Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

I'll start by stating the top five reasons I prefer baked oatmeal over the 'regular' oatmeal:
1. The smell of freshly baked 'something' that invades the house
2. It looks and feels like a 'real food' (can even be cut into pieces!) as opposed to the mushy look and feel of the 'regular' oatmeal
3. The kid not only that he'd eat it, but loves it! Can't say the same about the mushy stuff.
4. It's easily transportable - can be cut into squares or bars and taken to work/school as a mid-morning/afternoon snack
5. The flavors are nicely blended and have the luxury to take their time and develop nicely during baking as opposed to just adding fruits and vanilla to the stove top cooked oatmeal.

Top (and only) reason I don't make baked oatmeal that often:
- The baking itself take ~45 min., as opposed to ~10-15 min. of cooking the oatmeal over the stove to - not ideal on a work day morning. 

I used a 10x10 square baking pan, and my recipe yields about 4 to 6 breakfast servings or ~ 12 snack-sized bars.

Preheat the oven at 350F.

In a large bowl, combine together:
- 1 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style)
- 1/4 cup honey**
- 1 whole egg
- pure vanilla extract

After all ingredients combined, add:
- 2 cups rolled oats (not the instant oats)
- 1 cup frozen raspberries (or your fruit(s) of choice)

Pour the mixture into a parchment paper lined 10x10 square baking pan and bake for ~ 45 minutes (until top and sides are golden and all the liquid has absorbed).
Enjoy it warm or cold!

**I used honey for this everyday type of recipe (especially since I've made it two days in a row), as opposed to agave syrup which is not considered suitable (a lot of debating going on) for daily use - but great for occasional use (although it's so tempting to use it often  because of its really low IG).

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