Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Am Not Lazy #1: Baked Oatmeal

Lest you all think that I am hoity toity and will only eat oatmeal slavishly cooked for me by other people, I have decided to occasionally feature a recipe I make myself where one of the prime ingredients is oatmeal. I shall call this segment "I Am Not Lazy," because I am not (generally). One of the pleasant side effects of this blog is that when I tell people about it, oftentimes they offer up their recipes for some oatmeal-based treat, and I would feel incredibly selfish if I kept them to myself. Not only will sharing these recipes with you ease my conscience, but it also will give this blog the diversity it so craves. And it permits me to have a snappy reply to the scores of silly people who hear about the blog and reply "ugh, I HATE oatmeal." (These people are obviously one of the UNpleasant side effects. The other, of course, is everyone thinking I am slightly deranged.) I won't be scoring these oatmeals like I do the others, mostly because it hardly seems fair to enter something I created myself into the contest, so if you are only here for the cutthroat, can-you-top-this, never-ending suspense of my vicious and heartless evaluations, feel free to skip these posts.

I decided to feature baked oatmeal first for three reasons. A) It's the first oatmeal-based recipe I've made. B) It has been my standard retort to the people who dislike oatmeal. ("I'll make baked oatmeal for you! That'll change your mind! I refuse to be the subject of your mockery!") C) An alarming number of people don't know what it is.

Basically, baked oatmeal is a cross between oatmeal and a granola bar. Served warm with some eggs and toast and coffee...mmmmm. Nothing better on a Saturday morning. There are dozens of recipes out there if you just google it, but mine was passed down to me by my friend PM. It's pretty fast and easy (some recipes require overnight refrigeration--blech), and the ingredients are mostly things you're likely to have already. It's just oil, eggs, sugar, milk, quick oats, baking powder, salt, and then whatever "topping" you want to add. You can mix in pretty much any fruit (fresh or dried) or nut, and it's excellent. The first time I used strawberries and the second time I used apples (the picture above is with apples). I think it would be really good with some bananas and walnuts or with dried cranberries and almonds. Or (holy cow) CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Then you just dump it into a pan, sprinkle it with some cinnamon and brown sugar, and bake it for 25 minutes or so. When it comes out, ooooh it smells so good.

I would say the recipe is fool-proof, except the first time I made it, I mixed up all the wet ingredients before realizing that I didn't have any baking powder. I scoured the internet to see if there is a viable substitution, and apparently if you mix baking soda and cream of tartar, that works. However, that begs the question of WHO ON EARTH HAS CREAM OF TARTAR IF THEY DON'T HAVE BAKING POWDER? But perhaps that is just a problem I face. I imagine everyone else has a fully stocked spice rack, complete with things like cumin and sage. Anyway, I refrigerated the wet ingredients overnight until I could get some baking powder (I had decided to try to make this at 11pm when I was hit with a burst of desire to cook something), and it ended up kind of flat. So make sure you have baking powder.

Anyway, this has quickly become one of my favorite things to make. My one complaint is that it tends to be kind of crumbly, but that's minor.* I might try other recipes (this one looks good) to see if I can improve upon that. But if you're interested, let me know, and I'll give you the exact recipe. And if you have a recipe you want me to try, feel free to send it along.

In the meantime, I am sure most of you have seen this, but I thought I should pass it along anyway.

*Edit: I have since realized that this crumbliness is due to the horrifying temperature control of my oven rather than the recipe. If you have an oven that can maintain one temperature for more than 5 minutes, this shouldn't be an issue for you.

Note: At the request of a reader (yes, I have A READER!!!), I have put the recipe in the comments.


  1. i am one of the pitiable aforementioned people with anti-oatmeal tendencies. i confess in my past i spread lies and slander against this most noble of breakfast foods. i am ashamed to say i sullied the name of oatmeal with my vicious hate-mongering.

    but no more! i have tasted this baked oatmeal, and i am now a believer. it's the perfect breakfast food. vive la oats!

  2. "There are dozens of recipes out there if you just google it, but mine was passed down to me by my friend PM."

    Can you share your friend's recipe with us?

  3. Recipe

    1/2 C. oil
    1/2 C. sugar
    3 eggs
    1 C. milk
    *Mix these ingredients well

    3 C. quick oats
    1 T. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt
    *Mix together then add to above

    Stir in one cup of any of the following or whatever else you'd like to try:
    raisins, raspberries, blueberries, chopped apples, chopped peaches, etc. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.

    Pour into 9X13 pan
    Bake at 375° 20-25 min.
    Done when springs back when touched lightly in center.

    (I'm very generous with the stir-ins - often adding a bit more than a cup. One of my favorites in the fall/winter is to mix apple pieces beforehand with apple pie type of spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar - then adding it. It's also really yummy to add pecans on top with the sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar. If you want to cut back on the oil, you can use 1/4 C. oil and 1/4 C. applesauce.)