A cozy breakfast, Apple Walnut Baked Oats with Date Butter and Cranberry Crumble come together with ease in this tempting breakfast. A snap to pull together, with a make ahead option and perfect for the coldest months of the year. Vegan + Optionally Gluten Free
Are you feeling the final pinch of the holiday season? I’m still trying to figure out where the year went, as if my head is spinning. A whole year… done. History. How does it zoom by so fast?
Wise readers, tell me, is it true the older you get the faster it goes?
I’ve been implementing some practices this year that I hoped would slow this train, but it doesn’t seem to be working out. Yoga, most recently, being more mindful, meditation, and living in the now are at the top of my list… but I still feel like I blinked and the year is gone.
And while there are some goals I’m happy to have set and completed, there was so much more on my list. How about you? How are you feeling about time and goals?
I often hear the word balance and that we’re striving for this in our lives. I get that when referring to food. But when it comes to daily living and our hurried, full and often over-scheduled lives, I wonder if balance is achievable. Is this a result of our wanting to accomplish so much in a relative short period of time? You overachievers know what I’m talking about.
Your brain is kickin’ 24/7 because you’ve so many ideas and things you want to do, people to see, lists to make, issues to resolve, errands to run, workouts to have, family to spend time with, Instagram and Facebook connections, food to make, eat, sleep, and then there’s time for you… YOU! Where do YOU fit into the equation?
Oh, did I forget to mention, work?
Especially during the holiday season.
Which brings me to this Apple Walnut Baked Oats with Date Butter and Cranberry Crumble recipe. Citrus Ginger Mint Green Smoothies are on the regular since citrus is in season, but it’s cold out. I need warm and cozy right now. Baked oats are that kind of cozy.
Oh my, this oatmeal y’all. But oh, it’s more than just oatmeal. Not that oatmeal is boring. It just needs a little bit of sparkle in the form of spice, crunch and color.
First whiz up that cranberry crumble in the food processor, then the date butter. Mix up the oat/walnut/spice mixture with water. Stir the date butter into the apples, then start layering the components. Apples and date butter first, next the oat mixture, then top the oats with that mouthwatering cranberry crumble. If you want to make this ahead, check the *notes section. It’s doable!
The scent of this intoxicating breakfast wafting through the house on an early Winter morning while sipping a cup of coffee is pure cozy. Those still slumbering slowly awaken to baking cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and apples, jump out of bed wondering what’s in the oven, ready to eat.
This is a breakfast that feeds a small crowd and the best part? It’s a snap to pull together. This baked oatmeal makes room for YOU time in the quiet early morning hours. Okay, maybe a bit idealistic, but hey, something to strive for, eh?
The ingredient list is long, but it’s mostly spices used again and again throughout each component. Don’t let the list dissuade you. Three cheers for cozy mornings!
I’d love to hear how you take care of YOU, during these crazy Holi-Days, balancing time and goals. Leave a comment below.
Apple Walnut Baked Oats with Date Butter and Cranberry Crumble
For the Crumble:
- 3/4 C Fresh Cranberries 80g
- 1/3 C Walnuts 44g
- 3 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg ground
For the Date Butter:
- 1 C Pitted Medjool Dates soaked in hot water for 10 min and drained, 152g
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil virgin cold-pressed
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 1/4 C Water 102g
- 2 1/2 C Apples medium dice, about two apples, 296g
For the Oats:
- Pure Maple Syrup for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). While the oven is preheating, toast the walnuts for both the oats and crumble for about 8-10 minutes or until they are fragrant and toasty. Chop and set aside.
For the Crumble:
In a food processor add the cranberries, 1/3 C (44g) toasted walnuts, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pulse until a rough crumble forms. Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.
For the Date Butter:
Wipe out the food processor and add the dates, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse a few times just to get the mixture going. Scrape down the bowl. With the processor running, add a steady stream of water. Scrape down the bowl and process again until smooth. The mixture should be thick but spreadable. Mix this up with the apples.
For the Oats:
In a medium mixing bowl, add the the remaining walnuts, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, anise, salt, and baking powder. Mix well. Mix the vanilla extract and water and pour over the oat mixture. Stir well.
Spray the bottom of a medium (at least 8" x 11" or 20cm x 27cm) casserole dish with pan spray.
Spread the date/apple mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Pour the oat/water mixture over the top. Spread evenly. Use your fingers to sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the oats.
Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes.
Serve with plenty of maple syrup.
Store leftovers in a covered container for up to three days. Rewarm at 350F (180C) for 15 minutes.
*To make ahead: prepare cranberry crumble and date butter. Store in a lidded containers in the refrigerator. Mix all the dry ingredients for the oat mixture, cover and leave out on counter until ready to use. When ready to assemble, dice the apples, and assemble as written.
**I've not seen ground Star Anise, so I use a microplane and carefully grate a few anise to 'grind' it.
Crumble recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times 2014
Baked Oatmeal inspired by Jamie Oliver