Thursday, October 18, 2007

A simple Amish breakfast...

Oatmeal is one of my favorite foods. I ate so much of this stuff when I was growing up, you would think I'd never want to taste it again! But that's not the case. I guess there was enough of a variety with bagels, grits, and Dad's omelets to keep me from becoming anti-oatmeal.

One of my biggest disappointments after going gluten-free was the fact that oatmeal could become so easily contaminated with gluten during processing, that it was off limits to most folks. I think I was more sad about oatmeal than I was about "gluteny" pizza crusts.

One reason I like oatmeal is because I have family history of heart disease and high "bad" cholesterol levels (which unfortunately has trickled down to me!) and oatmeal is one of those foods that most people can eat without worry. It is actually good for your heart and even helps beat those pesky cholesterol levels.

The other reason I like oatmeal is that it's just plain good. Warm. Comforting. Homey.

When we were in Lancaster Co. a few weeks ago, Sara Stoltzfus, our hostess at Stony Hill Barn, made a wonderful breakfast, she simply called "baked oatmeal." As Sara brought the dish to the kitchen table of the B&B, the aroma was heavenly. It smelled so delicious that I actually snuck a bite of it when no one was looking! Thankfully, I didn't get sick. I am more inclined to think that I may have a wheat sensitivity, rather than gluten-intolerance, but I think the safest way to stay away from wheat is to adhere to the GF diet. At any rate, Sara was kind enough to share her recipe with me!

I've made it twice just this week. Tuesday, when I was at home with a migraine, I didn't really feel like eating, yet I craved that baked oatmeal. So that's what I ate all day. I ate it for a late breakfast and then had another small serving a couple of hours before dinner. All I can say is gluten-free oatmeal is a treasure! It's worth every penny!!

I don't think I could tire from this oatmeal. To serve, I drizzle about 2 tsp. of maple syrup over my bowl. Michael likes his baked oatmeal crumbled in a bowl with milk poured over. You could embellish this recipe with a variety of yummy stuff: raisins, chocolate chips, walnuts, apples, cinnamon, pumpkin puree, etc....

But before you embellish it, try the recipe as it is. Sometimes, the simplicity of a dish is what makes it best of all. Mark Bittman would be proud. This is definitely minimalist cooking!

If you are gluten intolerant and you do not have access to gluten-free oatmeal, try this wonderful recipe with flaked or a cooked batch of quinoa. I would love to know what the results are like.

Sara's Baked Oatmeal

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, gently whisked
  • 3 cups certified gluten-free oatmeal, or flaked quinoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients and put in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

NOTE: Incidentally, I did change two things in this recipe. BUT it was only to cut back on the fat and sugar. I used 1/4 cup of Smart Balance Omega 3 oil, in place of the 1/2 cup of butter, and I cut the brown sugar down to 1/2 cup. Michael said it tasted just like Sara's... so if you're watching fat and sugar intake, cutting down on those amounts did not affect the wonderful taste of this dish!

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  1. I have tried to eat oatmeal for breakfast, but I just can't! I know it's good for me, but it doesn't make my tastebuds happy.

    BAKED oatmeal, however, would be a different story. I dig oatmeal cookies (crunch, no raisins) so I'll have to give this a try!

  2. Hey Abby!
    I like regular oatmeal okay, but this is my FAVORITE way to eat oatmeal now. It is crispy and chewy... almost like having a cookie for breakfast! Just give it a shot one morning! I think you might like it! Thanks for commenting!!

  3. This sounds good! Have you ever tried this with flaked quinoa?

  4. Hi, thankyou so much for this recipie I made it with the reduced fat/sugar as you did but with the butter and it was really wonderful. I was really tempted to add some other flavours as it sounded very plain but you are right it is perfect as is!

  5. MIDI -- I'm SOOO glad you enjoyed this dish!! I love love love it!!! As a matter of fact you've inspired me to make it again this morning!! Thank you so much for commenting!!

  6. Hi, I just came across your recipe and it looks delicious but I have two questions for you: what size baking dish did you use (8x8 or 9x13) and how many servings did it make? Thanks!

  7. JC - I used an 8x8 baking dish and it makes about 9 large squares. It's very tasty!!

  8. This looks wonderful. I like oatmeal with banana and almond extract so I might sneak some of that in!

  9. I tried this recipe and liked it, tried a different one and didn't like it as well, and just made this one again this morning, adding pecans, craisins, and chocolate chips. Even my 3-year-old ate most of hers!

  10. I love oatmeal cookies so I knew these would be great. I used no butter and instead substituted an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. I also used Splenda brown sugar (1/2 cup) and added craisins and cinnamon. These freeze really well and are a perfect to take to work for breakfast.

    These are similar to Quaker oatmeal squares - but these are much better, healthier and so much cheaper! Thanks for posting!

  11. Luv2blab -- Thank you so much for commenting! I'm so glad you were able to make the oatmeal squares for breakfast! your version sounds absolutely delicious!! ;-) I'll have to try substituting all applesauce sometime for the butter! Nice job!

  12. I think I am going to have to try this. I also have heart issues in my family and elevated cholesterol and so I started eating oatmeal this year after 15 years of being celiac. This sound right up my alley!

  13. I would love to try this, as I also do not care for regular breakfast oatmeal but love oatmeal cookies. However, I can only use pure cane sugar for sweetening. Any idea if it would work and how much I should use. I am still learning the tricks of baking!

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, it would work just fine Jana! Use it in the same quantity of less! You'll love it !