2-2.5cupschopped fruit: apples, pears, strawberries, or bananas (I use organic)
2 cupschopped crispy nuts (optional),or sprinkle the nuts on top as you serve it
1scoopI add this collagen for even more nutrition and an immune system boost!
1-2TablespoonsFor even more of a superfood boost, I also add in 1-2 heaping Tablespoons of of this colostrum.
Variation idea: Sarah suggested in the comments that along with some dried cranberries, you could also add a few drops of this orange essential oil and make it a yummy cranberry orange baked oatmeal! See the comments below where we discuss using essential oils in food.
***See the "Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe" notes below for how to make this even more nutritious and increase digestibility.
Make this up to 2 days ahead, or longer if you're going to freeze it for later.
Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, then stir together. (If I'm in a hurry, I just throw it all in and mix well!) Then stir in the fruit or nuts of choice--just mix and match with whatever sounds good to you or whatever you have on-hand.
Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan.
Refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to bake it. You can set it in your oven the night before with the auto-bake feature on so you wake up to the delicious aromas in the morning. Don't forget to make an extra pan for your freezer, you'll be SO happy you did when you've got a busy morning!
Bake at 350* for 45 minutes, depending on your desired consistency. If you like it extra moist, bake it for less time. I think 45 minutes is just right.
Serve with butter and a little more real maple syrup if desired, but it's really good all on its own!
The following are optional steps to increase nutrition and digestibility (and break down phytic acid in the oats, which blocks mineral absorption)...The night before, add 1.5 Tablespoons of a little acidic liquid, such as whey, lemon juice or vinegar, to the milk that's called for in the recipe above. (Lemon juice gives it the best flavor in my opinion.)OR in place of both of the milk and the acidic liquid, just use 1.75 cups buttermilk, yogurt or kefir.Also recommended: 1 Tablespoon of any organic whole grain flour–this provides phytase to help break down the phytic acid in the oats for more nutrition–read more about that here.Set on your counter overnight and bake in the morning, or put in the fridge or freezer to bake when you're ready.One more thing: In case you're wondering why the oats don't need to be drained after soaking overnight, Jenny from Nourished Kitchen says, "You don't have to because the phytic acid is degraded. It doesn't leach into the water like oxalates do.”