A little over 12 years ago JonPaul proposed to me in our small Chicago apartment just as the sun was rising. He caught me completely off guard. I can remember feeling so foggy, still in my pajamas without even my glasses on, and so confused as to what was happening, but at the same time so excited and over the moon happy.
A few hours later, once the excitement had settled in, we walked a few blocks down from our apartment to one of our favorite little spots, Southport Grocery and Cafe, and had a long leisurely brunch. It was one of our favorite spots before that morning, but will now always have a special place in my heart.
While I love all of the food at Southport Grocery and Cafe, one of my very favorite dishes is their almond baked oatmeal. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, crunchy, chewy and just the right amount of salty. The perfect dish to enjoy with a strong cup of coffee 😉
So I took inspiration from their original dish, and made my own. I wanted to keep the chewy sweet goodness, but make some changes to create something a little healthier, and nut free (my oldest son, Asher has a tree nut allergy). So I eliminated dairy, nuts, reduced the sugar, and added in some more nutrients. The result is this vanilla baked oatmeal that is ooey and gooey, while still being something that I can feel good about serving my kids.
This is also a great recipe that can be made in advance. During our busy school weeks, I usually try to bake this the night before while I’m cleaning up dishes from dinner (if I have to be in the kitchen, might as well have the oven working for me too), and then I have a quick and nutritious breakfast for my crew in the morning. It’s just as good (if not better) the next day.
My kids love this vanilla baked oatmeal recipe too. They like to refer to it as “oatmeal cookie pie” which makes me laugh, mainly because they’re pretty spot on. It is sort of like eating one big giant oatmeal cookie. A giant oatmeal cookie that’s mom approved 😉
- 2 cups of old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
- 1 cup of steel cut oats
- 1 tbsp of baking powder
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2½ cups of coconut milk
- ¼ cup of pure maple syrup (you could also use honey)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp of vanillla
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a large bowl mix together the oats, baking powder, brown sugar, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt. Mix and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture and stir to combine evenly.
- Grease a large pie or tart pan (or you could use small individual ramekins if you'd prefer, just decrease the cooking time)
- Pour the oat mixture into the greased pan.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the oatmeal is nicely browned (you want the top to form a little "crust", but not over bake the interior).
- Remove from oven and allow the baked oatmeal to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Top with berries of your choice and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
- Serve and enjoy
For other “oat inspiration” be sure to check out our vanilla coconut granola, and our pumpkin granola.