Tag Archives: baked oatmeal

Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal

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.


crystallized ginger

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
2 eggs
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.

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pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal

Happy first day of fall, y’all! This is worthy of celebration, so we decided to make a breakfast of our favorite fall flavor combination: pumpkin & chocolate.

pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups milk (soy, nut, or dairy)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons maple extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and butter a 9X13 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and 3/4 cup each of the walnuts and chocolate chips. Reserve the remaining quarter cup each of walnuts and chocolate chips to sprinkle on top at the end.

In another large bowl whisk the pumpkin, milk, eggs, and maple extract until combined. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and fold until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the reserved nuts and chocolate chips over the top. Bake until golden on top and no longer jiggly, about 35-40 minutes.

Makes 9 generous servings. Serve warm (after cooling for 10-15 minutes) or reheat in the microwave with a little milk.

This is not quite dessert for breakfast, because it is really just sweet enough. It’s kind of like pumpkin pie and a healthy bowl of oatmeal had a baby, with the richness of chocolate and some walnuts for a little crunch. Levi was the first to try it this morning before school, and he dubbed it “really good” on a scale of good to really good. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since he doesn’t often get chocolate for breakfast.

And how about a link list in honor of the first day of fall?

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day four


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $3.98 yesterday, January 5, 2011.

BREAKFAST

peanut butter & banana baked oatmeal $0.43
dollop of homemade blackberry jam (from our preserves)

LUNCH

We were all over the place, eating miscellaneous leftovers or skipping lunch entirely.
Krista slept through lunch (it would be impossible to explain my odd hours)
Jess ate seitan mole chili $1.30
Levi ate shahi paneer $1.56 (we’ll use this cost to calculate)

DINNER


vegan chipotle corn chowder $0.72


oven baked chickpeas $0.30

SNACKS

carrots $0.19
8 ounces yogurt $0.72
coffee with 1/4 cup almond milk (.06 for the milk and the coffee was free)

total $3.98

THOUGHTS:

– Hopefully you already saw our peanut butter & banana baked oatmeal recipe.

– I’ll be blogging the chipotle corn chowder recipe separately.

– Baked chickpeas: rinse and pat dry a can of chickpeas. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add your favorite seasonings (we used cumin, smoked paprika, salt & pepper). Bake at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Crunchy and protein rich. We split a batch between the three of us for dinner, so the cost was a can of chickpeas divided three ways.

– We’ve been buying 32 ounce lowfat yogurt containers and portioning them into 8 ounce servings. We hope to make it to Trader Joe’s soon for their affordable big containers of organic yogurt, since it is best for dairy to be organic.

COFFEE. As we approached the very beginning of this project, I was at a loss as to what we were going to do about coffee. Generally we each visit a coffee shop at least once a week. Sometimes more. At home we usually alternate between buying from a local roaster (Olympia Coffee Roasters or sometimes Stumptown), the co-op (where we can get OCR which is all organic, and other organic/fair trade beans), and $6.99/lb beans from Fred Meyer.

We used up the last of the co-op coffee we had on hand by day 3. And we will still count coffee as free while we plow through this free sample of coffee we snagged awhile back at Coffee Fest.


earlybirdcoffee.com

(Sorry, guys, for not trying your coffee while it was fresh. It’s still good stuff.)

As for coffee making methods, we have a small collection of coffee contraptions, including: a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker, a toddy maker, a couple french presses, and a vacuum extraction coffee maker I still haven’t mastered. No, we don’t have a drip machine. And right now we are hooked on the Bialetti. Usually in the summer we live off of toddy.

So, right here and now I vow to calculate the cost of coffee per Bialetti cup once we run out of our free goods. It is going to be kind of a pain, but we will make it happen.

It is kind of incredible to realize that a soy latte usually costs us about $5, and by skipping that weekly latte we’re also paying for a whole day’s food.

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peanut butter & banana baked oatmeal

In honor of Elvis’ birthday this upcoming Saturday, a PB + banana breakfast. Perhaps if he had lived to be 76 he would be okay with this healthy bastardization of some of his favorite foods. To keep with our $5 a day plan of cheap and healthy, we tried to put just enough peanut butter and sugar to make it delicious.

Best served warm with a little dollop of blackberry jam.

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup organic crunchy peanut butter
1-1/2 cups almond milk (our your milk of choice)
1-1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mashed (leaving some lumps) ripe banana, about 4 medium bananas
1/4 cup unsalted Spanish peanuts, roughly chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prep a 9X13″ baking dish (spray, grease, or line with parchment).

