Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal (dairy free, lower cholesterol)

I’m beginning to post “through the spice rack” AGAIN recipes as I discover new uses for spices I’ve already blogged about. I was impressed with a recipe in Reader’s Digest by a blogger I follow,
I modified the recipe with several key ingredients, and since I did not see it listed on Heidi’s blog, here is how I prepared the apple cinnamon baked oatmeal:

Mix 2 cups oats (I used a 5-grain cereal that is sold near the oatmeal in the grocery store), 1 tsp baking powder,
 ½ cups toasted & chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon (I omitted the ½ tsp salt called for in the original recipe).

In another bowl, I combined 2 cups almond milk, ¼ cup egg substitute and 2 tsp vanilla.

Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish, and place four cut up apples into the dish.  Sprinkle blueberries (I had 4 ounces) on top. Cover with oat mixture, then pour milk mixture over the oats. I jiggled the dish to check if the milk was evenly distributed around the pan.

I baked the dish at 350 because I was fixing dinner at the same time, but Heidi instructs 375 degrees with an 8x8 baking dish. The 40 minutes I had the dish in the over for worked out well.

The maple flavor was lovely with the cinnamon and vanilla. I will prepare this again as soon as the current batch runs out, and will see how it tastes with chocolate extract instead of vanilla! In future versions, I will also add some nutmeg, allspice, hazelnuts, pecans, coconut, etc.
Would I serve my modified version to guests? Probably not, unless they were on a health kick, too. I bet the original version with regular milk, egg, etc. tasted creamier. The plump blueberries turned mushy while baking (tasted great but didn't look glamorous enough to photograph the "after" version of the dish). Hence, an unrelated photo reminding me -and you- to slow down the hectic pace of life from time to time and breathe!

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