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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal (Soy, Wheat, Egg and Fish-Free, Can Be Milk and Nut-Free)

 
Happy New Year!  I hope your new year is off to a fantastic start!  Mine has been full of illness so far, but I am mostly better and no one else seems to be too bad off (though we've all had sinus issues, and my daughter isn't feeling so hot at the moment), so here's hoping the ickies will be gone soon! :)
 
Anyway, it has been way too long since I've posted a recipe, so I decided that (feeling 100% or not) a recipe you all shall get! :)  Hopefully it won't disappoint.
 
I don't know about you, but I love the idea of oatmeal.  I say that I love the idea of oatmeal, because I love the flavor, but I cannot get past the texture.  I can eat granola.  I can eat oatmeal cookies.  I can eat oatmeal bread and oatmeal muffins.  But oatmeal?  The cereal that you cook on the stove?  Oh, I want to like it.  I want to love it.  The texture, though, just is off putting to me.  It's just a bit too slimy for me, no matter how it's done.  I've had it made a million different ways, and the texture gets to me every time (until now, but I'll get to that in a minute).
 
I decided baked oatmeal might work.  Maybe it would be ok texture-wise.  I tried a few recipes that contained egg, and I can tell you this - not my cup of tea.  I always found that a bit spongy or omelette-like, and that's not what I was looking for at all in an oatmeal.  I am not one to easily give up, though, so I kept telling myself there HAD to be an egg-less, baked oatmeal that would work for me and my texture issues.  Well, you all, I found it!  I found an egg-less, baked oatmeal that tastes as good as it smells, AND that doesn't have an off putting texture (in my opinion). 
 
I found the original recipe on Summer Harms.  I modified it some to fit personal tastes, but let me tell you: this recipe is a winner!  Not only does it taste great hot, warm or cold, it is also soy (if you use all soy-free ingredients), wheat, egg and fish-free, and can be milk and nut-free (see variations).
 
My husband decided that this year I should do a recipe rating system.  Since there are 5 people in my family, the rating system is total thumbs up out of a possible 10 thumbs up.  This recipe?  Well, it got 9 thumbs up out of 10 (my 4 year old was the only one to give it 1 thumbs up) without jam on it, and 10 thumbs up out of 10 with jam on it (see variations for more details).  As I said before, this recipe is a winner for young and old alike!  It tastes a little like a peanut butter oatmeal cookie with a soft, not quite chewy texture.  It's almost the consistency you get when you eat a peanut butter sandwich on soft, white bread, but with a delightful oatmeal cookie taste mixed it.  You'll just have to try it to see what I mean.  So very good!
 
 
Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal
 
3 Cups quick cooking oats (gluten-free if you need it to be)
(Do not use instant oatmeal or old fashioned oats!)
 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free if you need it to be)
 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(this is normally gluten-free, but make sure your brand says it is if you need it to be)
 
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
1/4 to 1/3 Cup honey
(this is normally gluten-free unless it has something added to it, so be sure to check labels)
 
3/4 to 1 Cup soy-free peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
(this is normally gluten-free, but make sure your brand says it is if you need it to be)
 
1 to 1 1/2 Cups milk
 
  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
     
  2. Grease a 9x13 glass pan and set aside.  (Note: Use whatever grease fits your allergen needs.  You can use butter, oil, lard, etc.)
      
  3. In a large bowl, mix together oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
      
  4. Add honey, peanut butter, vanilla and milk to the oat mixture and mix until well-blended.  (Note: The amount of honey, peanut butter and milk are based on personal preference.  If you like it sweeter, use more honey.  If you like it more peanut buttery and a bit more fudge-like texture, add more peanut butter.  If you like the idea of bits of peanut in your oatmeal, use the crunchy peanut butter.  If you like it more chewy, add more milk.  If you like it a bit drier, use less milk.  My personal favorite is to use 1/3 Cup honey, closer to 3/4 Cup creamy peanut butter and to start at 1 Cup milk and add a little more if needed to give it a soft cookie dough looking texture.)
      
  5. Scoop mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the middle is set.  (Note: You do not have to bake this oatmeal beyond having the middle set, which is more toward the 20 minute mark, sometimes even as little as 15 minutes.  If you like your oatmeal a little more crunchy/dry (though it won't be completely like that - it will be more like soft oatmeal cookies with a slight crunch on the edge), bake it a bit longer, though you shouldn't have to bake it past 30 minutes.  I normally bake mine for 25 minutes to get a soft bottom with a slight crunchy cookie-type top.)
     
  6. Enjoy hot, warm or cold.
Makes anywhere from 12 large servings (as seen in the picture below) to 24 small servings.
 
 
Variations (Please keep your individual allergy and dietary needs in mind when using substitutions!):
  • Peanut-Free or Nut-Free:  If you cannot have peanut butter, you can sub any tree nut or seed butter for the peanut butter with success.  It will have a slightly different flavor, but should still be equally delicious.
  • Milk-Free: If you cannot have milk, you can sub any non-dairy milk, water or juice for the milk.  I've made it with juice before, and it makes it taste like peanut butter and jelly.  We even liked it better than when it was made with milk!
      
  • Grain-Free: If you have trouble with all grains, including oatmeal, sub quinoa flakes for the oatmeal and make as directed.
  • Alternative Sweeteners: If you do not like honey or don't have any or cannot use it, you can sub molasses or maple syrup.  You can also sub 1/3 to 1/2 Cup of brown or white sugar for the honey.  I've subbed with the brown sugar (I used 1/2 Cup), and it was very good!  You can even use Stevia or another sugar-free, approved for baking alternative, too.  Use this chart to help you determine how much Stevia to use in place of the sugar/honey.  Here is one for determining how much Splenda to substitute with.  Here's another conversion chart that might be of help when trying to determine how much sweetener to use in place of the honey/sugar.
      
  • Topping Ideas: This oatmeal is great plain, but it is even better with jam on top.  You could also top it with raisins or anything that you like on top of oatmeal that would go well with peanut butter.  You could even melt some chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a great allergy-friendly choice) and drizzle them on top, or even top it with caramel sauce if you wanted a more "dessert" type feel.
 
 
YUM!
This is an easy breakfast option that is whips up in minutes, bakes quickly and fills you up.
I hope you enjoy it!
 
~*~*~*~
 
What's your favorite breakfast dish?
 
Do you like baked oatmeal?
 
Would you like to see more recipes like this?
 
What is a recipe you've been looking for that you're having trouble finding that fits your dietary needs?