Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Goodness

Joining the Wagner Family has been wonderful in so many ways!  One of my favorites has been the new culinary experiences I've had which have included but are not limited to pickled beets, homemade pizza, squash, sweet potatoes, oven pancakes, homemade granola, and probably my favorite (after the pizza of course): baked oatmeal!

Now I enjoy oatmeal as much as the next person and had it often enough growing up but it wasn't "the most amazing breakfast ever!"  I never woke up and craved oatmeal.  So when I was presented with this for breakfast at Will's parents one morning I was happy to eat it but wasn't expecting anything amazing.

I was wrong and am happy to say so!  This was SO delicious and I loved everything about it.  The texture was soft gooey goodness in the center with crispy outer edges.  I think the first time I had it there were apples in it and the sweet, slightly spicy taste was phenomenal.  I was encouraged to pour milk over it and that made the experience even better.  I'm pretty sure I ate a couple helpings because it was just THAT good (as is everything my mother-in-law makes, though I'm still not sure about pickled beets).

At my bridal shower on Will's side of the family I received a wonderful gift that I use frequently:
It's a cookbook of recipes from Will's mom's side of the family.  There are so many wonderful recipes in here that I've tried and loved but hands down I was most excited about the granola and baked oatmeal recipes. 

Some time ago I got an idea from Pinterest (Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal with Individual Toppings: Gluten Free & Diabetic Friendly - as you will see, the recipe I have is not gluten or diabetic friendly...) about baking and freezing single serving sizes of baked oatmeal in muffin wrappers.   I really liked this idea and thought it would be a great supplement to our usual morning fare of cereal and granola.  Plus I just bought 10 small canisters of old fashioned oats for like $0.25/canister at Meijer so I had plenty of oats!

I love this recipe because it can be personalized in so many ways!  You can add strawberries, apples, nuts, bananas, chocolate chips, sprinkles, and on and on the list goes.  I had also just gotten some pumpkin from Meijer so I decided that would be a nice addition!  The basic recipe is as follows:

Baked Oatmeal:

4 eggs
5 cups old fashioned oats
1 tbs baking powder, plus 1 tsp
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs slightly.  Add oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, oil, sugars, and milk.  Mix well.  Put mixture into 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Serve warm with milk, if desired.  Nuts, chocolate chips, and/or raisins may be added.  1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil may be substituted for 1 cup oil.  Makes 10 servings

I actually just made a half recipe for each of my flavors because I don't have that much room in my freezer but each half recipe yielded 6 extra large sized "muffins" and 3 normal sized "muffins".  I also made a few changes:

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Changes (remember this was for a half recipe):

I used 2 tbs vegetable oil and 6 tbs pumpkin puree because I wanted a stronger pumpkin flavor.  If you were doing a full sized batch you would use 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 3/4 cup pumpkin.  I also added 1/4 tsp nutmeg and reduced the sugars by 2 tbs each.  Lastly I added 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Changes (remember this was for a half recipe):

I used 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup homemade cinnamon applesauce which would be 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce for a full sized recipe.  I chopped half a medium sized apple into small pieces and mixed that in with 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.  I also reduced each of the sugars by 2 tbs each in this recipe too.

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

I love my "Muffinaire" :-)  These are the normal sized "muffins".

This is also a pretty budget friendly meal.  I estimated it out to be about $0.35 per serving!

So this morning it was cold and windy and rainy and just plain yucky out so I decided that some baked oatmeal was just the thing I needed.  I unwrapped a Pumpkin Spice muffin cup, stuck (I initially wrote struck instead of stuck because as I'm writing this blog post I'm listening to the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS and Max Scherzer just struck out his 4th batter!!!!) stuck the oatmeal in the microwave for 2 minutes, liberally doused it with milk and ENJOYED!!!  It was so good that I almost pulled another one out of the freezer...  

Mmmm, this was SERIOUSLY good!

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