Baked Berry Oatmeal

by Terri Peña

While the title says berry oatmeal, any fruit will do.  Peaches, plums and cherries are just as delicious.  In the middle of winter when tasty fruit is out of season, go ahead and use frozen.  When you use frozen all of the prep work is done for you and your oatmeal will take on the color of the fruit.  You can even use different fruit in each jar for a rainbow in your refrigerator.

Baked Berry Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups berries
  • 2 cups regular oats
  • 2 cups milk, non dairy works fine, nut milks add extra creaminess
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • chopped nuts and raw sugar to garnish, if desired

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375′. Into six pint sized Mason jars (see note), place 1/4 cup berries
  2. Mix the oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Pour 1/3 cup of the oatmeal mixture on top of the berries in all six jars
  3. Mix the milk, butter, maple and vanilla together. Pour a scant 1/2 cup on top of the oats, letting it seep through to the bottom.
  4. Top off the jars with another 1/4 cup or so of berries.
  5. In a 9 x 13 or larger baking pan pour 1/4 inch of water. The water will prevent the jars from any possible cracking. Place all the jars in the baking dish and bake on the middle rack of your oven for about 30 minutes. The liquid should be absorbed and the tops just browned with everything still moist.

The Berry Oatmeal can be eaten right out of the oven, or stored and reheated for a quick, healthy, filling breakfast.  To store, let the jars cool completely and then cover with lids or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

To reheat, place uncovered jar in microwave and warm for one minute.  If you like your oatmeal on the thin side, add a splash of milk before reheating.  Before eating, sprinkle with chopped nuts and raw sugar if desired.  Try to wait until tomorrow to have another one.

*If your house does not have an abundant supply of Mason jars, any oven and microwave proof container can be used.  Small Pyrex bowls, custard cups, ramekins, even drinking glasses will work.

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Photos © Terri Peña