Spring is passing me by. I’m so utterly immersed in cookbook projects that I’m nearly missing the magnolias blooming outside. Fortunately, Cookie always reminds me to slow down for a minute.
She starts pouncing on me every evening as the sun goes down, in her persistent, borderline desperate, but always cute sort of way. “Hey! Hey hey hey! Hello in there! Let’s go outside!” She gets her walk, and I catch some blooms as the sun sets.
I’ve also been forgetting to eat breakfast, which is a dangerous game. I got a big slap on the wrist for it last week, when I was photographing food and had to pause and sit down for a while. Shaky, lightheaded, sweaty—hypoglycemia symptoms are not cute, and never welcome. It was a reminder that I really have to eat well. We all do, or it will catch up with us eventually. My symptoms just come on sooner than most.
That’s why I started cooking in the first place. I couldn’t afford to eat out for every meal, but I had to eat well. So, naturally, I had to learn how to cook. Frontier Co-Op asked me how I cook with purpose—I cook with wholesome ingredients, so I’m properly fueled for my days. Then, I find greater purpose in sharing those recipes with you all. I feel good about sharing recipes that make me feel good.
As a reminder to eat breakfast, I made some blueberry baked oatmeal for the week. It’s loaded with healthy ingredients—oats, nuts, maple syrup and blueberries. A couple of eggs bind it all together, and a light drizzle of butter on top makes it taste like a treat.
I used Frontier’s cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I love that their spices have stories that you can trace back through their labels. Like, the Fair Trade ceylon cinnamon that I used in this recipe came from a co-op of farmers in Sri Lanka. The vanilla comes from Madagascar, where Frontier helped dig 49 wells to provide clean water to nearly 25,000 people.
This baked oatmeal keeps me full all morning long, especially when I serve it with a big dollop of Greek yogurt. I loved it as written below, but the recipe is highly adaptable. I used frozen blueberries (right from the bag), but you can use any fruit you’d like. You could also change up the nuts and spices. I’m thinking an apple version would be great in the fall, and raspberry-banana might be fun with cashews and coconut milk in the summer.
- ⅔ cup roughly chopped pecans
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons Frontier ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (or a scant ¾ teaspoon regular table salt)
- ¼ teaspoon Frontier ground nutmeg
- 1¾ cups milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk or cow’s milk all work)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 large eggs or flax eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or coconut oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounces or 1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries (or 2½ cups of your preferred berry/fruit, chopped into ½” pieces if necessary), divided
- 2 teaspoons raw sugar (optional)
- Optional toppings for serving: plain/vanilla yogurt or whipped cream, additional maple syrup or honey for drizzling, and/or additional fresh fruit
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish. Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the nuts onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 4 to 5 minutes, until fragrant.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, toasted nuts, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup or honey, egg, half of the butter or coconut oil, and vanilla. Whisk until blended. (If you used coconut oil and it solidified in contact with the cold ingredients, briefly microwave the bowl in 30 second increments, just until the coconut oil melts again.)
- Reserve about ½ cup of the berries for topping the baked oatmeal, then arrange the remaining berries evenly over the bottom of the baking dish (no need to defrost frozen fruit first). Cover the fruit with the dry oat mixture, then drizzle the wet ingredients over the oats. Wiggle the baking dish to make sure the milk moves down through the oats, then gently pat down any dry oats resting on top.
- Scatter the remaining berries across the top. Sprinkle some raw sugar on top if you’d like some extra sweetness and crunch.
- Bake for 42 to 45 minutes, until the top is nice and golden. Remove your baked oatmeal from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top before serving.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Make it vegan: Use non-dairy milk, flax eggs and coconut oil.
Make it nut free: You can skip the nuts, or use pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) instead.
Storage suggestions: This oatmeal keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for four to five days.
This post is sponsored by Frontier Co-Op and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!