Our family really enjoys oatmeal! Both tasty and nutritious (especially when served up with some raw cream, butter, real maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon!), oatmeal is a wonderfully frugal yet filling breakfast option.
Several months ago, I began to notice quite a few recipes on various blogs for baked oatmeal. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try. I followed a very basic recipe, adjusting the ingredients to our likings, and I must say that we were quite pleased with the results. Our baked oatmeal was something like a giant, very soft oatmeal raisin cookie! Like a regular bowl of breakfast oats, it does require a bit of preparation the night before, but requires little hands-on time to assemble in the morning, making it a time-saving breakfast option. We like to serve ours with fresh butter and real maple syrup or raw honey.
We have also been experimenting with some new smoothie recipes, and recently I paired this recipe for coconut smoothies with our baked oatmeal breakfast. Coconut milk and coconut oil are extremely beneficial to our diets, containing high ammounts of lauric acid, and according to Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions is "an essential saturated fatty acid that enhances the immune system and protects us against viruses, yeasts, parasites and other pathogens in the gut." This coconut smoothie is an easy, tasy way to get more coconut products into your diet.
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 1/2 c. whole coconut milk (stay away from the ones labled "lite")
1 banana, cut into chunks
1/4 c. raw honey
1/2 c. plain or vanilla whole-milk or cream-top yogurt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (you can omit this if you are using vanilla yogurt)
2 cubes ice, optional, but makes for a nice, cold, almost pina colada-like consistency!
Blend all ingredients in a blender until ice is completely crushed and blended with the other ingredients. Serve immediately.
Oatmeal is particularly high in phytates, so this recipe calls for a soaking step--plan ahead! However, I find that soaking my grain products makes for an easier preparation in the morning, as half the work is already done! If you are new to soaking, you can find some excelent resources listed at the bottom of this post. I highly suggest you take some time to read about this important step to preparing healthier whole-grains and legumes.
6 c. rolled oats
1 c. melted butter or coconut oil (personal trial and error has proven coconut oil to make a more moist product, but either is fine!)
2 c. yogurt or buttermilk
1 c. pure maple syrup or raw honey
Mix all ingredients until moistened in a large mixing bowl; cover with a clean dishtowel and let soak overnight, 12 hours or more. When ready to prepare, add:
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. raisins
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients until moistened; transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until top starts to crack, a sure sign it's finished.
There you have it--a quick, nourishing start to your family's day!
Further Resources on Soaking
The Value of Soaking Your Whole Grains--Lindsay delivers a very thourough post on the health benefits and how-to's of soaking, including more resources at the bottom of her post.