What's a better way to christen this blog than to start off with the most important meal of the day: Breakfast! In this very first recipe, I've baked a hearty, delicious Apple Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal - with almonds.
Oatmeal, in my opinion is greatly overlooked and under appreciated. Oatmeal, particularly the "old fashioned" variety (or steel cut, irish oatmeals) is chock full of good for you stuff- and it keeps you full for much longer than that coffee and donut!
To this oatmeal, I added dried cranberries, gala apples - great apples to cook/bake with, walnuts and some almonds. Instead of refined white sugar, I used all natural honey, with a bit of real vanilla extract (never artificial!) and cinnamon. For an added treat I baked it in the oven instead of the traditional stove top. The end result is a yummy, creamy oatmeal - with almost a bread pudding consistency. So it's like a hearty rich dessert, for breakfast! - Without the added guilt! Try making this yourself the night before and heat in the morning before work, your morning workout, chores- whatever! It'll keep you full and satisfied! Enjoy. Recipe to follow.
Baked Apple Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal with Almonds Recipe (Serves 6-8):
Mix the oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, chopped walnuts and almonds in a bowl.
In a medium saucepan, add one tablespoon of butter to melt, add the chopped apples and cranberries. To that, add the half cup of honey. Stir carefully, keeping the heat at medium-low. After about 8 minutes, the apples soften and the cranberries plump up. Set heat to low.
In a separate saucepan, add the milk, water, vanilla and half tablespoon of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the oatmeal mixture. Keep heat at medium-low. Stir carefully until incorporated. To that add the cooked apple-cranberry mixture, stir until incorporated.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium sized baking dish, prepare with cooking spray (PAM or any other brand). I prefer vegetable cooking spray, but baking cooking spray works as well.
Add the mixture from the saucepan to the baking dish. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Serve warm, alone or with a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup. Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate!