Oatmeal isn’t something that excites most people. Varying between watery and flavorless to gummy and solid, most of us have a horror story idea of what bad oatmeal can be. But baked oatmeal takes oatmeal to a different level.
And this recipe, I love it so for the customization. Whether sweetened intensely, full of melted butter and fruit or sweetened with restraint, with a drizzle of olive oil and flax seeds, this is good oatmeal. Room temperature, this oatmeal holds its cut shape like a granola bar. Warmed up with milk or cream and you get oatmeal similar to a stovetop meal but not quite as mushy. It seems backwards to dry the oatmeal out via baking and remoisten with dairy, but it creates one of the best textures I’ve had for oatmeal. You don’t get any of the gum, just tender, milky oats and lots of flavor.
So this recipe tries to show both ranges of healthy and more decadent. If you’re looking for something delicious but healthful, use the numbers on the left side of the range for all measurements. If you’re a dessert-for-breakfast fan, the righthand side numbers will result in that sort of dish. Peanut butter can also be adjusted – this recipe is the perfect vehicle for the Naturally More flax peanut butter I had sitting in the pantry by its lonesome. It isn’t the kind of butter we peanut fiends would eat by the spoonful, but it works well baked up. But you could use your standby Jif creamy, Trader Joe’s organic crunchy or anything other nut butter you have at your fingertips.
Naughty or Nice Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal
- ¼ – ½ cup olive oil, vegetable oil or melted butter [fat]
- ½ -1 cup sugar or honey [sweetener]
- 1 cup milk – soy, 1%, whole or heavy cream, OR yogurt [thinned out with water] [dairy]
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 oz flax seeds
- 2 oz wheat germ
- 4 cups oats
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350° F. While oven is preheating, toast your oats and almonds. Spread oats out on large, parchment-lined pan.
Spread nuts out on smaller parchment-lined pan. Stir every five minutes. In both the oats and almonds, watch for warm, brown color, and smell for a nutty aroma.
In a medium bowl, mix together fat, sweetener, dairy, peanut butter, eggs & vanilla. A hand mixer is useful for breaking up the peanut butter and incorporating it.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour into a greased 9×13″ glass pan and top with toasted almonds.
Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned on top. Check every 10 minutes or so – the lower in fat and sugar oatmeal usually cooks in about 20-30 minutes, but it can longer.
Let cool slightly before cutting. Serve with warmed milk or cream and any addition of your choice. I enjoy it with homemade pear-quince butter [as pictured], homemade apple butter, more peanut butter, jam, or as-is.