A while back, I picked up a good tidbit of information from a stand owner at our local farmer’s market: Rhubarb season lasts through the longest day of the year–the first day of summer. Same for asparagus. I find this helpful as the early days of summer approach. It is a reminder to get my fill while I can.
For those who are familiar with my penchant for baked oatmeals, I have two main categories. It all started with my Overnight Crunchy Top Apple and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. Well, really, it started with a lot of experimenting in my kitchen years before, trying to replicate a steel cut version from a local cafe. (There is another story and a recipe surrounding all of that!) As the rhubarb in our garden flourished this year, I started mixing it with fresh strawberries in the 9×13 pan version of my baked oatmeals. There are inherent differences in the recipes beyond the size of the pan and quite a few seasonal variations for both types, so feel free to scroll through the Breakfast Foods category. For ease, I have linked several of the recipes below and the original earlier in this paragraph.
Additionally, I have found that frozen strawberries work beautifully in my Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal and would not hesitate to use them here. Simply chop the berries and mix in while still frozen. While I have yet to find frozen rhubarb at our grocery stores, it can be easily frozen at home. Simply wash the stalks and thoroughly dry. Then, chop and freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a zipper-top bag and store in the freezer. I like to freeze in recipe-size portions, but you can certainly freeze one large bag and use as needed. I have recipes for Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler, Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, and a few others that can be easily enjoyed in the offseason with a bag of this spring treat tucked away for future use.
A few of my other baked oatmeal recipes that follow this general recipe framework and are a little fruitier than my other versions include the following:
Yields 8 cups.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (could use honey)
- 2 cups milk (last time, I used 1 cup canned coconut milk and 1 cup nonfat milk; use whatever milk you prefer)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (could use melted butter)
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 level cups (about 6 ounces) diced rhubarb
- 1 1/2 level cups quartered or halved strawberries
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (could use coconut sugar for an unrefined alternative)
- Optional: 1/2 cup shredded coconut (when using, I use unsweetened in this recipe)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, 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, 1/4 cup of the optional coconut, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, coconut oil or butter, and vanilla.
- Sprinkle half of the rhubarb and strawberries over the bottom of the baking dish. (I use my hands to evenly distribute the fruit.) Cover the fruit with all of the dry oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Scatter the remaining fruit, almonds, brown sugar, and coconut, if using, over the top.
- Bake for 35 to 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 or eaten cold. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. (I often prepare this the night before and like the way the flavors develop and the oatmeal sets as it sits overnight.)
- 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.