Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal

Happy 2015! 

I realize I am a day late in wishing you all a Happy New Year and I apologize for that. This holiday season has been a complete whirlwind. Multiple family gatherings, my 10-year high school reunion, and an anniversary trip to Petoskey with the hubs made for a fun-filled week but left little time for blogging. 

I will make it up to you though with this comforting cranberry apple baked oatmeal. 

 

I made this baked oatmeal on Christmas morning to test it out on my family. It was a huge hit. We ended up eating it all weekend long. It begs to be eaten on a cold, cozy winter morning (unfortunately, I think the Mitten state has a lot of those in it's future). It tastes best when eaten in flannel pajamas, fuzzy slippers, and a hot beverage in hand. 

Smiles from my family after enjoying the oatmeal!

Smiles from my family after enjoying the oatmeal!

Although this recipe comes together easily, I"m not always one for starting my morning with multiple dirty dishes to clean. When I made this ahead of time, I cooked the cranberries, combined the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, and made the frosting ahead of time. In the morning, all  you have  to do is preheat the oven, combine wet and dry ingredients, fold in the cranberries, dice an apple, and try not to eat all the frosting before the oatmeal is done baking. 

Did I mention that this recipe is loaded with nutrition? The flaxseed and chia seed provide cholesterol-reducing fiber, the dates, apples, and cranberries provide natural. sweetness. The frosting is deceptively healthy. Macadamia nuts and cashews create the base for the frosting while providing heart-healthy unsaturated fats that will keep you full for the day ahead. 

Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal

Makes 12-16 servings 

Note: I have halved this recipe when making it for less people. It would fit in an 8x8-inch pan. This frosting recipe made a little more than needed to cover the pan. I passed the extra frosting around for extra dipping and stirred it into my regular oatmeal for the next few days. I have kept the leftover frosting for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

For the oatmeal (adapted from Whole Living Lauren:

1 cup whole cranberries

2 cups oat flour (process oats in a food processor until they form a fine meal)

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup ground flaxseed

4 tablespoons chia seeds

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups almond milk

1/2 cup honey (other liquid sweeteners would work here)

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

8 dates

4 tablespoons almond butter

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 cup slivered almonds

2 apples, diced

For the frosting (adapted from Love and Lemons):

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours

1 cup raw macademia nuts, soaked in water for 2 hours

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup agave

4 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Fill a small saucepan with water and add cranberries. Bring water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain cranberries and set aside. 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x16-inch baking dish with coconut oil, vegetable oil, or nonstick spray. 

3. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, rolled oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. 

4. In a blender, add almond milk, honey, applesauce, dates, almond butter, and vanilla. Blend on high to make a smooth mixture. 

5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in cranberries, slivered almonds, and apples. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake oatmeal for about 40 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. 

6. While the oatmeal is baking, prepare the frosting by adding all ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 1/2 minutes. A food processor can also be used but the frosting will not as smooth. 

7. Allow oatmeal to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.