Veganized baked oatmeal (6 servings)

bakedoatmeal.jpg

Every once in a while, it's nice to make breakfast a treat instead of just a utility. It's worth a few extra steps to make it something special, especially when guests are involved. This past weekend, two of our friends from Baltimore stayed overnight, and on Saturday morning, I made baked oatmeal from Faith Durand's Not Your Mother's Casseroles. This is an easy-to-prepare, comforting breakfast that can be changed and tweaked to suit individual preferences.

You will need:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups soy or almond milk (you might want to decrease the sugar if you use a sweetened variety)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries and raisins)
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts (I used sliced almonds)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla, maple, or almond extract (opt.)

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber mixer. Pour mixture into the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Serve the oatmeal hot with maple syrup, extra brown sugar, and/or extra milk, if desired.

Oh my goodness, this was so good. It reminded me of various oatmeal concoctions I've had back home in Lancaster County, only it was less sweet. And it smells so delicious as it's baking! It's a convenient recipe to make for guests, as you can mix everything up in one bowl, stick it in the oven, and then spend time chatting, making coffee, or doing dishes until it's ready. It also heats up well in the microwave the next day, if you happen to have leftovers!