This is the perfect "make-ahead" brekky that works well for a holiday brunch. Use this recipe to impress your visiting in-laws or to simply set yourself up for a breakfast time success story.
I have talked at great lengths about the importance of integrating breakfast into the everyday routine. It is the meal that literally breaks your overnight fast. For all you breakfast skippers out there, you could be going ten to sixteen hours without adding any fuel to your system- enough time to put your body into starvation mode and slow your metabolism down.
I love dishes that welcome a myriad of interpretations and allow you on whim, to integrate what you have on hand. I've made versions of the bake with fresh and frozen berries, depending on seasonality, added bananas and various types of nuts. Typically, I like to top it with raw unsweetened coconut flakes.
The oatmeal bake is also great for those individuals on the run who don't have time to sit down in the morning and enjoy breakfast in the comfort of home. Once cooked and cooled, portion the bake out into individual serving-sized containers that can be enjoyed later by the fluorescent glow of a computer screen or make your coworkers "hangry" at your next AM meeting.
The ideal breakfast should be balanced with protein and complex carbohydrates in order to sustain you until lunch and give you the energy that you need to plow through your morning workload. Starting the day with a nutrient dense meal is linked to weight control and performance improvement and motivates you to continue making healthful choices throughout the day. So, for all you breakfast skippers out there, this one is for you.
Apple and Pear Oatmeal Bake
- 2 cups rolled oats- I like Bobs Red Mill, gluten-free oats if celiac or gluten sensitive
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 2 tbsps ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups almond, hemp, rice or skim milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsps coconut oil, butter, or ghee melted and cooled slightly
- 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
- 3 apples- peeled, cored, and chopped into 1-inch cubes (thinly slice 5 pieces for decoration if you wish)
- 2 pears- peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish with coconut oil or butter.
In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the baking powder, spices, and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, add maple syrup, milk, half of the butter or coconut oil, vanilla and whisk to combine.
Arrange the apples and pears in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish, reserving the decorative slices. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple of shakes to make sure that the milk moves through the oats. Arrange remaining apple slices on top of the oat mixture and scatter remaining walnuts. (At this point, the bake can be chilled overnight and baked in the AM)
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the top with the remaining melted butter or coconut oil. Serve or portion out into individual containers.
This dish is dairy and gluten-free (if using gluten-free oats and coconut oil). It has complex carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, and omega 3s depending on your nut and milk selection.