However, today is NOT about the various recipes I have uncovered from the depths of the interwebs that have turned out to be less than spectacular. Today is about one of my family's all time favorite breakfast treats. It's a meal that involves cinnamon, jam, and turning on the oven. It calls for steel cut oats (They're easy to find! Don't be afraid!) And best of all, it can be prepped at night, baked the next morning, and one 9 x13 dish serves my family of four for at least two breakfasts. So...hooray for not having to use your brain in the morning. Here we go!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
You're going to need two bowls - one big and one medium.
- 2 1/2 cups regular rolled (old fashioned) oats * I used quick cooking oats once because that's all I had, and it really didn't turn out as nicely. The consistency was rather soupy and my four year old was not a fan. So sub at your own risk! - 1/2 cup steel cut oats (you can find these in the bulk section at Winco)- 2 tsp baking powder- 1/2 tsp salt- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Stir that up.
- 2 cups milk- 1 beaten egg- 1/3 cup applesauce- 1/4 cup brown sugar- 1/4 cup honey- 1/2 cup oil (I like to use coconut oil) * A note on the coconut oil - it doesn't matter if your oil is solid. It will melt in the oven. It will make the mixture look really weird and gloppy right now, but it will be okay. Trust me.
Now take the bowl of wet ingredients and add it to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir it up.
Pull it out and add in:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries * If you're using frozen berries, there's no need to defrost them or anything.
By the end, it should look pretty set as well as nice and brown.
When it's done, pull it out and let it sit for a few minutes so it can make your whole house smell delicious.
Now comes an important detail: when it's time to eat, you MUST put the following two additions on the top of your oatmeal:
- strawberry jam- plain yogurt (I think Greek is best)
Store leftovers in the fridge. They heat up really nicely in the microwave the next day. Or after bedtime as a treat. I won't tell.
I realize that the way I type recipes isn't super cook friendly. I ramble waaaay too much. So here is a picture of the actual recipe, in a 100% guaranteed easy to read fashion:
- You can substitute any fruit in for the strawberries. I've done frozen peaches as well as blueberries (both fresh and frozen) and those are both great. I want to try frozen cherries next, and I think I'll add in some vanilla and some almonds. Yum!
- Like I said earlier, you can make this at night after you put your kiddos down. Then throw it in the fridge and all you have to do in the morning is throw it in the oven. However, if you want little hands to help, this is an excellent kid friendly prep recipe.
- If you do make it the night before you bake it, you'll only need to bake it for the first 20 minutes. The oats will soak up a lot of the moisture during the night. So pull it out after about 10 min of baking, add the fruit, and then finish it up with another 10 or 12 minutes.
Here are two articles that I have found to be extremely helpful in thinking through what I want our family mealtime to look like. For a while there when my son was about three, mealtimes were the most stressful time of the day. It was a battle every. single. time. And it sometimes still is! But these two articles (plus lots of great advice from more experienced parents) really helped me be intentional about nailing down what works for our family. Will these articles be applicable to every family? No way. But you might find them interesting.
This one is on kids serving themselves - so instead of me putting oatmeal in a bowl and then topping it with jam and yogurt, and then giving it to my kiddo, I put all three things on the table and let him put his own food in his bowl. We've been letting my four year old serve himself since he was about two, and I think it really is awesome.
Is your kid as resistant to trying new foods as mine is? I hope not. It is a FIGHT. And it's so weird - he would try ANYTHING that we put in front of him, and usually enjoy it and eat more - until he turned about 3.5. Then it was abruptly all over. Now he takes one look at something new and flat out refuses to taste it, often throwing in an insulting jab at how gross it looks. It is beyond frustrating. So then we tried doing a "Sam I am" bite (from Dr Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham) - he had to take one bite of everything new and then if he didn't like it he didn't have to eat it. But soon even that became a struggle. Arguing over one simple bite (which never resulted in him enjoying the food and requesting more) became the focus of our meals. But this article advocates a "you don't have to eat it" approach. We've been doing this for about six months now, and I'm not kidding - it is awesome. This article is totally worth the read.
Please please pretty please let me know if you try this oatmeal! I promise you will get rave reviews from your people about how fabulously tasty it is. Hooray!
Happy (Kitchen) Adventuring!
Megan Defferding is the mom to two super fun boys who love to find great stuff to do all around Lane County! Check out her blog series, Happy Adventuring, weekly on GoMomGo.