Oatmeal: the Perfect Start to a Crisp Morning
It’s finally starting to feel like fall outside! Or rather some days feel more like winter has made its abrupt entrance and completely pushed autumn out of the way. Even though the bite of crisp air and the first signs of frost have officially ended the fall harvest season, apples and pears are still making their way into all kinds of fall baking, both sweet and savory. Thanksgiving menus showcase epic apple pies and spicy pear tarts for their grand finale, and perhaps even these colorful fruits even appear on elegant table settings for a warm, family meal.
Thankfully, we live in an era when we can get out-of-season produce year round, but the seasons when those iconic crops are abundant at local farms, we can’t help but indulge in all things apple and pear. Apples sometimes overshadow their look-a-like friend, but pears hold their own in many recipes, as they are more delicate and have a unique flavor and texture. And just like apples, each variety of pear has its own flavor profile and toothsome bite.
Some of the best way to enjoy these luscious fruits is for breakfast. According to Ayurvedic traditions, eating and drinking warm foods and beverages aids in digestion and soothes all of the bodily systems, so starting the day with a warm, hearty bowl of oatmeal is sure to nourish your body. Better yet, prepare your oatmeal the night before to save time in the morning. But we’re not talking about cold overnight oats; save those for hot summer mornings when all you can think about is foods to cool you down. Instead, bake your oatmeal the night or even days before and simply reheat it in the morning when you’re ready for breakfast. Baked oatmeal is a kicked-up version of traditional microwave, or even stovetop oatmeal. It’s thick and firm and holds together like a sweet, healthy casserole.
All you need is a few simple ingredients to prepare this healthy breakfast. Simply combine rolled oats, ground flax seed, chia seeds, shredded coconut, a dash of cinnamon, almond milk or coconut milk, and the piece-de-resistance, Neat Nick Preserves Vanilla Bean Pear Jam. The jam is chunky and beautifully speckled with fresh, florally vanilla bean, so it lends a lovely texture, sweetness, and aroma to the oatmeal. It’s best to use rolled oats here, as they hold their shape when baked, and opt for unsweetened finely shredded coconut, which adds thickness and a subtle coconutty chew to the porridge.
This recipe can be made as an individual serving, per the original recipe below, or it can very easily be multiplied into whatever serving size needed. And when making the oatmeal for a large crowd, you can bake it all together in a glass or ceramic dish and cut it into squares when ready to serve – perfect for a potluck brunch! Be sure to serve it piping hot with a splash of almond milk and a spoonful of more jam if desired.
Vanilla Bean Pear Baked Oatmeal
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp. ground flax seed
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
- 2 Tbsp. Neat Nick Preserves Vanilla Bean Pear Jam
Combine the oats, ground flax seed, chia seeds, shredded coconut, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour in the almond milk and then stir in the jam until everything is combined. Allow oat mixture to set for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the mixture to thicken. When ready to bake, bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes, or until the oatmeal begins to turn slightly golden around the edges on top. Serve hot and drizzle over more almond milk and jam if desired.
For more great Neat Nick Preserves recipes, visit the Recipes page on our website. Enjoy!
Recipe created by NoodlesKnows blog author and fitness coach Mandy Kaewsowatana.