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat eggs, peanut butter, milk, water, and vanilla until smooth. Add the mashed bananas and oat mixture and stir until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. About 5 to 10 minutes into the baking time, when the top of the oatmeal has started to firm up, sprinkle the peanuts on top.

Makes nine 3 X 4-1/3″ servings.

Click here for the complete nutrition info, calculated with the sparkpeople.com recipe calculator.

And the cost per serving? Forty-three cents. Not bad for a filling breakfast that will stick to your ribs.

Here is the cost breakdown:

78 cents for bulk oats, 12 cents of sugar, 34 cents for two eggs, $1 for 4 bananas, 58 cents worth of organic peanut butter*, 75 cents of almond milk, and 27 cents bulk Spanish peanuts.

The ingredients not calculated into the cost: baking powder, water, and vanilla extract.

*We splurged for organic peanut butter since it is supposed to be one the most pesticide-laden foods.

Enjoy!

Update: This recipe has turned into a family favorite that we still eat all the time even though we’re no longer limited to $5/day. We have perfected it by using a 1/2 cup peanut butter and cutting it into 12 portions instead of 9.

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day one


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.13 yesterday, January 2, 2011.

BREAKFAST


pumpkin & caramelized banana baked oatmeal $0.37

LUNCH
egg salad on leftover sprouted bread $0.47
2 large organic carrots $0.19
Fage Greek 2% yogurt $0.62 (half-off dairy markdowns)

DINNER

shahi paneer over a cup of brown rice $1.56
1 cup peas (frozen) $0.21

SNACKS
organic cameo apple $0.40
banana $0.25
handful of leftover pretzels (freebie)
leftover coffee with ¼ cup almond milk $0.06

Notes and things:

– Here’s the link to the oatmeal recipe again in case you missed it above. We doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9X13″ pan, cutting it into 9 servings instead of 8. They are still plenty big!
– The baked oatmeal was extra cheap for us since we had pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, and dates as freebies in our cupboard. We bought almonds for half the nuts/seeds since they were the cheapest nuts. If we didn’t have those ingredients on hand I’d probably halve the nuts and buy bulk raisins.
– Bulk oatmeal works out to under 20 cents a cup (dry)
– We have two favorite store bought brands of bread. Dave’s Killer Bread and Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery. Awhile back we stocked up on those two brands on sale plus big coupons we got at Veg Fest, but we’ll be using up our last loaf this week. Maybe we’ll bake some bread after that? At $4-$5 a loaf we will need cheaper options.
– Since the bread was a freebie the cost for the egg salad sandwich was mainly $0.34 for two eggs and $0.13 for a couple green onions. It was jazzed up with home grown chives (that are not producing so well now that it is winter), homemade pickles, smoked paprika, and a little mayo and spicy brown mustard we already had. Again, if we have to replace something like mayo we will include it in our cost but for now it’s not reflected.
– We’ve been buying local, free range eggs from our Co-op for $1.98/dozen. Organic eggs would be way more expensive. Sometimes we splurge for organic, but our hope is to get chickens this year and feed them organic.
– I scored half gallons of almond milk from Grocery Outlet for $1.99, so it works out to 25 cents a cup.
– We’re pretty sure our organic cameo apples got rung up as not organic somehow, because we had calculated a much higher price of $0.75 per apple and therefore only bought 3. It is going to be hard to get much organic at $5 a day.
– If you know us, you probably know we are obsessed with that shahi paneer. We already had onion, ginger, and garlic, so the cost per serving would go up a tad without those. We actually intended for this to be our final meal before we started the project. It surprised me the ingredients were so cheap. The recipe makes 5 cups, which we split into 6 servings.


There is nothing quite like the smell of paneer frying in your kitchen. The only place we can find paneer in town is the co-op, and we are probably getting an awesome deal on it at $5.01 for just over 14 ounces.

– Our modifications to the Show Me the Curry Shahi Paneer recipe are to use ghee in place of oil to fry the onions and a can of light coconut milk (99 cents at Trader Joe’s) in place of the milk while reducing the water by 1/4 cup. We just don’t usually keep dairy milk in our fridge, and I thought the recipe could eventually be attempted vegan if we were willing to give up the paneer and use cheaper and lighter tofu or tempeh. The gravy is rich with intense flavor, so I think the vegan version would be pretty awesome.

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