Cranberry Date Baked Oatmeal

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Today is National Oatmeal Day and while some folks might not think oatmeal is worth celebrating, we think three cheers are in order. Oatmeal is nourishing and satisfying, and there is a variety and a flavor to suit all tastes.

My youngest son has a bowl of maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal before every school day. My husband prefers steel cut oats, made in batches and warmed in the microwave. This recipe, inspired by Mommypotamus, is a favorite of mine – I like its versatility. In the summer I make it with fresh berries and lemon zest. In the fall, I substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar and serve the baked oatmeal with ginger sauteed pears and toasted walnuts. During the winter months as fresh fruit drops off in quality, I turn to dried fruits and citrus zest. Baked oatmeal is hybrid of a cake and custard held together with oaty goodness. Cake for breakfast? What’s not to love?

When purchasing oats and oatmeal be sure to look for certified gluten-free oats. A health-giving food, oats are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index. The soluble fiber in oats can have a positive effect on heart health because it can help to reduce “bad” cholesterol. Happy Oatmeal Day!

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Cranberry Date Baked Oatmeal

Prep Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9-12

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (certified gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp. yogurt
  • generous pinch of kosher salt
  • cooking spray or butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped dates
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)
  • Greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place oats into a large bowl and pour enough water on the oats to just cover them. Stir in the yogurt and salt. Let sit overnight (8 hours to 12 hours is fine).
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oats in a colander and and push out any excess water. Transfer oats to a large bowl. Stir in the dates, cranberries, cinnamon and orange zest. Set aside.
  3. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and brown sugar together. Add the milk mixture to the oats and fruit and stir until evenly blended.
  5. Pour into the baking dish. If using, sprinkle the toasted pecans over the top of the oatmeal. Alternatively, the toasted pecans can be used as a garnish.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve baked oatmeal with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, if desired.

For individual portions, this recipe can be baked in muffin tins, cooking time will be about half (20 - 25 minutes). For a smaller batch, half the recipe and bake it in a loaf pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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