When I was a kid, my family always ate their oatmeal with lots of butter and salt. My college roommates and friends enjoyed it any number of ways: with milk, sugar, fruit, raisins. As an adult, though, I find myself rarely making oatmeal. I realize the health benefits, but no matter what I put on top, it was never really that exciting.
I got my latest Penzey's catalog in the mail, and lo and behold: it included an oatmeal recipe. I decided to give it a whirl this weekend (by the way, this is a total plug for Penzey's spices: they are awesome. I use them all the time. Give em a try sometime). What was interesting is that you mixed everything into it beforehand, and just baked it in the oven.
This baked oatmeal is similar to the stove-top version, obviously, but also so different: slightly firm, with an almost crusty top and soft interior. Hot and filling with lots of goodies packed inside. So perfect for a cold morning.
2 1/4 c. quick cooking oats (or 2 3/4 c. old-fashioned oats)
2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. raisins or other dried fruit (I used dried goji berries)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/3 c. skim milk
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tsp. veggie oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Milk, yogurt, sugar, and/or fruit (optional; for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. In a medium bowl, combine milk, egg whites, oil and vanilla and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
Pour into the baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 55-60 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Cool slightly.
Serve topped with milk or sugar or yogurt and fruit, if desired. Store leftover oatmeal tightly covered in the refrigerator.