A whole new world has been opened up to me. (Do you have that dorky Disney song in your head now? Sorry!) What is this new world I speak of? Baked oatmeal. I have seen lots of recipes for it, and it always looks and sounds really good, but I had never tried it before. I decided to finally give it a try this weekend, and it turned out to be a special Mother's Day treat I gave myself! I had some frozen peaches that needed to be used up, so I googled "peach baked oatmeal" and found a post on Becky Bakes. (I happened to notice that it was posted on the day my youngest daughter was born. It was meant to be!) She originally made the oatmeal with blueberries, and then had to post again when she tried it with peaches because it was just so good. I changed her recipe just slightly; here's my version.
Peach Baked Oatmeal
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 ½ cups peaches, fresh or frozen (partially thawed), chopped
4 tbsp brown sugar, divided
¾ cup milk (I use vanilla soy)
½ cup honey
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°.
Pour butter into the bottom of an 8” or 9” square baking dish. Sprinkle peaches and 2 tbsp brown sugar on top of the butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour over the fruit and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp brown sugar.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve as-is, or with milk or cream.
Makes 6 servings.
To make ahead: Assemble as directed, excluding the 2 tbsp of brown sugar on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove dish from fridge and preheat oven. Uncover, sprinkle with 2 tbsp brown sugar, and bake as directed.
Oh my goodness, this was amazing! It's perfect because the oats on the bottom get all soft and yummy, mixed with the fruit and the butter, and the oats on top keep their shape and get kind of crunchy. It's the best of both worlds! The main change I made to Becky's recipe was to use canola oil instead of another 1/2 cup of butter. It was perfect that way, and slightly healthier. I also used more fruit than she did.
My husband and five-year-old daughter loved this. My almost three-year-old wasn't impressed, but I'm not sure she's ever had oatmeal before, so she probably just needs to get used to it.
There are several great things about this recipe. One: I love how it can be made ahead of time. I'm not a morning person, so putting together a dish like this (easy as it is), is not what I want to do first thing when I wake up. It's so easy to put together the night before, then just pop in the oven when you wake up. Perfect. I will probably make it an 8x8" next time, mostly because my 8" dish has a lid and my 9" dish doesn't. Two: You can make this with any fruit you want. I told my daughter we would do blueberries next because they are her favorite. I also want to try it with strawberries. It would be good with apples too. And you can use fresh or frozen. I used frozen peaches that I had partially thawed. I'll update this post with more pics as I try it with other fruits.
Update: This is really good with cranberries!
Cranberry Baked Oatmeal
For the cranberry oatmeal, chop up 2 cups of fresh cranberries and use them in place of the peaches above. (I pulsed them in my little 3 cup handy chopper.) Everything else is the same. I thought it might need more brown sugar since the cranberries are more tart than the peaches, but it was just fine the way it was. My daughters loved this. Here are some pics of them enjoying it.
Three-year-old Eva gobbled hers up and asked for more.
Five-year-old Lena loved hers too.
I know this will be going into regular rotation at our house from now on.
Come back on Thursday to see my post for this month's Improv Challenge. This month's ingredients were cinnamon and sugar, but I didn't go the baking route. I made something that you can use lots of this summer.