Your oats can be stretched further when you decide to bake them instead of making hot cereal. Soaking grains is better for your body and it’s easy enough to prepare that you won’t be wondering what will be for breakfast.
If you consume cereals of any sort (except homemade) even if it is labeled organic, I highly recommend during some research. We stopped eating cereal more than two years ago in our household. It not only saves you a lot of money but also from eventually weakening your and your family’s bodies.
One good place to start doing research is by obtaining or borrowing a copy of Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It has so many references to other studies and books throughout the book and on the sides of the recipes. If you like science, I think you’ll be amazed to find out the studies done where cereal and other “foods” were involved. You might see a link with humans.
Ever since I was little girl I always enjoyed studying about the how’s and why’s of things and mostly wasn’t satisfied when I was told something was good for me. I wanted to know more of the why behind it. I guess that’s why I was attracted to physics in college. I love seeing the power of God through the things that He has put on this earth for our betterment, from the amazing properties of cotton, bamboo, silver, food — you name it. I get excited learning about it because it shows me His awesome power.
But this post is on baked oatmeal and I will stop. :-)
Fresh Oat Groats
If you’ve ever wanted to invest in an oat roller of some sort, you can save a lot of money over time by buying your own organic oat groats in bulk. Those are the berries that you use to “squish” or what is known as flaking in order to flatten your oats. We sell one here for the Ankarsrum Original Mixer. It also fits the Verona, DLX, and Electrolux Kitchen Assistents.
Step 1: Prepare Your Oats
I prefer to use fresh oats to roll (flake). If you’ve done a little studying about grains, you probably already know that the oils get exposed to oxygen and start to get rancid pretty quickly. This causes that bitter taste that you get with many whole wheat products. For oats, it might not always be as noticeable.
You can still make baked oatmeal but if ever given the chance try to acquire the best type you can find, even if it’s organic rolled oats at the health food store. Store it in the freezer. Sometimes you can buy your organic oat groats in bulk or in small quantities and find a local place that can “squish” it for you with their oat rollers. Try a local bread bakery. Ask around first before you make your purchase unless you are willing to invest in an oat roller eventually. They come in non-electric styles or as attachments to mixers and electric mills.
We are currently using about 2 1/2 cups oat groats. Then we would roll that. A cup of grain produces about a cup and a half of flour or flaked oats. So you can do the math if you’re using rolled oats.
Soak that in kefir or good yogurt so that all your oats are moistened. Cover and leave overnight.
Step 2: Adding Your Ingredients
You will be adding more liquid to your oats. If you’re on a very tight budget you can just add water. If you’re able to, you can add fresh milk and water. If you’re blessed with a cow, goats, or milking animal and don’t want to waste any of that good milk, then you can add fresh milk. Add enough liquid so that it is nice and thick but slightly runny. You don’t want it extremely runny or you will have to bake it for a longer period of time, up to an hour longer sometimes. It won’t be bad for it but will just take longer. I made one batch so wet that I had to bake it for 2 hours instead of one.
You should add some sea salt. (We like to use Celtic grey sea salt
and grind it ourselves.) This will add flavor to the grain and also keep you from going to the bathroom a lot from it’s drawing water away. It’s not a scary thing at all.
Add spices to your liking. I like to use a lot of cinnamon (about 1-2 tablespoons and I buy most of my spices in bulk), ginger (1 tsp), nutmeg (1 tsp)
You don’t have to add these ingredients but it does add more flavor and substance to your meal. I like to add vanilla (2 tsp), eggs – 2, and extra virgin coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil, 4 tablespoons), 1-2 cups sucanat or rapadura (you can use a little raw honey, see which makes sense for you health and budget-wise) Though this calls for that much sucanat, it is normally not that sweet as compared to commercial sugars. Our family makes up for this by adding toppings. See below. Finally, I like to add 1 cup of raisins when we have it on hand.
Step 3: Pour and Bake
After mixing my ingredients thoroughly, I ‘ll pour about 3/4 inch to an inch high of baked oatmeal batter into my greased baking dishes. I like to use stoneware for this too. I have a large circular dish I use and a simple square corningware dish. I use any shape available to me at the time whether stoneware or corningware.
Since I like to use extra virgin coconut oil in my batter, I’ll heat that up in a little cast iron pan and use a little bit of it for oiling my dishes.
I either preheat the oven at 350 degrees and bake my oatmeal on the top rack for 50 minutes or stick it in the unheated oven to bake for 1 hour.
Step 4: Slice and Serve
I sometimes call our baked oatmeal, fresh granola bars. Don’t worry if you end up baking yours too long because of the type of pans you’re using (see my post on pizza and what I wrote about the difference between metal and stoneware pans). My husband was baking our baked oatmeal the other day and it ended up being on the crispy end. It was harder than normal but it tasted almost like we were eating pie crust for breakfast. :-)
We’ll put toppings on our baked oatmeal depending upon the season and what things we can get inexpensively.
Our family toppings include:
- Ghee (melting on hot baked oatmeal), cinnamon, fresh seasonal fruit, and local raw honey
Fresh local bluberries and in season strawberries have been some of our favorite fruit to add. It tastes like we’re eating dessert for breakfast!
- Ghee, cinnamon, local raw honey
- Cream cheese (cultured if possible), jelly
- Cream cheese, cinnamon, local raw honey
- Ghee, cinnamon, pure maple syrup
- Cinnamon, whipped raw honey
You can make this meal frugal by limiting the amount of sweeteners, fresh butter, and ghee used. When you buy, make, or grow your own things the quality is normally superior when done properly that a minimal amount can surpass using a large quantity of something of inferior quality.
This recipe makes enough to serve another extra meal for us the next day. It works well for us for using for Sunday mornings or when we’d like a snack for that day or another.
When we’re wanting something salty and more satisfying, we’ll eat this meal with some good raw cheese or even a side of scrambled eggs.