The oatmeal that changed my life

February 11, 2010 at 4:17 pm 3 comments

The quality of breakfast, being my favorite meal, usually foreshadows the quality of my day: good breakfast, good day.

Yesterday was a very, very good day. A very good day. As in I ate breakfast again for lunch good. As in I’ve renounced my dislike of oatmeal good. As in Snowstorm? What snowstorm? good.

I found the recipe on Tasty Kitchen, while anticipating round two (three? 4.6? I’ve lost count) of the Mid-Atlantic’s Blizzardpalooza. Knowing that we wouldn’t be heading into work, and would be (once again) trapped inside, it seemed that the most important thing to do was deliver a substantial, comforting breakfast to eat while watching the snow.

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Baked Oatmeal just sounds right, doesn’t it? It tastes right too. I went with the fruit recommendations and put peaches on the bottom. Keith and I agree it’s as good as peach cobbler — if not better. Next time, we’ll try strawberries. And then blueberries. And then raspberries. And then–

In other areas though, I deviated a bit from the original recipe by Erica of Cooking for Seven; for one, I used Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal instead of rolled oats. I’ve been dying to use them for something other than the Scottish oatcakes (really good with tea and jam) that I originally bought them for. However, having a handful of gummy, chewy, icky experiences with oatmeal in the past, I hadn’t quite worked up the courage to try it as just plain, hot cereal. Baked oatmeal seemed to be a happy middle. Obviously, I can’t compare it with rolled oats in this recipe, but the texture of the Scottish oatmeal here is crumbly and soft — very much like a light, nutty quickbread with an open crumb. But, unlike a quickbread, there’s no flour in this recipe and that is enough to make my middle happy.

The recipe also calls for sugar sprinkled on top of the batter after it’s been poured in the baking dish, along with some sliced almonds. I didn’t have sliced almonds. And I didn’t read the recipe carefully, and ended up mixing the sugar in with the other dry ingredients. This hurt absolutely nothing in my opinion and I’ll probably continue doing it that way. I like to buck the status quo. I’m a status quo bucker.

Of course, I adapted the recipe with dairy and egg allergy-friendly substitutions for Keith. I usually start off substituting cup-for-cup, though sometimes the results of doing so can be unpredictable (even after doing it for years and years and years…). But this — oh this — baked up perfectly. Beautifully. Heavenly. Yummily.

The final touch was the suggested vanilla sauce — trickier to make substitutions and it didn’t turn out perfect, but was still quite good. It added a nice bit of creamy moisture to the oatmeal. Besides, the luxurious, warm vanilla flavor goes so well with nutty oatmeal and the sweet peaches, the sauce seemed to be the thing that really tied it all together to make a perfect warm hug of a breakfast: comforting, hearty, and soul-completing.

Keith’s inital review: “Wow.” And for all my talk, I think he pretty much said it all.

Here’s my DF/EF version:

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Baked Oatmeal
(adapted from the original recipe by Erica of Cooking for Seven)

  • 1-½ cup thinly sliced fruit (I used peaches)
  • ½ cups soy milk
  • ⅔ cups pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cups dairy-free margarine, divided (I use Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal*
  • 2-½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons demerara sugar or Sucanat, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.

    1. Pour 1/4 cup melted butter into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish (UPDATE: or, if you’re lazy like me, place 1/4 c of unmelted butter in a 9-inch square baking dish and stick in the preheating oven until the butter is melted). Arrange sliced fruit on top of the butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons demerara mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.

    2. In a large bowl, whisk together oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining sugar.

    3. In a medium bowl, mix together soy milk, maple syrup, egg replacer, remaining butter and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour over the fruit and smooth the top.

    4. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned on top and fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Serve with milk, cream, yogurt or vanilla sauce (DF/EF recipe below).

    * For a delicious gluten-free adaptation, Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty GF Hot Cereal is a perfect cup-for-cup substitution for oatmeal.

    Vanilla Sauce
    (adapted from the original recipe by Erica of Cooking for Seven)

    • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups soy milk
    • 1 Tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer (don’t mix with water)
    • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
    • Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

    1. Combine maple syrup, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg replacer. Pour milk mixture in a thin stream into syrup mixture, while whisking gently until well combined. If using vanilla bean, stir in the scrapings.

    2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter (and vanilla extract, if using). Serve warm.


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    3 Comments Add your own

    • 1. matinaki28  |  February 11, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you for sharing this recipe! It looks delicious!!

    • 2. Jen A.  |  February 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      Darn you. I just got back from dinner, and now I want breakfast. Again. (Well, I want YOUR BREAKFAST. For the first time.) ;)

    • 3. Erica Lea  |  February 22, 2010 at 10:54 am

      I’m so glad you liked my recipe! Scottish oatmeal sounds delicious! I may have to give it try in this recipe sometime…


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