The spring weather that is visiting Vancouver sure is intoxicating. Cherry, magnolia and forsythia are just a few of the flowering trees that are in full bloom right now making a canopy of gorgeous blooms that seem to trail you wherever you turn. There’s also been all kinds of cute, fat chirping robins in the branches outside our windows and lots of sunshine to boost spirits. I’ve been cooking and baking up a storm these last few weeks, but there’s little evidence of that here. I haven’t been able to find my rhythm on these pixel pages. Maybe my mind is stuck in the blossoms or my thoughts are buried with ideas and I’m finding it difficult to get direction amid all the chaos. But this past easter weekend I made this baked oatmeal, watched old westerns and film noirs, played darts, went on a hike in a tee-shirt (no jacket required) and enjoyed the long weekend to the fullest.
So when I went back to my camera and saw how pretty the pictures turned out (all that sunshine sure helps), I decided that I just needed to focus, make it work, and share this amazing recipe with you. If you’ve been reading this blog for the past few years, you might remember a few recipes for baked oatmeal along the way. It’s one of my favorite ways to make oatmeal but I haven’t made one in quite a while – but a prompt from Orangette was all I needed to get back on the baked oatmeal train. This recipe from Super Natural Every Day isn’t that far off from one of my old recipes, but I like the casualness of it. Instead of mixing everything up in a bowl, the oats, fruit and dry ingredients are scattered in the baking pan while the wet stuff gets poured over top.
This version is full of blueberries, dried apricots, coconut and walnuts and I love the mix. I used frozen blueberries that I had frozen myself from last summer (no need to defrost!) and figured that dried apricots would be a lovely pairing. It totally was. The crunch of the walnuts were perfect and I didn’t even toast them beforehand as was recommended. And because I can’t be too far from coconut, in went some of the unsweetened shredded stuff. As Molly suggests, coconut milk would be a good substitute for the whole milk. And if you’re looking for a vegan version, please try this one or that one from my archives.
And if you’ve got some pourable heavy cream on hand, by all means, drizzle some over top of your bowl! It’s so worth the splurge.
baked oatmeal with blueberries,coconut & dried apricots
(adapted from Super Natural Every Day) by Heidi Swanson
I used vanilla sugar since I had some on hand and it gave the dish an extra jolt of vanilla essence. If you don’t have any, please just pour in additional maple syrup and add in another teaspoon of vanilla.
2 c rolled oats (large flake) – be sure to use gluten-free oats if that is a concern
1/2 c walnuts, roughly chopped
1 t baking powder
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 c blueberries (frozen work fine)
1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
6-8 dried apricots, sliced into strips
2 c whole milk
1/4 c maple syrup
2 T vanilla sugar (see recipe headnote)
1 large egg
2 T cold butter + more for greasing the pan
1 t vanilla extract
heavy cream for serving over top (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F and set oven rack to the bottom-middle position.
Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Dump in the oats, nuts, baking powder, nutmeg and salt and stir around with a fork. Scatter the blueberries and apricots over the oat mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, maple syrup, sugar, egg and vanilla together. Slowly pour over the oat mix and use that fork again to gently prod the liquid down into the oat layer. Cut the butter into bits and scatter evenly over top of the oats.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes before serving. If you want to gild the lily (and I highly recommend it), pour each serving with a drizzle of heavy cream. Serves 4-6.
I really need to try baked oatmeal! Every recipe I see looks so good, not to mention easy and I love your fruit/coconut/walnut version. I’m definitely digging the idea of using coconut milk. Glad you’re enjoying spring! It makes me happy when I see the chubby robins, too 🙂
I soooooooooo love baked oatmeal, and this one looks so tasty! I hated oatmeal as a child, but was tempted to try it again when I read your post on baked apple oatmeal way back when I first found your blog. It totally made me fall in love with oatmeal. YUM! I’m going to try this one really soon.
This has been on my must-make list for awhile now. Thanks for the prompt!
This certainly does scream spring and yes…it IS intoxicating!! I saw Molly’s post and was definitely inspired to pick up Super Natural Every Day again…what a great oatmeal dish!
Just made this – with dry red lentils! Forgot the coconut. Am very jealous of your magnolia and forsythia – it snowed here last night.
I was just thinking about baked oatmeal the other day! It’s been awhile since I’ve made it, but the wet cold days are ahead in April, so I may need something cozy for breakfast!
Oh, I LOVE this recipe! There is something about spring that makes me crave baked oatmeal too. And I so enjoyed hearing about the spring in Vancouver. We’re still a few weeks away from blooms and leaves, but it’s coming and I can’t wait. Enjoy!
Nicole, if you haven’t made it yet, I know you’ll love it – try it for dinner (I know you’ve got a sweet spot for breakfast for dinner!). And yes to chubby robins!
Aw, thanks Karen! I’m glad one of my old recipes got you liking oatmeal, but definitely give this one a try. It’s delicious.
Julie, I love how you ran with this!! Lentils!! You are amazing. And I’m sorry about the snow.
Thanks Joanne 🙂
Jacqui, yes, the rain is back and I think this oatmeal would be a good soother.
Elizabeth, the coming of spring is so exciting! Fingers crossed it will come soon for you too!
Mmmm, this looks yummy! I’ve never tried making baked oatmeal before. I have all the ingredients on hand so I’ll aim for giving it a try this weekend.
Bijoux, did you give it a try? It’s so good I’m sure you’ll like it (though you might want to bump up the sugar – I know you have a sweet tooth 🙂
No I have not tried this yet, but I will. I’m on a white sugar detox diet these days. I sweeten my desserts with maple syrup or honey instead 😉 mmm honey!
Bijoux, well you can definitely go all maple syrup here! Or even give honey a try!
Wow this sounds delicious! I was in France without internet access when you posted this but I was so happy to find this upon my return. I LOVE oatmeal but my crew is very anti-oatmeal. But this, well this might just be something they would appreciate… especially if I put a bit of vanilla ice cream over the top. In fact I think this would be the perfect after track meet snack! (hmm we have peaches from last summer languishing in the freezer… i just might have to add them.) Thanks for sharing!
Oh Peggy, I’m jealous of your France trip – and this would be amazing with peaches. I’ve made baked oatmeal with nectarines in the past and it turned out wonderfully!
What a great idea. I can’t wait to try this. A little cream, or yogurt, or extra fruit, or syrup… yes, yes, yes.
Piper, it is indeed a fantastic breakfast! Enjoy with all of the above 🙂
time to invest in a new pan. the food might be good, but the rusty pan makes it unappetizing.