Overnight Oats: Cheap & Hearty Baked Oatmeal

BAKEDOATMEALMUFFINSLately I have gotten back to preparing more “normal” foods … for convenience, nostalgia and necessity. Although I still strive to be primarily grain free or “paleo,” I have been re-introducing more and more traditional meals. I struggled with converting the whole family to my way of thinking, but the reality is my husband and kids digest and process food differently than I do. I don’t feel the need to make household changes when I’m the only one with “issues.” Although I don’t expect them to eat what I eat, I do adamantly believe in feeding them nourishing food as often as possible.

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With the cost of our household staples constantly going up, I am forced to re-evaluate our food costs. This primarily means reducing our meat consumption, and preparing satisfying cheap meals. For the sake of maintaining my sanity I’ve embraced making what my family loves, and my boys love their nourishing porridge. One batch of the same porridge recipe can get a little over played, so I switch between oats and rice. I add different kinds of fruit to make it sweet enough for them.

I have been experimenting with baked oatmeal, and crock pot oatmeal recipes for some time. I  never really found a recipe right for our family. Although it may seem a little pedestrian to some, I have tried multiple recipes from very reputable sources and I have really been disappointed with the results. The texture was far too “toothsome,” or I practically set the house on fire via blacked crock pot. To master such a simple, but delicious recipe is a real accomplishment for me. In no time I can whip up something I know the kids will eat. Old timey foods like this delicious and hearty baked oatmeal are a great way to serve even the largest family properly prepared, nourishing grains. (New to Soaking Grains? Read This )

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This soaked oatmeal is hearty, satisfying and easy to prepare. Toss together your oats, kefir (clabber or yogurt) and water the night before. Everything else can be tossed together in the morning. The secret to tender, soft oats is the right amount of liquid and a slow baking time at 300 degrees. Use homemade organic pumpkin puree or applesauce to get the best, soft texture. Adjust the sweetness to suit your tastes, you can add no additional sweetener if you’d like, I prefer truly raw sugar or maple sugar. (Keep in mind that recipes I have tried that used liquid sweeteners had a tendency to burn worse.)

To Soak –

For Baking –

The Night Before Combine oats, flax, kefir and water. Cover with a loose fitting lid and allow to rest at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

The Morning (or Afternoon) of Preparation

  1. Preheat Oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Butter or Oil a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to the soaked oatmeal mixture.
  4. Pour mixture into baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  5. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Serve hot or room temperature with maple syrup, fresh cream and fruit if desired.

(Note: Some people with gluten allergies can not have oats.)

BAKEDOATMEALMUFFINTo store for convenient freezer meals: Fill silicone muffin cups (or greased muffin tins) with the prepared baked oatmeal. Place in the freezer until they are solid. Remove from the molds and store in an airtight container until needed. Thaw in the fridge overnight or gently reheat in the oven at 200F. You could bake the oatmeal directly into muffin cups however I find that it is difficult to get an even mixture of dried fruit and liquid divided into multiple little cups.

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