As I've said before, breakfast is hands down, my favourite meal of the day. That's all well and good on the days when I work evenings - I can turn on the radio, laze around in my pyjamas and take my time: break out the waffle iron, turn on the oven, make some coffee. What about those mornings I have to leave the house before it's light out? I'm not a morning person, and I don't function well in the early morning: breaking things, pouring juice on my granola instead of milk, salt instead of sugar in my coffee.
Early mornings are the reason I cook batches - I make a triple amount of waffles or pancakes, wrap them up, and throw them in the freezer. I toast up a giant batch of granola on the weekend, leave it in a jar on the counter. Or I make this fabulous oatmeal, from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day.
But here's my latest version of the recipe. I like to change it every time I make it - it's just asking to be modified. Right now, I'm really missing summer berries, so I dug a bag of frozen raspberries out of the freezer. You can change up the fresh/frozen fruit, add dried fruits, use honey, maple syrup or different sugars, vary the type of nuts you use, or throw in other spices (nutmeg, citrus zest, ginger). Also, this recipe is almost vegan - you can replace the butter for oil (as I do anyway when I'm too lazy to melt butter) and replace the egg with 1/2 a mashed banana or a flax egg.
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day. Serves 6.
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped and toasted
1/3 cup demerara sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups milk
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a baking dish (9x13) or 5 or 6 small ramekins. I used an assortment of sizes - and canning jars are great here too.
In a bowl, mix together oats, almonds (save a few tbsp for topping later), sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
Put the 3/4 of raspberries in the bottom of the baking dish (or ramekins). Top with the oat mixture, then pour the milk mixture on top. You might have to give the dish a few whacks on the counter, to help the milk move down through the oats. Top with the rest of the berries, the rest of the nuts, and a sprinkle of sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the oats have set and the top is golden.
This oatmeal keeps great in the fridge for a week. Just reheat it, perhaps with a bit of milk and maple syrup to help revive it.