“YOU HAVE TO EAT OATMEAL OR YOU’LL DRY UP. ANYBODY KNOWS THAT.” Kay Thompson, author of ‘Eloise’.
Growing up in New England, and especially in the winters, my dad would very often make me oatmeal for breakfast. To some, this may have seemed like the dreaded, dreary breakfast. I think oatmeal has a bad rap of being a sticky, clumpy, heavy gruel. But I have always loved it! Dad always served it with milk and maple syrup. And I remember secretly wishing that he would be distracted while making it, because I was sure to find a lump or two in my bowl. And I loved finding the sweet, unexpected texture of those lumps!
I still love oatmeal and eat it all year round. And who says oatmeal can’t be sophisticated?! So I’ve tried to elevate it a little bit from it’s rustic form; while still giving a wink and a nod to my dad, who I miss with all my heart. A friend gave me this recipe some time ago telling me how she tweaked it from when it was given to her. And I did my own tweaking to get it to my personal liking. Here are the basics, but I hope you will feel free to tweak away…….
Yields: 4 servings
Level of Difficulty: easy
- 2 cups of uncooked oats
- 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of dried wild blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons of chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of applesauce
- 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- cooking spray
Combine the oats, brown sugar, blueberries, nuts, and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the milk, applesauce, melted butter, and egg. Add this to the dried ingredients and mix well. Pour into an 8 inch baking or casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook at 350°F for 30 minutes. Serve warm with maple cream.
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
Heat cream and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat until warm. Serve with oatmeal.
* I actually poured a little cream into a separate bowl and whipped it with a hand whisk until it thickened slightly*
So let’s talk about the tweaking! This recipe is so versatile. I bet you are thinking of a dozen things you’d do differently if you were making it! You can change the fruit and nuts. You can add any number of spices. You can probably switch out the applesauce for a pureed fruit. (I am thinking of a way to add pumpkin in the future!)
IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Hey friends….I no longer need to come up with a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal. My friend, Jeanne, from Inside NanaBread’s Head has developed the most incredible version of pumpkin oatmeal you can ever imagine! She even toasted the oatmeal before mixing! Genius! (Of course, I think this woman can do anything. As a matter of fact, I wish we were neighbors just so I could borrow her stuff all the time!). And she has some awesome ideas for embellishing the maple cream! Just click on the highlighted links to get there. And browse her site while you are there…..and you will see just why I like her so much!!!
I always make 2 different batches when I make this. Here’s another I made using dried cranberries and pecans:
Doesn’t that just look awesome!?!
And this is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven. Don’t let the cohesiveness fool you. This is really unbelievably light. And it reheats just as beautifully in the microwave.
So there you have it friends! Tweak away and ENJOY!