Sunday, March 22, 2009


When I was a kid, we went to a local whackadoo church (didn't start out whackadoo, the pastor just happened to locate the slippery slope quickly, and hopped right on).  The one memory that is clear in my mind is....

And now you're nervous...

But don't be.

We would go on a yearly retreat to a lovely place in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  It was beautiful there.  There were all sorts of things to do, and the people who ran the place were totally NOT whackadoos, and also the food was amazing.  The only meal I have an actual memory of is baked oatmeal for breakfast, and that's probably because my mom got the recipe and made it for us at home.  So, so, so good.  

Miss O has sworn off eating oatmeal, actually, I think she's sworn off anything I prepare for any meal, with the exception of tuna fish sandwiches, and even then she complains about my bread.  (Yes, for all of you out there that love my bread, my daughter hates it.  What.Ev.)

So I consulted the Googles about Baked Oatmeal, and they were forthcoming.  There are hundreds of recipes for Baked Oatmeal, some claim to be Amish (not sure how those found their way to the interwebs), some are Grandma So-and-So's, or Auntie Ruth's or Uncle Jeptha.

All of them have enough sugar and fat in the recipe to render Baked Oatmeal no healthier, and probably less nutritional than cold cereal.  Meh.  And mer.  I prepare meals from scratch to provide better nutrition.  So I set to work to bring down the sugar and fat quantities, and still have it taste yummy enough that the short people prefer it to cold cereal.

This is the recipe I started with, and it makes an 8x8 inch pan, which is about four adult servings.  Or, in our case, one half of the pan goes to HB, and Wee Man, Miss O and I split the other half.

1 1/2 cups oats 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted 
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins

This recipe puts more than 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar per serving, and that is a lot of sugar, especially considering the sweetness of the raisins.  Also, the amount of butter is really high.  It works out to about 1 Tablespoon of butter per serving, and that's quite a lot.  Don't get me wrong, I like butter, but you just don't need it in the recipe.  Also, I use a seven-grain rolled cereal blend that has oats, two kinds of wheat, spelt, barley and, umm... two other grains that I can't remember off the top of my head.  It is way more flavorful than just plain oats, which I find to be sort of cardboardish.

This is the recipe I make and serve to my children.  They clean the pan every day.  And they have been eating it with gusto every day.

1 1/2 cup oats
1 or 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 enormous teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup raisins

You can substitute applesauce for oil products in baking.  Did you know?  That said, lots of applesauces come with all kinds of preservatives and corn syrup and sugars and things, so you might not be trading up to switch out for applesauce.  Read the labels and compare.  I make my own applesauce, and it's just cooked, ground up apples with no sugar... so for me it's a really good choice.  And there are brands you can purchase that are straight up apples.
I added an additional egg because I like baked oatmeal to be a little cakey (think about brownie mix... add more eggs for cake-like brownies.)  The extra egg also adds extra protein, which is something I really need at this stage of my pregnancy.

Oh, I almost forgot the directions.  Put the dry ingredients in an ungreased 8x8 pan.  Add the wet ingredients.  Stir 'em up.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or if you have a convection oven, bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes.  (That's how we do it over here.)  Pour some milk over your serving, or add a dollop of plain yogurt.  I like it sprinkled with toasted walnuts or pecans.


  1. ok, I wrote down the recipe but now I need to know what type of oat mixture you use and where to buy it. pretty please with sugar substitute on top. thanks!

    oh, and by the way, you ARE bringing this to mops tomorrow, right?? because naughty pregnant ladies should be up making food for other people at insane o'clock in the morning. really.


  2. I came back to apologize because I was entirely way too bossy in my last comment. Sorry. See ya tomorrow.

  3. Sure. I'll even bring some toasted walnuts for extra fun times.

  4. They don't like your bread? Ingrates...

    I thought it made super toast! And I am a toast afficionado! :)


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