January 22, 2016

Apple-Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Every time I go, I wonder why it's taken me so long to come back. And sometimes that's just five days. The serenity of the lake puts my soul at ease and creates spaces for quality time like none other.

So far, baked oatmeal has a similar track record.

My newest version is packed with cold-weather season flavors and textures. Apples and cranberries add sweet-tartness, pecans a nutty crunch and orange zest a refreshing citrusy flair throughout. So wondrous was the influence of the zest that I was compelled to invest in the house's very own zester. (Yes, quality kitchen tools really are quite exciting.)
Because my mother is almost as fastidious about Tuesday-Thursday nail nights as I am about baking from scratch.
 Bonus: Because winter masqueraded as spring for so long, we enjoyed our oats on the deck that boasts my favorite view.
 The next time I was lake-bound, I brought my zester and vowed to come back sooner.

More Baked Oatmeal: The Strawberry Kind
Even More Grainy Breakfast Delight: Whole Grain Strawberry Breakfast Cake

Apple-Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

3 cups regular oats (not quick-cooking)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup plain applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 green apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Vanilla or honey-flavored yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, stir together oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine milk, egg, applesauce,  brown sugar and orange zest. Add to mixture and stir until combined. Stir in apple pieces, dried cranberries and pecans. Pour into a greased baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir mixture. Bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Spoon into bowls and serve with yogurt if you like. Garnish with extra cranberries if desired.

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