By now, my love of baked oatmeal has been well established. Truth be told, I hold back some of my variations because I don’t want to over-oatmeal people. I think the time has come, however, to release another!
My sister-in-law, Melissa, is to thank for this delicious creation. She is a nurse who leaves early for work and likes to bring her breakfast with her to eat while on break. She thought a combination of my blueberry coconut almond baked oatmeal and crunchy top apple and cinnamon oatmeal would be perfect for her in terms of flavors and quick prep. This recipe is fruitier than my original apple cinnamon baked oatmeal and does not require the “soak” time. When I eat this version, it truly reminds me of a healthy apple crisp, hence the name.
By the way, when Melissa makes this, she prepares it the night before and takes the whole baking dish to work to share with her coworkers. Wouldn’t you love to work with her?
Note to all the quinoa fans out there: A couple of times, I have experimented with this recipe, using a combination of quinoa and oats. For our tastes, 1 3/4 cups oats and 1/4 cup quinoa (both uncooked) is the perfect combination. My kids don’t really notice a difference but I detect a hint of nuttiness. I have gone as high as one cup oats and one cup quinoa and recommend this for the true quinoa fans. In that case, I prefer a layer of bananas underneath (as described below) which will serve as a good base for the somewhat looser quinoa grains.
Also, a special thanks goes out to my dear friend, Jen. She noticed that I often strategically place a tea towel or napkin in my photos–this is my way of improving the picture!–and she gave me the pretty one in the photo above. For those who used to watch The Cosby Show in the 80’s, I told her I will be to tea towels what Bill Cosby was to college sweatshirts! Ok…I just really dated myself there.
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 cups milk (any kind will do; I sometimes mix nonfat and coconut for added flavor)
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (could use melted butter or canola oil)
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups diced apples, skin may be left on (see note)
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup brown sugar (I use a 1/4 cup when I have a mixture of apples; if using all Granny Smith, a tarter variety of apple, I would lean towards 1/3 cup for our preference)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter the inside of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, 1/4 cup of the almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, coconut oil or butter, and vanilla.
- Sprinkle half of the apples over the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the fruit with the dry oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Scatter the remaining apples and almonds over the top. Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- This may be eaten immediately or made ahead and reheated. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- I like to use a mixture of apples. This time, I used one Fuji, one Granny Smith and one Gold Rush. A mix of tart and sweet apples provides great flavor.
- Overall sweetness will depend partially on the type of apples used and on personal preference. If you aren't sure the first time how sweet you will prefer it, err on the low side as you can always add a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup when serving.
- When using melted coconut oil or butter, it is helpful if the cold ingredients have come to room temperature prior to mixing so that the oil or butter doesn’t re-harden once stirred in. If this happens, you may slowly heat in the microwave until the liquid mixture is just warm enough to soften the butter or coconut oil.