It’s What We’re Eating – Baked Oatmeal

So, I had never heard of baked oatmeal before.  Baked french toast has been a favorite in our family for years, but I thought oatmeal could only be heaping mush in a bowl.  Yummy mush, but mush nonetheless. A friend put a pinterest pin on Facebook about a baked oatmeal recipe and it piqued my interest. I like oatmeal.  How does one make it baked?  I couldn’t even venture a guess.  The recipe I make is a mix of a few I found online, but based off of this one (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-oatmeal-ii/) and this one (http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/baked-oatmeal/).

I’m not a crazy sugar-free person, but I also didn’t think this needed butter to make it taste good.  I think the original recipes made a little drier soft granola bar type consistency, but I wanted it more moist so I increased the milk.  You can substitute other kinds of milk and egg replacers if you need to.  Use Bob’s Red Mill oats to make it gluten free (I hear they are the only certified GF oats available).

Baked Oatmeal

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 – 1 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like things.  I used about 3/4 cup and sprinkled a little more on top) (Honey can also be used instead, if you want)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or more or less depending on your like of cinnamon)
2 teaspoons baking powder (I have made it completely omitting this and it turns out just fine)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (cow, soy, almond, etc will all work)
2 eggs (egg replacers are acceptable substitutes)
1/2 cup applesauce (1/2 cup melted butter can be used if you have no applesauce, but it defeats the more healthy recipe)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I leave this out sometimes and it is still good, too)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Optional items to add: cut up banana, fresh blueberries, nuts, other fruit

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract, mixing together well.  Stir in dried cranberries and any other optional items.  Pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.

Big Ive loves it.  I love it.  I think I’ve made this 3 times in the past 2 weeks, making me get more oats at the store twice in a week.

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