Baked Oatmeal (GF & Dairy-Free)

Baked oatmeal has been one of my favorite breakfasts for years because you can use any kind of fruit, it’s good hot and cold, and you can pack it for weekends at the lake or weekdays at work! My friend’s mom shared this recipe with me in high school and I’ve been making it ever since. However, it was hard to skip the step where you spoon brown sugar all over the top and broil it to caramelize, and still get the same delicious result. Remember a few posts back where I discovered coconut sugar? It works here, too!

This is another very customize-able recipe where you can use whatever you have on hand and alter to your dietary needs. Use whatever milk works best for you, omit the nuts if you have to, pick whatever fruit’s in season, and you have yourself a delicious pan of steamy, crunchy, fruity oatmeal  ready to enjoy!

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I used fresh cranberries this time since I still had some in the freezer from Thanksgiving, but I’ve used everything from fresh apricots to Trader Joe’s dried cherries in the past and have always gotten delicious results. You can use any combination of fruit that’s in season or whatever you have frozen on hand! Blueberries, peaches… try any combo you like. Just be sure to keep the ratios similar per the recipe below.

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Baked Oatmeal

Makes 4-6 servings

2 C old fashioned rolled oats

1/4 C milled flax seed or Chia seeds

2 C fresh fruit (I used 1 diced apple and 1 C frozen blueberries)

1/4 C dried fruit (cranberries or cherries work best)

1/3 C slivered almonds

1/3 C agave syrup or honey

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 C milk of choice

1 t vanilla extract

1/3 C coconut sugar

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Method:

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray 8 x 8 pan with nonstick spray. Measure oats into prepared pan, then sprinkle flax or Chia seeds on top. Add fruit next, in even layer, and almonds next if using. Squeeze agave syrup or honey evenly over everything in your pan.

In medium bowl, whisk eggs, and add milk and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Carefully pour over oatmeal and fruit mixture. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until set in middle.

Set oven to broil. Sprinkle coconut sugar evenly on top of baked oatmeal and put back in oven for 2-3 minutes. Do not leave the kitchen!!! The broiler can make your oatmeal go from beautiful and caramelized to burnt in a matter of seconds. You just want the sugar on top to melt a little bit.

Serve warm and enjoy! This is great cold, too.

Chia Berry Jam

I’ve been looking for something to step up my breakfast game, but have always been intimidated by the whole jam-making/canning process. I came across some chia seed jam recipes on Pinterest and it sounded so easy, I had to try! Because this recipe uses frozen fruit, it’s something you can make and enjoy year-round, swapping out fruit depending on the season. Since I made it the other night, I can’t stop looking for things to put it on! It’s amazing on toast, oatmeal, yogurt, pizza…just kidding. I haven’t tried that yet.

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Why bother making your own jam? This jam takes about 2 minutes to make, requires zero cooking, and the inclusion of chia seeds makes it extra good for you! Chia seeds are full of antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and have a considerable amount of fiber, helping keep you full longer throughout the morning. I used equal amounts of raspberries and blueberries in this batch, and the color is so pretty. You can use sweetener such as pure maple syrup like I did, or leave it out depending on your diet.

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S/O to my sweet husband for photographing my jam when he was supposed to be reading for class. He also made dinner tonight. How lucky am I? How boring must his reading be?

 Chia Berry Jam

12 oz frozen blueberries

12 oz frozen raspberries

1/4 C chia seeds

1/4 C pure maple syrup or honey (optional)

Method:

Let berries partially defrost. Place in food processor or blender and pulse for 20 seconds. Slowly add maple syrup or honey if using, and pulse until combined. You can keep mixing for a smoother consistency if you’d like, but I kept lots of full berry chunks in mine. Add chia seeds last, mixing until evenly distributed. Store in airtight jar or container in refrigerator and enjoy!

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I spooned some chia berry jam on top of my oatmeal this weekend, and it was soooo good with peanut butter, bananas, and coconut!