I am a huge believer in breakfast, probably because my body seems to be programmed to eat a full meal within a few hours of waking up. (I wake up hungry, people, hungry!) In my experience, it's important to eat healthy (and hearty!) in the morning to start a day out right.
As a vegetarian, I also find it's important to be sure there's a decent dose of protein in every meal, including breakfast. Don't be fooled - "vegetarian protein in the morning" does not necessarily have to mean eggs. In fact, I find that I can get a nice dose of protein simply by eating whole grains.
This weekend I whipped up my first batch of baked oatmeal, which I've been reading about all over the internet. I used a very basic recipe, and I look forward to jazzin' it up in future versions with some dried or fresh fruit and other flavor combinations.
Oatmeal has a nice dose of protein built right in, plus it makes a great base to combine with other protein sources. By my count a serving of this baked oatmeal recipe has about 5 grams of protein (based on a 12-serving recipe), which isn't bad for something that smells as good as a freshly baked oatmeal cookie!
This morning I had it with yogurt and berries, which was great. Tomorrow I might try it with warm milk, which I imagine will be closer to a true bowl of oatmeal. The oatmeal-dairy combo puts my protein tally closer to 12 grams, which I consider to be quite respectable for breakfast.
In case I'm selling this stuff short, this recipe is truly enticing! It absolutely smelled like a cookies as it baked. I was thrilled when it won over my hubby, who typically turns his nose at traditional oatmeal. Plus, it satisfied my morning sweet tooth without being quite as sweet as an actual cookie. I'm the queen of leftovers, so I was doubly pleased to discover how well it warmed up in the toaster oven the next day. Yay for a week of baked oatmeal!
Baked Oatmeal - the Basic Recipe
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 3/4 brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon