Good morning! I’ve got another breakfast recipe for you, & next to my “Pumpkin Cacao Chip Superfood Smoothie,” this my new favorite. I’ve been alternating between the two morning treats this week.
As I am trying to be better about bulk cooking on the weekends to give me healthy, homemade, & convenient options to reach for throughout the week, this is the kind of dish that fits that bill. While it is absolutely delicious warm & bubbly & fresh out of the oven, the leftovers it heat up well & keep for a couple of days.
I am also trying to be more mindful with my eating habits, & that means sitting down, distraction free, taking the time to be gracious & enjoy the wholesome food that is before me. So, if I have time on my typically busy weekday mornings, I’ll reheat the oatmeal on the stove with a bit of almond milk & take the time to savor it. But let’s be honest, I am still adapting to this more mindful routine, & there are still those mornings when I throw a bunch of smoothie fixins in the Vitamix & race out the door (but hey, it’s better than grabbing a donut!
My recipe was partly inspired by The Simple Veganista’s “Persimmon & Grape Baked Oatmeal”. A few weeks ago, I received some persimmons (my favorite!) from the CSA & promptly recreated her recipe & it was delicious. A few weeks later, more persimmons arrived, along with a bag of fresh cranberries. This delivery happened upon me the day AFTER Thanksgiving, which meant I needed to think creatively about how to utilize the cranberries, rather than make the old standby cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving table. I got to thinking about the scrumptious baked oatmeal, & wondered if I could substitute the cranberries in place of the grapes. I thought the tartness of the cranberry might be a nice contrast to the sweet persimmon. I asked my pal google for some advice on the matter & came across this recipe (forgive the blog name!), & after affirming that my cranberry persimmon hunch wasn’t wacky, I got to work on a vegan friendly version.
In place of a chicken’s egg, I whipped together a “flax egg,” which gave the oatmeal a more light & custardy texture. I also used coconut sugar in place of brown sugar (which is unrefined, lower glycemic & full of vitamins & minerals). The combination of almond & coconut milks inspired me to toss some unsweetened coconut into the mix, as a little tropical flare is certainly welcome this time of year. I also added a few more warming spices & seeds from a fresh vanilla bean to make it extra special. The result was a fluffy, comforting, & wholesome baked oatmeal surprise. I say surprise because each bite it loaded with exciting flavors & if you truly take the time to savor, mindfully, your tastebuds will be tickled with a burst of sweetness, tartness, or a bit of both!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 1½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. cardamom
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 flax egg (1Tbsp. ground flaxseeds, mixed with 3 Tbps. water)
- 1½ Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- 1 fuyu persimmon, diced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, blanched
- To make the “Flax Egg:" In a small cup, add flaxseed meal followed by water & whisk together well. Place in the refrigerator to “set up” for 15 minutes to one hour.
- To blanch the cranberries: Fill a sauce pan with a few cups of water & bring to a boil. Add the cranberries & cook them until they begin to pop & split open. This should only take a few minutes. Drain in a colander, then set aside to cool.
- To prepare the oatmeal: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In medium bowl combine the oatmeal, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, coconut, pecans & salt.
- In a small bowl, combine both milks, sugar, flax egg, vanilla & coconut oil. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture, & mix well. Fold in in persimmon & cranberries, & mix until just combined.
- Place mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 9 baking dish & bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm with a splash of non-dairy milk over top, & a drizzle of pure maple syrup if desired.
The rare opportunity of having a vanilla bean in my hands (they are super cheap at Trader Joe’s right now!) inspired me to make homemade vanilla almond milk, which also light up my life this week. I’ve been using it in my pumpkin smoothie & to pour over this oatmeal, & I’m obsessed. Currently soaking another cup of almonds to make another batch. Recipe will follow soon. I’m telling you, homemade almond milk is the way to go!