Baked oatmeal is a great way to make the oatmeal breakfast tastier and easier to assemble. Even if you bake it fresh. Yes, this recipe takes 25 minutes to bake and if you mix everything in the night you can plonk the pan into the hot oven in the morning first thing in the morning while you fix your morning cuppa.
Many fruits can be used for this baked oatmeal like grated apples or applesauce, bananas make great baking accompaniments anyways for such dry bakes and oranges which have been my favorite flavors whenever some aromatherapy is required. I use carrots and sweet potatoes a lot for such healthy bakes. With pumpkin I mostly work with fresh grated pumpkin but his time I wanted to see if pureed baked pumpkin gives an improved taste. It was definitely better than grated pumpkin when used in the same recipe, improving the texture of the finished bake as well. Baking the pumpkin slices may be an extra work, a potential deterrent for many, so using grated pumpkin makes sense in case of time crunch.
Carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin suit such baked oatmeal best as one can have it with milk.
I always like to add some dried fruits to such bakes as it enriches the final product taste wise and texture wise too. This time I added some chopped dried apples I had bought from an organic foods store Leh.
Such flavorful snack they make on their own too. I love chewing a few pieces whenever I need something just to chew on...
The dried apples taste was quite good in this oatmeal bake too...a little chewy and full of apple flavor.
I had baked and pureed about a kilo of pumpkin one day and kept it ready for some pumpkin soup and a quick cake if I plan something on the last moment.
Some 1.5 inch thick wedges of a rich yellow orange pumpkin with ripe brownish skin was brushed lightly with oil and baked for about 50 minutes or till the flesh becomes soft.
ingredients for the oatmeal pumpkin bake...
oatmeal 1 cup/100gm
pumpkin puree 1/2 cup/120 gm
chopped dry apples 1/2 cup/100 gm
fresh cream 1/2 cup (I used fresh malai)
whole milk 2 tbsp or more to adjust consistency
brown sugar lightly packed 1/2 cup (I used a natural unrefined sugar called shakkar or boora in this part of the world)
chopped golden raisins 3 tbsp
one large egg
a generous pinch of soda bi carb
a pinch of salt
About half a cup of chopped nuts can be added for convenience and to make them protein dense, but we like our nuts sprinkled over the oatmeal along with fruits, so I skipped adding nuts this time.
Mix everything together in a mixing bowl, it makes a loose consistency mixture somewhere between a dough and a batter.
The mixture can be kept in the fridge overnight and can be baked in the morning, even in individual serving bowls if using ceramic bowls.
Pre heat the oven, pour the mixture into a conveniently sized baking pan or a casserole dish, keeping the thickness of the batter about 1 inch. If the batter is spread thicker than this, it would take longer time to bake.
Bake for 25 minutes at 180 C. Do the skewer test before taking the pan out. it makes a rich brown bake and can be cut into pieces while still warm.
If you make it for dry snacking, keep in mind to add the suggested amount of nuts too.
We love it warm in a hot cup of milk. With any fruit, we usually include bananas for breakfast so it's mostly these for us. With a generous sprinkling of almonds.
I sometimes bake it without any sugar, with some more raisins or some chopped sticky dates added to it. If we enjoy the natural sweetness of the food, there will be no need to add any more sugar to it. Fortunately we both like everything just lightly sweetened and add more sugar only when some guests are visiting.
I would like to remind you all that even pumpkin is like any other fruit when the nutrition value is compared, minus the fructose which can be a concern for many. Many of my friends are pumpkin haters and I would like them to include this fruity vegetable as it packed with nutrients (quite a good amount of Vitamin A and zinc and many more, zinc is more in seeds though), is low on calories and high on soluble fibers.
What fruit you would like in this bowl?