Baked Oatmeal

Throw out your preconceived notions about oatmeal.  This baked oatmeal is the antithesis of the instant oatmeal packets which always turn out mushy, flavorless, and boring.  It uses steel cuts oats, which are very different from traditional oatmeal.  Steel cut oats are chewier, nuttier, and I love them.  Baking them up with some fruits creates a warm, substantial breakfast that gives you the energy to make it through to lunch.  No watery oats here!

The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless once you have the method of baking steel cut oats- I have made many versions of this oatmeal.  My personal favorites have been apple, pear, and peanut butter banana (almost like a dessert oatmeal).  Make this on Sunday morning for breakfast then enjoy the leftovers for the rest of the week.  Or eat it for a heart warming, comforting dinner like I do

PS- Can you see a sassy food blogger reflected in my utensil? How did she get there?

1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 apples, chopped*
1 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For serving: peanut butter, cream cheese, maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a baking dish (about 2 quarts).

In a large bowl, combine steel cut oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir in chopped apples. In a large measuring cup, whisk milk, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract together. Pour oat mixture into prepared baking dish. Spread in an even layer. Pour liquid mixture over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until oatmeal is set and top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with peanut butter, cream cheese, or maple syrup if desired.

Serves 4.

*For the fruit you can also replace apples with 2 pears, 2 bananas, 2 cups blueberries.  Or you can mix and match with blueberry banana, apple and pear, and more.

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