What’s Cooking (vol 4) Oatmeal Bakes

Ever since my contract ended with [best company ever that fed me 2-3 meals a day], I’ve been faced with the dilemma of what to eat for breakfast. I don’t have time to cook a hot breakfast every morning but still wanted something that was filling and enjoyable (and preferably somewhat healthy). Oatmeal is a great choice for that, but every bite of soggy oatmeal causes me to die a little inside, so I thought I’d try my hand at oatmeal bakes. I or we usually bake a pan every Sunday and then eat it for breakfast the rest of the week.

My personal favorite is Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal. With unexpected ingredients like shredded carrot, pineapple, and coconut, this breakfast is filling, sweet & tangy, and has a variety of textures and flavors. Also a great way to make a winter morning a little more tropical.

Michigan Oatmeal is another favorite that was introduced to me by my mother in law. It’s the easiest one to make and just involves mixing all the ingredients together. The flavors of almond extract and dried cranberries interact well together and I love how tender the apples get in the oven. While I eat all my oatmeal bakes with milk, this one especially is good with vanilla almond or soy milk. (This is more or less the recipe I have, but I do usually put in two cups of oats so that there’s enough food to last the whole week.)

Despite dirtying more dishes, Baked Blueberry Oatmeal is still a great change of pace and allows me to get some great antioxidants from blueberries without having to eat them by themself! I usually toss some chopped walnuts on top of the banana/blueberry layer and don’t put any blueberries on the very top because they don’t cook as well as the ones inside the oatmeal.

We made Baked Peach Almond Oatmeal this week and enjoyed it with the addition of some leftover blueberries. The general flavors were good but overall it was a little dry and not as flavorful as I hoped, so if you come across a good way to make it more moist, let me know, because the combination of peach, almond, and blueberry is a solid one.

While oatmeal bakes can’t totally fill the place in my heart that’s reserved for eggs, bacon and donuts, I love them as a way to start my work mornings with a pleasant meal that I can make ahead and change up based on my mood or what ingredients I have on hand.

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