfast for a week, it literally doesn’t get better-pure-healthier than this, ideal metabolism boost first thing in the am, and it’s addictingly GOOD. Curious?
My mother in law, never without a new inspirational idea, brought several gifts along during her two week stay to help us with the move: presents for the kids, some Cath Kidston beauties for my new kitchen, and this recipe. The baked oatmeal squares are slightly reminiscent of a bread pudding, and they’ve turned breakfast into my favorite meal of the day. I’ll make one pan on Monday and I have automatic brekki involving no work for the rest off the week. I hit the gym at 5:30 every morning (the only free time a mom/wife can find) and usually the second my foot hits the threshold of our door there are three eager human beings to greet me with differing urgent needs…. Taking time to make a hearty healthy satisfying delicious breakfast is NOT an option. This, my minions, is why I’m infatuated with this recipe.
It’s Sunday night, the kids are in bed, I take 5 whole minutes to put a pile of wonderful ingredients into the pan, I set the oven timer for 30 minutes, then walk away and relax on the couch while it bakes. The timer beeps, I let the pan cool on the counter, and right before going to bed it goes in the fridge awaiting my effortless morning consumption the rest of the week. Bless-ed be the skies.
Oatmeal bake is easy to dress up as well. Oregon has been kind to us these first couple weeks, and my favorite part has been the bushels and bushels of wild blackberries picked on our daily walks. I’ve been topping the bake with these fresh berries, a smidgen of maple syrup, and about 1/3 cup of coconut-almond milk to moisten it up (yep they sell the milk like that now, saves the step of mixing them together like i was doing before) Eat cold from the fridge or reheated warm, in your hand while running and multitasking or sitting calmly on your porch in the morning sun. If that’s your thing.
Before I log off today, everyone should know that Andrea is leaving TODAY for her big move to France. If you would, please say a little prayer for her that it’ll all go smoothly and safely. Moving countries with a small child and a pregnant belly is no small feat. Love you Andreea, Shem, Tama, and baby boy! Miss you already too
- 2 cups oats (best NOT to use instant, old fashioned gives better body)
- 2 granny-smith apples, grated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups milk of choice (I used the coconut/almond combo)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- Optional Additions– get creative:
- dried apricots, diced
- coconut flakes
- chia seeds
- ground flax seeds
- sliced almonds
- pumpkin seeds
- dash of cocoa powder
- dash of instant coffee powder
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8×8 pan — I use coconut oil, smear it around the bottom and edges, it lends to the flavor and keeps it healthy.
- In a bowl, grate the two apples down to the core. Then in the same bowl add the the oats, spices, and all the additions you choose. Hold off on the milk and vanilla for another step…
- Mix together and pour into the 8×8 pan. Level out evenly.
- In a measuring cup, combine the vanilla and milk. Pour this over the pan of oats. Watch the level of liquid, add more water or milk as needed to bring the liquid just even to the top of the oats mixture.
- Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Done is done! Enjoy hot and cold, day after day.