When we were pinching pennies for our $5/day food project, we got into the habit of making big batches of peanut butter & banana baked oatmeal. It keeps us from eating cereal for breakfast day after day. It’s quick & easy to throw together a big batch of baked oatmeal. You simply warm a piece up in the morning or even grab it on your way out the door to eat at your desk. Levi missed the bus the other day, and while Jess drove him to school he was able to eat a homemade, healthy breakfast in the car. It just works for us.
When fall rolled around, I decided we needed to add a new flavor to our repertoire and came up with pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal. Since we are eating this stuff so often, I decided I needed another new recipe to work into the rotation. I must have holiday foods on the brain, because gingerbread seemed perfect.
As always, this is sweetened just enough to be flavorful. It’s breakfast, not dessert. I packed it with the flavors of ginger (ground, fresh, and crystallized!) and molasses. If you’re feeding little kids who find ginger spicy, omit the fresh and crystallized ginger. They could have a dollop of vanilla yogurt or whipped cream on top.
Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup full flavor/dark molasses
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups oatmeal
½ cup flax meal
3 cups milk (soy, nut, or dairy)
⅓ cup chopped crystallized ginger (about 2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375° F and butter a 9X13″ baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, molasses, melted butter, eggs, applesauce, grated ginger, spices, baking soda, and salt. Add oats, flax meal, and milk. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle the crystallized ginger over the top evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until set.
Makes 12 servings.
I used a molasses marked “full flavor”. This is a second molasses. It’s dark, but not as dark as blackstrap. Molasses grades are first molasses, second molasses, and blackstrap molasses. Molasses is the byproduct of making cane sugar. The sugar cane is boiled to extract the sugar crystals. The numbers in the molasses grades refer to how many times it was boiled. First molasses has the highest sugar content and the mildest flavor, while blackstrap has had the most sugar extracted, leaving behind the most concentrated flavor and minerals. Even this second molasses contributes some calcium, iron, and magnesium to your breakfast.