By Lori Dube
When I worked at Curt’s Cafe, a non-profit coffee shop in Evanston, Illinois, that provides job skills and life skills to at-risk youth, we mades some of the best scones and cookies in town. We sure had lots of regulars who would stop in for their cinnamon chip scone and chocolate chip cookie sugar fix. But Evanston is also a healthy, crunchy granola sort of town, with lots of low sugar, low carb, vegan, and vegetarian folks as well. One day a volunteer baker at the Cafe, who didn’t do sugar herself, came up with a recipe for a baked oatmeal that quickly became a breakfast favorite on the menu.
Healthy, filling and easy to make (and just as easy to customize with your own favorite add-ins) here’s the basic recipe for a morning meal that you can eat sitting down, or on the go. Make, bake and Enjoy!
1 teaspoon butter, canola oil or coconut oil
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
1 cup coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened. Up to U!)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups almond milk (vanilla flavored, coconut flavored, sweetened, unsweetened. Up to U!)
1 egg, beaten until all you can see is yellow and foam
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turn on oven to 350 degrees
Put a teaspoon of melted butter, canola oil, or soft coconut oil in the bottom of an 8×8 square baking dish and coat the bottom and sides of pan.
Mix oats, walnuts (or almonds), coconut flakes, brown sugar and cinnamon in a big mixing bowl
Pour oat mixture into baking dish
In a second bowl combine almond milk, egg and vanilla extract
Pour almond milk mixture evenly over all the oat mixture in the baking dish
Bake for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Cover with tin foil and store in the refrigerator.
To eat, cut squares and heat in microwave or eat cold. Top with peanut butter, yogurt, fruit, or just by it’s self.
Note: If you want to get fancy and personal with the recipe you can play around with the nuts — instead of walnuts try almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. Also, you can add some chia or flax seeds to the oat mixture, and/or dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or goji berries. A 1/2 cup of chocolate chips added to the oat mixture before baking takes this recipe up a notch or two in the treat department.
Inspired by the mission at Curt’s Cafe? Find out more!