It’s really important to me to feed my family healthy nourishing foods. But making a healthy whole-food breakfast every morning can really be a challenge! I’m going to share with you my favorite way to feed my family a nutrient dense breakfast. It’s fast and easy - so easy, in fact, that you can do it in your sleep!
Imagine waking up in the morning to the smell of oatmeal baking knowing that you have a hot breakfast waiting for you. There is an under-used feature on most ovens that can make this happen. On my Frigidaire oven it is labeled Start Time. If you have never used Start Time, you should try it! It starts your oven at a specified time, so you can leave a dish in the oven overnight and set Start Time to bake your breakfast in the morning before you wake up (this is only for a dish that is ok to leave unrefrigerated, of course). You can also put a frozen meal in the oven before leaving home and set Start Time so lunch or dinner will be ready and waiting when you get back. This feature varies between ovens, so read your manual to find out how to do it.
I use Start Time regularly to prepare a hot breakfast for my family. I mix up my baked oatmeal recipe in the evening (I will share it with you at the end of this post), which takes about 10 minutes, grease a pan and pour the batter in, and put the pan in the oven. I then push Start Time and set the time for about 50 minutes before I plan to get up in the morning. Then I set the temperature to 350 degrees. The oven will turn on and warm to 350 at the set time, and I get to go to bed knowing that my family will have a delicious, hot, healthy breakfast ready and waiting when we wake up!
My Overnight Baked Oatmeal recipe is made from whole-food, it is allergy friendly because it is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and corn-free, and it is very nutrient dense! I like to use One Degree Organic oats because they are gluten-free and they are sprouted, which makes them more digestible and makes it easier for us to absorb their nutrients. The baked oatmeal is also soaked overnight, which makes the oats even easier on the digestion! You can find these oats on Amazon, but you might find them for a better price at your local health-food store, so check for them there. This recipe is incredibly versatile so you can flavor it any way you like. I’ve made so many versions of it -I’ve flavored it with pumpkin, banana, winter squash, dates, cranberries, raisins, and more! I have even hidden pureed beets in it (but shhh! don’t tell my kids!)
Overnight Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
3 c. of rolled oats or quick oats (both work but they will yield different textures)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 c. melted coconut oil or butter (you can also use olive oil, but I think the results are better with coconut oil or butter)
1 c. water, add more if the batter seems too dry (you can also use milk, almond milk, or coconut milk, but if you are leaving this at room temperature overnight, you can use raw milk, but do not use pasteurized cow’s milk)
1/2 - 3/4 c. maple syrup (1/2 c. will be barely sweet)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. pureed pumpkin (you can also use pureed winter squash, 2 mashed bananas, dried cranberries, chopped dates, or raisins)
1 tsp. vanilla
Set oven to Start Time 50 minutes before you would like breakfast to be ready. Set temperature to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients in the order listed. Mix until well incorporated. Pour into prepared dish and place in the oven. In the morning, after the oatmeal has been baking for 50 minutes, insert a toothpick to make sure it is done. When the toothpick comes out clean, remove the oatmeal from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.