First I want to say that I badly need a “do over” for the fist week of 2011! Being sick was not part of my New Year’s plan at all. That being said I also want to to say I”m sorry for not getting this recipe up before now. I had every intention of posting it days ago but……..as they say crap happens! So I’m having a “do over” and beginning my New Year today 🙂
I was happy to hear that a fast food restaurant was bringing something new to the menu like baked oatmeal, however when I did some research on the recipe I couldn’t believe the fat content – OUCH. So, I decided to see what I could come up with. If you are like me and live in the Midwest it is quite cold right now and something warm in the morning sounds good. Plus if it’s low fat and sticks with you for a bit that is even better. There is a coffee shop out in the middle of no where called “Hit The Road Joe Cafe” where I first had baked oatmeal. Everything is made from scratch and they use organic and fresh fruits/vegetables, but I was quite certain the fat content was not as low as I hoped and as I did my research I discovered why.
Oatmeal is good for us and has proven to help lower cholesterol yet it has a fair amount of fat in in for some reason. There are 3 grams of fat in 1/2 cup (dry) and that is the same for quick oats or the old fashion type. So, as I was perusing baked oatmeal recipes I looked for other reasons why baked oatmeal would be so high in fat. I found some recipes had eggs, cream, butter or nuts. This answered a lot of questions to me so I knew I had to hit the “test kitchen” to mix things up a bit. I found that I was not really crazy about adding the eggs to the baked oatmeal because it came out more like bread or a firm casserole. The taste was ok but not what I had visioned for baked oatmeal (I think I was comparing everything to my first experience of tasting baked oatmeal at Hit The Road Joe Cafe). I must have made 3 batches of baked oatmeal trying different combinations before I found one that was close to what I was looking for.
One important ingredient in bake oatmeal is fruit. There are lots of variations you can try especially since it’s winter and most of our fruit is frozen. Apple/raisin, blueberry/date are just some of the combinations that I tried where the flavor was pretty good. Most of you know what your family likes for fruit so your fruit flavors will vary from mine. Enjoy 🙂 Email questions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
4 cups of No Fat 1/2 & 1/2
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. gr. cinnamon ( I like the flavor so I add more)
2 cups old fashion oats
2 cups chopped apples
1 cup raisins (can combine with part dates)
1 cup Wheat Germ
2 tsp. low fat margarine
Spray with Pam a 9′ square glass baking dish or a 2 quart baking dish. In a 2 quart pan heat the milk, oleo and sugar until is melted. Gently add the rest of the ingredients. Pour in baking dish and cover.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min.
NOTE: when I made this with blueberries I tossed them with about 2 Tlb. of lemon juice before I added them to the mixture and I also put some lemon zest to the mix instead of the cinn. and I added some vanilla. Apple raisin is also a great combination that I have made a few times.
If you do not like the taste/texture of wheat germ you can just add another cup of old fashion oats.