I love baked oatmeal because it's so easy! Just stir, pour and bake; it is that simple. I also love it because you can treat it almost like a crumble or pie with your ingredients which give it endless possibilities for flavor combinations; all of which are reminiscent of dessert for breakfast. And who doesn't like that idea?
I made this baked oatmeal on a day that was starting off sunny and humid, well on its way to the 80 degrees forecasted by my weather app. So, the ingredient list includes fresh fruit (strawberries; in season now), pineapple juice (for sweet tropical flavors) and mango; frozen (yeah, frozen - it's the BEST in baked goods which I tell you why below). I let this cool to room temp before eating, and it was perfect for the day ahead. The oatmeal had me full while also mentally preparing my brain for Summer heat and treats!
Sustainability Spotlight: Frozen fruits are not just for smoothies or "nice" cream; they have multiple levels of use - especially in my sustainable kitchen! When I'm baking a crumble, or even a pie with "juicy" fruits like peaches, mangoes, plums, cherries, etc.) I often prefer to use frozen fruits. Why? Because frozen fruits retain their bright hue after cooking, will let off juice slower than fresh so that your pie or crumble creates a sauce vs. soup for the filling, and are already pre-cut (which makes my life super easy!) For sustainability reasons, frozen fruit are always "in season" and often more cost effective than fresh. The best part for their sustainability is that frozen fruits can be "ugly" (cast offs from the fresh market for size, shape, or color), which maximizes the yield of our harvested resources by not wasting these perfectly flavorful foods because of visual appeal. Since I use frozen fruits in my crumbles, and this oatmeal was inspired by crumble flavors, I decided to try my frozen "trick" in the baked oatmeal. The result? Heavenly flavor, great texture and endless possibilities ahead. Frozen fruit, you're my hero!
2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
4 tbsp organic chia seeds
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Garden of Life - Plant-Based Sport)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp roasted ground cinnamon (or plain, if you don't have roasted - worth finding though!)
1 cup frozen mango (chunks)
1 cup diced strawberries (rinsed & hulled)
1 cup pure pineapple juice
1/2 fresh lemon (juiced)
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cups cashew-coconut milk (Forager has a great one)
1 ripe banana (mashed)
3 tbsp brown sugar - optional for sprinkling on top
Garnish: 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large bowl, mix oats through cinnamon until combined; stir in mango and strawberries until coated lightly with some dry ingredients.
In a large measuring cup, combine pineapple juice through banana; whisk thoroughly and add to your dry ingredients.
Mix (stir lightly) all ingredients in your bowl and pour into a large glass or ceramic pan (9 x 12) - I used a ceramic oval (see photo) so not exactly this size, but close enough. Sprinkle brown sugar (if using) evenly over top of oatmeal (it will "melt" into the top - this is correct).
Slide pan into oven and bake 45-50 minutes or until bubbly at the edges.
Once done, let cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes (to solidify a little); garnish with coconut shreds (if using), and serve.
I found it best at room temp (and even cold the next day!) I hope you enjoy this recipe; I'd love to hear your feedback if you do!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie