I’m sorry. Is it Thursday already? Holy cats, this is a long week and I am tired!
After couple days of trainings, presentations, workshops and assemblies, I’m officially ready to unpack my classroom. I haven’t been able to get in to my classroom this week because it has been in use. Today I tried to sneak in, but was surprised to find a group of 12 students sitting in a circle on the floor. (Dang it! Why didn’t they unstack the desks for me? That would have been sweet!) Ah well. It means that tomorrow – on my Love’s day off of work (lucky guy, huh?) – I will drag my Love and the Pup to school with me to set up my classroom, clean up and get organized. Ah, we teachers are such fun to have around on Labor Day weekend, huh?
Since it is the end of the month, w have been pushing through adoption paperwork (now the first wave of immigration papers are here on my desk to be completed this weekend too), school preparations, movies, and the last of our groceries before payday. This afternoon, after a day without fresh fruit in the house, I caved and bought some bananas and pears on my way home from work. I can no longer last without fresh fruit/veg in my stomach. It makes me crabby.
I even have trained myself to eat something for breakfast. SHOCKING. Seriously. I’m 39 years old and I have JUST NOW begun to eat breakfast? Weird. I have been eating just a few bites of this awesome new chia-based cereal. (I know… but it’s got ginger and cranberries and nuts too!) It doesn’t take much to satisfy my need to eat something in the morning. Now my routine is a couple tablespoons of cereal with rice milk, a piece of fruit and a glass of water. Then I’m satisfied for the day.
Yesterday, however, I started the day with the last piece of fruit and a glass of water. I had a brunch meeting with my department that was going to last through lunch. And so after several hours of spinning my wheels trying to figure out what to make them, I decided to make some oatmeal.
I’ve read about “Amish Oatmeal” or “Baked Oatmeal”, but I’ve never actually tried any of those recipes…. and i wasn’t sure what the texture would be. I needed to make something to share for this teacher-brunch/working-lunch that would appeal to my (1) breakfast needs, (2) high-fiber, gluten-free, health needs, (3) gluten-eating buddies at work and (4) need to make something the night before that I can pack and eat without reheating, etc.
I even called my mom.
At 11:00 PM, her time.
I love my mom.
Together we worked out a few ideas for this baked, cut-like-a-cake, oatmeal. I really like how it turned out. Although, some of the oats were a bit bitter (hmmm.. maybe I should keep my oats in the fridge???? Anyone?), so I think I should have added a couple tablespoons of maple syrup to the batter to even them out a bit. Brushing maple syrup on top was the absolute perfect touch.
While this recipe does call for 2/3 cup of brown sugar, it does NOT make the oatmeal taste sweet like a cake. It is still dense, fiber, delicious and healthy oatmeal…. just more bread-like.
For all of you baked-oatmeal eaters/makers, can you tell me what the consistency of that is? I just couldn’t figure it out from the recipes I was checking out. And since I really wanted something I could serve like a coffee cake (I just packed the pieces in some Lock & Lock and was good to go), I wasn’t sure what the end product of a baked oatmeal or Amish oatmeal would be.
So my mom and I devised this on the phone. It was simple. It was delicious and I will be making it again.
What do you guys make for your potluck breakfast/brunch meetings? I’m all about making something the night before and NOT making something sweet. People were already bringing coffee/tea, fruit, cranberry muffins and granola bars. I knew I was going to need something that would nourish me AND make me feel satisfied. Thus my choice of oatmeal.
Here’s what Mom & I devised. I’d love to hear your spin on this and your ideas for my next breakfast/brunch meeting (it’s only 2 weeks away!):
Gluten Free Oatmeal Breakfast-To-Go
2 cups certified Gluten Free Oats (not quick oats)
1 1/2 cups milk (rice or low fat)
2/3 cup brown sugar (measured as packed)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup applesauce (I used organic, non-sweetened)
1 cup GF Flour Mix (I used a rice-based blend)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
3 Tablespoons maple syrup (or more – see note above)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine oats and milk in the mixing bowl. Stir together. Allow to soak for 5-8 minutes while you assemble the other ingredients.
- In another bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.
- To the mixing bowl (once the oats have softened in the milk), add the applesauce and blended dry ingredients. Combine well.
- Add walnuts and cranberries (or cherries) and mix until evenly distributed.
- Lightly spray a 9 x 13″ pan (I used a smaller 8×10″ pan) with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan and smooth to even out.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in to the middle comes out clean and mostly dry – not sticky or wet looking.
- Poke holes with a toothpick (or kebab stick) across the top of the oatmeal bars evenly. Drizzle the syrup atop the oatmeal bars and brush to cover. (Apply more if you wish for a sweeter bar)
- Allow to cool. Cut in to bars/pieces.
- Store covered or in an airtight container until brunch. (I have three pieces left today that made for a perfect breakfast this morning. They were perfectly preserved/as tasty as yesterday. I’m not sure how long these will last, but predict that they will easily last 3-4 days on your counter top in an airtight container.)
Happy Gluten-Free Eating, All!