Baked oatmeal with balsamic strawberries

OATMEAL WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. Now that I’ve discovered a baked recipe that works for the small and smallest members of our household (aka with strawberries and without), I may never stand over a bubbling pot of oatmeal again. Or at least I’ll take a nice break from it.

Again, a tip from the surprising source of Oprah’s magazine, where they designed a make-ahead brunch idea for 8. After I made my crazy healthy substitutions we came up with a keeper. I’ll tell you what though, it’s delicious, good for you and easy. Three of my favorite things!

BAKED OATMEAL WITH BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES

Serves 4

All spices and flavors are optional and could easily be substituted for others that your family enjoys (cinnamon with fresh oranges would be wonderful!)

ingredients

  • 3 cups whole, organic milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups slow cooking whole oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1-2 cups freshly sliced strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8″ baking dish (or round).

Slice strawberries. Set aside half to use on kids’ portions if you think they’ll object to the tang of balsamic vinegar. Add balsamic vinegar to remaining strawberries and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Stir and let marinate while oatmeal cooks.

Combine the milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar (if using), vanilla, lemon and nutmeg. Stir. Add oats and wheat germ. Stir and pour into the pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Oats will be plump and most milk will be soaked in when ready. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls with strawberries heaped on top. Note: babies can eat the oatmeal plain, with no berries.

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