I have a thing for cranberries.They are just so pretty. In that way that the holiday drinks at Starbuck's make the Christmas music piping overhead tolerable, cranberries for breakfast make me want to pull out the decorations and cover the house in sparkly, glittery things. If only while I'm still in my pjs and slippers and hugging that first morning coffee. Sure that feeling is waning by the time breakfast dishes are cleaned up - but it was there for a little while and I blame the cranberries.
This Cranberry and Pear Baked Oatmeal is hearty and crunchy. The cranberries literally pop. I made this version vegan - ground flax seeds stand in for the egg (or two) typically found in baked oatmeal recipes. It's the stuff that holds it all together and helps with that chewy firm texture that I like so much in baked oats. Don't skimp on the almonds if you can help it, they add such a nice crunch here. I used pears mostly because I had so many. I tend to think of pears as a little more holiday than apples anyway, so I like them with cranberries. But feel free to use apples instead.
So this time of year, baked oatmeal has another bonus - it's relatively hands-off. Stick this in the oven and you can get on with other things while it bakes - like just 10 more minutes before the kids find you things. You don't have to worry about the pot boiling over or the oats burning on the bottom of the pan. It is pretty much good to go and walk away for 30 minutes or so.
Here is how you make it:
Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2-1/4 cups of non-dairy milk I used almond
- 4 Tablespoons maple syrup or 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 cups chopped apples pears work nicely too
- Preheat oven to 350
- Spray a 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray
- In a large bowl mix together flax seed, milk, syrup and vanilla. Set aside while you dice up the apples.
- Stir in oats, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, almonds, apples and cranberries.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and firm throughout, about 35-40 minutes. Serve with extra maple syrup and maybe milk for the top. Leftovers reheat nicely the next day.