Maple Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal
Baked oatmeal is such a delicious and satisfying way to start your day. This dish makes a great weekend breakfast or brunch. I also love the option of preparing it the night before and throwing it in the oven the next morning.
Now in typical nutritionist style, I need to mention a few health benefits of some of the ingredients before getting to the recipe.
Pears, once called the “gift of the gods”, are a juicy, sweet, and easily digested fruit that are rich in vitamins A, C, E, folic acid and niacin. They are also rich in the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. Pears have anti-inflammatory properties and are their low glycemic index combined with the cinnamon in this dish helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Pears contain pectin which binds with bile acids in the intestines and has the ability to lower cholesterol and promote bowel regularity.
Apples are on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list. They are one of 12 foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found. Conventionally grown varieties often have a wax coating to help protect their surface and increase shelf life. To avoid both pesticide residues and the wax coating on apples, purchase organically grown varieties whenever possible.
Apples are a highly alkaline fruit and are especially rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamin C. Apples contain pectin which is a gel-like fiber that can prevent putrefaction in the digestive tract and acts as an intestinal broom to clean and sweep out debris from the colon.
Oatmeal provides a great source of heart healthy soluble fibre. The type of fiber found in oats, known as beta-glucan, helps to control blood sugar balance. Studies have shown that oats help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream, which translates to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Oats also provide protein, important for muscle building, selenium which protects cells against free radical damage and manganese which supports joints and ligaments.
- 2 1/4 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut palm sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 organic apples, peeled and diced
- 2 ripe pears, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 2-quart (2-2.5 L) casserole dish with coconut oil.
2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond milk, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. The mixture will have a soupy consistency. Fold in the chopped apples and pears.
5. Spoon the oatmeal mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with walnuts on top and gently press them down into the oatmeal.
6. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes, or until the oatmeal is bubbly around the corners and the apples are fork-tender.
7. Cool the oatmeal for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a splash of almond milk and a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.
8. Cool the oatmeal completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days or in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.
Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!
To save time in the morning, prepare this oatmeal the night before, except for adding the chopped walnuts. Cover the dish and refrigerate the unbaked oatmeal overnight. In the morning, simply repeat the oven and let the oatmeal sit on the counter while the oven comes to 375 F. Uncover and stir the oatmeal mixture gently to redistribute the milk. Add the walnuts and bake as directed.
Thanks to Angela Liddon and her “Oh She Glows Cookbook” for the inspiration for this recipe.
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