Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cherry-Almond Breakfast Bake

When I used to visit my Grandma she always made real oatmeal, just for me. Not the instant or quick cook but "real" oatmeal. When she was a kid, oatmeal was a required breakfast dish. Later in life, she made the same face she made when she talked about drinking milk. Milk tasted like cows according to Grandma.

Anyway, oatmeal was always accompanied by cream and brown sugar. Most likely buttered toast and bacon, too. Oatmeal is the simplest of foods but one we seldom made at home. (mom made Cream of Wheat.) Irregularity makes simple things super special.

I love oatmeal but sometimes I forget how much I love it. Sometimes I plan to make it in the morning and sleep too long or am too dazed to even attempt a simple task. Other times I don't think of how much I'd like a bowl until 2 in the afternoon. It seems weird to make oatmeal at 2 in the afternoon.

I came across a recipe in a magazine last fall that allows you to make a yummy "bake" enjoy it immediate and the leftovers can be reheated for mornings to come. Perfect, eh? It takes the pressure off of cooking before coffee.

Very promising. Nuts, wheat germ, dried fruit, cinnamon. Maybe some flax seed? Stir it all together with some low fat milk and put it in a pretty baking dish. Ooooooo, low fat.

Bake until bubbly...

Okay, if you pour super decadent organic, cream line half and half over the top maybe it's no longer low fat....

Now you can have oatmeal every morning while the coffee brews. You can even eat it at 2 in the afternoon.

Dried Fruit and Nut Breakfast Bake
modified from Kiwi August/September 2010
*fruit and nut quanities are suggestions only

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
4 cups 1% milk
1 cup raw almonds/walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cherries, chrerries or other dried fruit
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. almond or vanilla extract (depending upon your fruit + nut choices)
1 t. salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

In large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, milk, nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, cinnamon, extract, and salt.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with additional milk and maple syrup Oatmeal will last (at least) three days in the fridge.

Microwave individual servings for 1-2 minutes to re-heat.

No comments: