Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal

Story by Holly
Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal
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I've always had a love hate relationship with oatmeal. I’ve enjoyed it occasionally when it was prepared for me, but it's never been my go-to breakfast. I knew my parents struggled financially when I was growing up, but it wasn't until recently that I learned how real and difficult the struggle was. My mom has since described their past hardship to me, which included relying on boxes of donated food, and spending days or weeks at a time living off of oatmeal for 2 to 3 meals a day. I've wondered since learning this if maybe this was the reason I had such a distaste for cooked oats. I briefly thought about talking to my therapist about all this, but instead decided nah, I just need to learn how to make oatmeal the way I like it and redeem the dish altogether.


Standing over my stove stirring oats in the morning is not something my life affords me the luxury of these days.

Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal

Believe it or not, I didn’t discover the existence of steel cut oats until about four years ago (a little late to the party, I know). I knew from first bite that they might hold the key to unlocking my phobia and distaste of mushy oats. There’s just something about them being prepared slightly al dente that leaves the most wonderful bite and texture. I now love to prepare my oats with a few teaspoons of coconut oil, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, a handful of frozen blueberries (which quickly become tender in the hot cereal), and a splash of almond milk on the top, which for me is really stepping out of my comfort zone, but as it turns out is delicious. (Am I the only one that grew up thinking people pouring milk on their oatmeal were crazy?)

Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal

If you’ve prepared steel cut oats before, you know they can be time consuming. Standing over my stove stirring oats in the morning is not something my life affords me the luxury of these days. Enter in this baked oatmeal recipe, which seems to solve all my (oatmeal) problems and incorporates a lot about what I love in steel cut oats.

I also love that this baked oatmeal recipe can be made dairy and gluten-free without compromising any of the flavor. The addition of apples into this baked dish put it squarely in my fall loving court, and really satisfies the need for a hot breakfast on a chilly morning (because, let's be honest, the smoothie that satisfied us in summer doesn't quite do the same in autumn). A hearty, healthy breakfast that is easy to prepare? I'm sold just about every day of the week. I've come a long way from my oatmeal despising days, and this baked dish was just the oatmeal recipe to ensure I'd never look back.

Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal

Apple and Maple Baked Oatmeal

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 egg
2 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 cup pure maple syrup (or brown sugar or half and half)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
6 cups quick oats
2 apple, diced into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. In a medium sized bowl, beat the egg a few times with a fork until the egg yolk and egg white are combined. Add all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Pour oatmeal batter into a greased 9X13. If you would like to, place a few slices of apple onto the oatmeal before you place it in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

*Notes This bake is great if made ahead for breakfast all week! Just warm and add milk!