Fall Food

I'm looking outside my window at what looks like an idyllic fall day. There's a strong breeze, sunshine and lots of brightly colored leaves on the trees and falling to the ground in showers of crunchy color. Now, it also happens to be nearing 80 degrees, but I said it looks like a fall day. I didn't say it feels like one! That said, I'm still thinking about perfect fall food and that makes me think of oatmeal and weekend breakfasts.

I know oatmeal is often considered a quick weekday breakfast and something too bland and boring for the weekend. Well, you've never had oatmeal with me! Especially in autumn, my oatmeal is something to be savored. More often than not, I bake it to give myself time to tend to coffee and read a little news before settling down with a warm bowl. It always has fruit in it and it's usually a combination of fresh and dried fruit. Nuts often make it into the mix, too. And when it comes to sweetener, it's brown sugar, maple syrup or honey or some combination therein. Heck, when I have them, I've been known to bake the oatmeal inside a hollowed-out pumpkin, too! For me and mine, baked oatmeal is a fall weekend tradition and it's anything but bland or boring! I hope you enjoy this version.

Baked Apple Oatmeal

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup applesauce -- I make my own
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Pour into a small baking pan, loaf pan, or 1-cup ramekins. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or more until it’s firm. Finally, set your oven to “high broil” for 3 more minutes to form a crust on your breakfast, if desired. Serve hot with additional milk and brown sugar, if desired.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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